If you are a Christian, you are a counselor.
We provide training to help you give wise counsel as you make disciples.
As a Christian, you have the great blessing of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. He will empower and enable you to give counsel to people in your life, regardless of any role or title you may or may not have. It’s important that you start training and preparing your heart and mind to be a wise counselor when given the opportunity. You’ll have the chance to give biblical counsel to friends, family, co-workers, people in your church, and even strangers! Because you may not have formal counseling sessions, you must be all the more ready to give wise, biblical counsel when given the chance. We want to help equip you for that good work.
Grounded in God's Word
The foundation of gospel counseling is the Word of God; Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would teach us all
things, and remind us of everything that Jesus said. We desperately rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us through God’s word as we provide counsel. The first and primary way for you to be effective as a counselor is to know the Word of God, and ask for wisdom to walk someone through it’s truths. As God reveals himself to you and the truths of the gospel increase your worship and affection for Jesus, you will be molded into a better counselor.
Counseling in Community
As a lay counselor, the majority of your time counseling will take place in a community context. That may be within your family, group of friends, Bible study, ministry, workplace, or even in an unplanned moment of crisis. Because God has called us to be a new family of believers who live life together, you will certainly encounter many opportunities to counsel and disciple one another. Learning how to be a counselor within the scope and support of a local community of believers is key to your effectiveness.
A Ministry of Reconciliation
All believers are given Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation, calling the world to be reconciled back to him. You will encounter counseling and discipleship opportunities with unbelievers who are experiencing the pain of living in a world broken by sin. You can share the hope and joy that can be found in knowing Jesus and being changed by him. Alongside that, ministering to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ is core to our identity as a new community of believers. When one member of the body suffers, we all suffer – therefore, part of your ministry will be reminding believers of their true identity in Christ as they walk through suffering.
Counseling as Discipleship
The majority of counseling conversation both in and out of the church will happen informally. Because of that, your ministry as a lay counselor comes down to this – focused discipleship. Whether it’s a one on one conversation with a hurting friend, or years of walking through a suffering loved one, what you are truly doing is discipleship. Your greatest hope as a disciple maker and counselor comes from Jesus; as you make disciples, he makes this promise to you – “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Equipped to Counsel Class
In the Fall, we will be training and equipping our church to give gospel counseling in the context of their community. The Equipped to Counsel course will be open to anyone in the city who wants to learn the principals of biblical counseling.
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Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation
The CCEF provides courses and training for both anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of biblical counseling. You’ll receive practical and theological training through online, interactive coursework. We highly respect and recommend the CCEF, and our staff takes advantage of their training regularly.
Check Out CCEF
Counseling Internship at the Austin Stone
Through the Austin Stone Institute (ASI), there are counseling internships available starting in the fall. You’ll get training while working in the counseling center, and with the staff team, and see how a gospel centered, Christ exalting counseling center functions in the context of the local church.