I posted on June 24th about a booklet I authored that has now been published in Romanian. In like manner, one of my larger works, Strength in Numbers: The Team Approach to Biblical Counseling, is published in Romanian, too.
If you haven’t read that book, then you are missing out (of course I have to say that!). The book is primarily about how to work with a partner in the ministry of biblical counseling. Two counselors working together can be a very effective way to make disciples which is what I am all about (Matt. 28:18-20). I want to see more disciples becoming disciple-makers and I want to see more people involved in the personal ministry of biblical counseling because it is such a rewarding ministry to watch God transform lives (see Luke 10 for an example of how Jesus sent out His disciples in teams of two!).
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and think of it specifically applied to biblical counseling:
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
In my estimation, that threefold cord is the two counselors and the Holy Spirit! That’s a powerful cord!
At Vision of Hope and in Faith Counseling Ministries, we work as a team in many aspects of ministry so teamwork has always been a part of the equation. It’s not that way in some other churches and ministries so I encourage you to find a partner in ministry if you find yourself in that type of environment. A former pastor of mine used to say, “Never do ministry alone” and I believe he is right.
One more consideration of team biblical counseling is that of reflecting Christ more accurately. While some biblical counselors do an outstanding job of balancing truth and grace, other biblical counselors struggle with falling into either extreme: almost all grace or almost all truth. Certainly, we all possess both truth and grace if we are believers in Christ but our comfort zone is often in one area or the other. In John 1:14, the Bible describes Jesus as full of grace and full of truth. In other words, Jesus is 100% both at the same time and the rest of us are striving to be like Him by balancing truth and grace. I believe strongly that biblical counselors working in tandem best reflect God’s truth and grace to the counselees we are privileged to serve. We want to glorify the Lord and can do so working together balancing truth and grace.
The book details the rationale for team counseling, the how-to of team counseling, and even the forms and structure system for starting a team biblical counseling ministry. It has been very helpful to several churches over the years in setting up their counseling ministries.
-Pastor Mark Shaw (gleaning from God’s wisdom to find practical ways to apply His Word in creative ministry contexts)