Wednesday, we looked at the first two “laps” in Bob’s book, Envisioning and Enlisting.
Yesterday, we covered laps 3 and 4, Equipping and Empowering.
Today, I just have some summary thoughts on the book as a whole. In many ways, it is a book that is outside of my usual stream of reading. Not that I haven’t reviewed my fair share of practical books here, but few of them qualify as a legit “how-to manual” the way this one does. As such, my review has been slightly different since I am not actively implementing the ideas from it just yet.
While I can’t testify to how Bob’s work here plays out in actual application, I can testify that his book is conversational in tone and extremely well organized in presentation. Though only one of the four sections is focused on “Equipping,” the whole book is an extended exercise in equipping pastors with the necessary tools to build a Christ-centered counseling ministry in their church.
Like I said yesterday though, there is some crossover in the initial section (Envisioning) which could be applied to other ministry launches. Whether its a counseling ministry or an adult education ministry, or even a youth ministry, it really ought to have a MVP-C statement formulated for it (or something awfully similar). More than likely, over the summer, I’ll try to frame a MVP-C statement for the blog, as well as for my teaching job. And since much of what Bob says about actually equipping counselors could be used in just routine discipleship (though there is no pure “routine” dimension to discipleship), I may re-appropriate it for the mentoring relationships I have. Because of this, I think Bob’s book is a worthwhile addition to any pastor’s library, regardless of how close a counseling ministry is on the horizon.
That being said though, I think every church ought to have a counseling ministry. Every church might not be ready for a full-blown counseling team, but every church should have sound biblical counseling woven into their congregation’s DNA. Toward that end, every church planter ought to pick up a copy of this book and start thinking of how from square one he can establishing the foundation for a community of informal counselors. Once the church has grown to the point that it needs a formal counseling ministry, it won’t be hard to find the initial pre-equipped team members.
As for me, I’m going to probably re-read over Bob’s book this summer, looking toward personal application rather than a blog review. This means it probably won’t be the last time you hear me talk about Equipping Counselors For Your Church. Though I hadn’t really thought of it before reading the book, when Bob shared how he started fresh out of seminary at a high school and the genesis of the ideas in his book were first fleshed out there, it made me think how there might be applications for me in my teaching role. Since I just thought of it, I don’t have a lot of details figured out, but I may start thinking how I might create a community of competent counselors within the high school. I had initially been thinking of this book as having applications at church, but really, I can’t do anything toward that end until our pastor catches the vision (not that he hasn’t, but there’s not a drive toward going down this road just yet). As the Bible teacher at school though starting this fall, I think I’m in the position to change the culture of the school from within.
In the end, if you are in a position of ministry, I would highly recommend Bob’s book. Even if you’re not, you may benefit from the core section on equipping since it covers the basics of theology, godly relationships, and growing in Christlikeness. Primarily though this is a book for pastors, and hopefully, more and more of them will read and implement the ideas in this book if they’re not already!
- Author: Robert W. Kellemen
- Title: Equipping Counselors For Your Church
- Publisher: P&R Publishing (September 23, 2011)
- Paperback: 368 pgs
- Reading Level: General Reader
- Audience Appeal: Priests who need kingly organization and prophetic wisdom for developing their counseling ministry