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Lay Counselling Within The Local Church

Lay counseling accomplishes many things: it involves members in the work of the church, it provides a fulfilling ministry for lay persons, it takes a load off the pastor. It also solves people's problems.

"This is a significant and influential church." The associate pastor who sat across the table from me was not telling me anything new. He was on the staff of a large growing church known all over the country for its evangelistic outreach, its community penetration, and the powerful preaching of its senior pastor. Along with its successes, however, the church faced a serious problem which was producing staff frustration and fatigue.

"We don't have enough programs of continuing care for many of the people who come through our doors. The preaching is excellent, and we have a full program of discipleship and Christian education; but how do we help single parents, the divorced or widowed, and those who are struggling financially or grappling with emotional problems? How do we meet the unique needs of teens, or help adults cope with marital tensions, drinking, mid-life crises, or spiritual dryness?

"We've tried to meet these needs head on, and since we started our counseling center, we're probably ...

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