Why So Many Pastors Avoid a Counseling Ministry
I recently conducted an unscientific but revealing social media poll. I asked pastors to share with me what aspects of pastoral ministry they enjoyed the most.
Counseling was listed last, at least indicating it was their least favorite aspect of ministry. So, I went back to these pastors and asked a follow-up question. I wanted to know why so many pastors were avoiding counseling ministries today. Their responses were clear and consistent:
1. Not qualified. In many ways, this response overlaps some of the others. The pastors told us they have not been trained in counseling. They told us they were not equipped to counsel. They told us they felt totally out of their element when they counseled others.
2. Concerned about liabilities. Many of the respondents were transparent about this concern. Some are not certain what they are required legally to report as a consequence of a counseling session. Others feared lawsuits as a result of counseling. Still others wondered about confidentiality issues and counseling.
3. Not fruitful. A number of these pastors did not see their counseling sessions as fruitful. They did not know if they were helping, hindering, or hurting. They did not know how to evaluate the effectiveness of their counseling. Some wondered with transparency if they were wasting their time.
4. Time consuming. Most pastors are overworked. Their workweek can be 60 or 70 hours or longer. They are on call 24/7. When they look for places to find margin, it is not uncommon to see them choose to reduce or eliminate their counseling hours.
5. Fearful of blame. A noticeable number of pastors told us the most-needy church members are most likely to seek counseling. Those same people are also likely to assign blame to the pastor if the counseling sessions do not meet their expectations.
6. Availability of referrals. Most churches and church leaders know someone who is a counselor by profession. That man or woman, in their opinions, is much more qualified to counsel others, so the pastors refer their counseling requests to them.
Opposite gender. This problem has become even more exacerbated by the #MeToo movement. Understandably, pastors are becoming more and more hesitant to counsel people of the opposite gender.
The audience of this blog includes a nice mix of pastors, church staff, and church members.
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on October 22. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer
With Lifeway gone, is this the end for Christian retail?
They were heady times. Stores were opening at rapid pace. Retail groups bought or leased major warehouses as head offices were set up to dispatch...
US Vice President Issues Urgent Call To ‘Help The Persecuted’ At D.C. Summit
Speaking at the first ever Help The Persecuted Summit in Washington, D.C. on Friday March, US Vice President Mike Pence highlighted the vital...
For Israel, Purim Is an Anything But an Irrelevant Ancient Holiday
In the words of Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. This is especially true when it comes to the nation of Israel. The ancient foes of...
On Faith, Why Bad Theology Hurts the Suffering
Why does God answer yes to some prayers and no to others? Why does God miraculously heal some people and not others? Why does disaster strike one...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE