PASTORAL COUNSELING: BENEFIT OR BURDEN TO MINISTRY?

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A young single wants help distinguishing infatuation from "the real thing." A middle-aged executive, laid off his job, wonders where to turn. A mother confesses that her anger has occasionally led to violence toward her children. The situations vary, but these people all seek counsel from the same source: their pastor.

When a pastor spends significant time counseling, what is the impact on the rest of ministry? Does it stifle or stimulate overall church health? Since these questions are increasingly debated in ministerial circles, LEADERSHIP asked four pastors representing markedly different views to discuss the issue:

-Jim Bankhead, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Opelika, Alabama.

-Paul Koehneke, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, Michigan.

-Frank Tillapaugh, pastor of Bear Valley Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.

-Tom Tyndall, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida, and until recently an associate at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas.

As ...

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