Pastoral Counseling for Pastors

There is a song that says, “Give me that old time religion, its good enough for me. It was good for the Hebrew children and its good enough for me.” There was a time when people came to church, sang, shouted, listen to loud music and loud preaching, and went home. They had their feel good fix for the week.  They were satisfied with the church and the minister, the minister prayer over their babies when they were born, and over their parents when they died. They were content.

Individuals entering into the field of ministry today must have the sophisticated tool expected of a congregation who is no longer interested in the old time religion. Today the pastor is expected to be a psychologist, a therapist, family counselor, drug counselor, business and financial manager, entertainer, coach and conflict resolution specialist.

If he can preach and knows the Bible, then that is beneficial, but there are other assignments, which can and will determine the effectiveness of his or her ministry. Pastoral counseling sessions with is often where the rubber meets the road. Pastoral counseling provided some insight in to the continual professional preparation that is necessary in order for individuals considering entering into the pastoral field. The question often came up as to the relevance of some of the areas of studies required for the effectiveness of preparation.

The demanding field of pastoral care and counseling provides real world insight into the problems pastors would be facing as they attempt to provide services to a demanding congregation. There had been a tendency to view the ministry field as helping people to find a way to God, and understand the good news of the Christian message, however, ministry in the 21stcentury is more complex. Individuals seeking to hear and receive the good news message are coming with problems and concerns, which the Bible only refers to as some kind of illness, which had to be “cast out” of some individuals, the question of how is the responsibility of the pastor. Since it is impossible to wave a hand, and say to someone in distress, you are made whole, it is necessary to look deeper into the causes of some of these distresses.