Author of Counseling One Another
Interview by Fred Zaspel of Books at Glance
Part 2 (read part 1 here)
Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):
How might churches foster this kind of “counseling one another” atmosphere?
Pastors need to teach their people that making disciples of Jesus is the primary task of the church, and is a work that necessitates the involvement of every believer. Disciple-making is not only for church leaders; it is for every Christian to one extent or another. Congregations need to understand what it means to live as a community of the faith, which involves the exercise of biblical love in “one-anothering” relationships. Believers also need to understand what biblical sanctification looks like, that is, that none of us has arrived and will not until Jesus returns. That means we are all fellow strugglers in need of counseling, that is, we need to receive counsel and we need to learn how to speak the truth in love to one another in a helpful manner.
Let’s take just one sample scenario. A fellow church member, a Christian, falls into some kind of grievous sin. You’re a close enough friend that you think you can help him. What do you do?
If I belong to Christ, then I am also part of the community of the faith. This means I have the responsibility to love my brother or sister enough to get involved in their life. Biblical love means I love the other person more than I fear them and, therefore, am willing to come alongside in a ministry of loving concern, confrontation (if they do not readily repent on their own), and commitment to help them. God’s Word commands us to restore one another. This must always be our goal.
Who is your target audience for this book? And how do you hope it may be used?
Counseling One Another is an accessible theology of discipleship for every believer. The believer who reads this book will grow in their understanding of sanctification; they will understand the roles of the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the church of God in the task of making disciples. The book is ideal for small group studies and, in fact, each chapter ends with guiding questions for discussion. No additional study guide needs to be purchase; it’s all in one volume. I am convinced that if church leaders used Counseling One Another in their small groups they would see significant growth in both their congregation’s grasp of biblical discipleship and their conviction that this truth-speaking ministry of love that we call counseling is biblical fellowship working within spiritual community for the glory of Christ.