Why Pastors Make Great Counselors

I'm not just a professional; I'm an extension of the love of Christ, a channel of his grace.
—Robert J. Morgan

I love it, and I hate it. It's exhilarating, and it's exhausting.

Pastoral counseling—it's part of who I am and what I do, yet it often feels as if it's an invasion into my life.

No one does pastoral counseling better than a pastor. Not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a psychotherapist.

Professional counselors, the good and the biblical ones, have an important role to fill. I don't understand much about schizophrenia, repressed memories, cyclothymic disorder, or the treatment of ADHD, OCD, or PTSD. Mental illnesses are complex, and I'm not equipped even to recognize some of them. My parishioners and I have benefited from good counselors, and I consider them my allies.

But they are not my replacements. I'm not prepared to yield to a society enamored with Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner, Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, or Joseph Wolpe. Pastors can still do things that professional therapists ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Tags:
Posted:
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
These young influencers want to #MakeJesusViral.
Editor's Pick
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
close