APPENDIX TWO

ESTABLISHING A LAY-COUNSELING MINISTRY

Lay counselors are believers who are not necessarily certified as professional counselors, but who have a desire to help others find biblical guidance for their problems.  Many churches have opted to train lay-counselors so that the responsibility for the counseling ministry does not rest solely upon the senior pastor.  Here are some steps to establish a lay-counseling ministry.

-Set aside a private room for counseling.

-If you are using this counseling database, set up computer terminal(s) with the database and attach a  printer.

-Appoint a lay-counseling ministry coordinator who will recruit, train, and schedule counselors.

Recruiting counselors:

-Recruits must be born-again, as this is biblical counseling.

-Recruits should be able to read and write in order to use the database effectively.

-Recruits should be seasoned believers who are well-versed in the Word of God.

-Recruits should be faithful men and women who follow-through on their commitments.

-Recruits should express a passion for  this type of ministry.

-Establish prayer support.  Not everyone can or should be a counselor, but you can involve everyone in praying for the ministry.

Training counselors:

-Use the introductory chapters of this manual.

-Train recruits in how to use the database.

-Advise that if a counselee uses obscene, vulgar, or abusive language, they should terminate the counseling session.

-Warn recruits to never give medical advice, i.e., advising a person to stop taking             medication.

-Warn recruits that they should never give legal advice.

-Establish a counseling schedule, days and hours the center will be open and staffed.

-Advertise the counseling ministry in the church bulletin, local newspapers, flyers, churches,  local media, and through small business-sized cards.

         

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