Counseling Helps For Group Leaders

Counseling is like jazz. We have a melody, but not a script. We must improvise within boundaries.

Benny Green – “A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges.”

Counseling Defined:

  • Giving people the Bible in a way they can understand, so they can change.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Romans 12:8

Counseling Myths:

  1. The myth that preaching solves everything
    1. Jesus’ communication was 80% conversations and 20% preaching
  2. The myth that counseling only happens when you “go to counseling”
    1. It’s happening on the bus, in the cafeteria, and on the athletic field
  3. The myth that only trained professionals can counsel
    1. God has given you a specific situation, His Word, His Holy Spirit – why not?
    2. Trained counselors are the emergency room. Cell Group leaders are the weekly check-ups.

Every Christian is a counselor:

  1. Matthew 7:1-6
    1. Vs 5 – Help your brother when you see something!
    2. Vs. 3-4 – Deal with your own sin first
    3. Vs. 1-2 – Believe the best, because that’s what you want people to believe about you
    4. The goal is unity, restoration, and community
  2. Acts 20:17-21
    1. Paul lived alongside people (in community)
    2. Teaching publicly and privately
    3. Urging people to change
  3. Jesus counseled both publicly and privately
    1. Public – Sermon on the Mount, feeding of the 5,000, public healings
    2. Private – Woman at the well, Mary and Martha, his disciples
  4. Ephesians 4:11-16
    1. Speaking and hearing the truth in love from community is the way we grow

Examples of real issues people in your Cell Group struggle with:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexual impurity
  • Gambling
  • Laziness
  • Pornography
  • Etc.

Where do these issues come from?

  • Realize what the real issue is
    1. Our lives are lived in the context of our circumstances, sin, and suffering
      1. 1 Peter 4:12
    2. Our behavior, thoughts, and emotions are all connected
      1. Phil 4:4-9
    3. Our behavior, thoughts, and emotions all come from our heart
      1. Mark 7:21-23
      2. 1 Peter 1:22
    4. Our behavior, thoughts, and emotions all reveal our real desires
      1. James 1:14-15
    5. Our desires are ultimately rooted in our worship
      1. Romans 1:22-25
      2. Ezekiel 36:24-26
      3. Colossians 3:5
      4. Am I making God-centered choices, or Man-centered choices?

So, how do we help our community?

  1. Start and end with the Bible
    • Hebrews 4:12
    • There isn’t one problem, issue, mess that someone is in that the Bible doesn’t help makes sense of.
  1. Mind the gap
    • Try to understand the difference between you and the person you are talking to
      • Family background
      • Place where they were brought up
      • Ethnic or racial cultures
      • Economic situation
      • Emotional makeup
      • Man/Woman
  1. Listen in love
    • Proverbs 18:15
    • Luke 10:40-41
    • Give full attention
    • Eye contact
    • Respond appropriately
    • Body language
    • Ask good questions (Sherlock Holmes)
      • Circumstances – What is happening?
      • Behavior – What are you doing about it?
      • Thoughts – What are you thinking about it?
      • Emotions – How are you feeling about it?
      • Worship – Why are you thinking, doing, and feeling what you are?
        • What do you love/hate?
        • What do you want/hope for?
        • What do you fear/concerns you?
        • What do you think you need?
        • Where do you run for comfort/safety?
        • What do you think you deserve/are entitled to?
  1. Say what is most needed (Not, “What’s the right thing to say?” but “What will help?”)
    • 1 Thess 5:14
    • Proverbs 27:14
  1. Be part of their continued journey
    • One anothers in Scripture
    • Hebrews 10:24-25

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