ESTABLISHING A LAY-COUNSELING MINISTRY
Lay counselors are believers who are not necessarily certified as professional counselors, but who have a desire to help others find biblical guidance for their problems. Many churches have opted to train lay-counselors so that the responsibility for the counseling ministry does not rest solely upon the senior pastor. Here are some steps to establish a lay-counseling ministry.
-Set aside a private room for counseling.
-If you are using this counseling database, set up computer terminal(s) with the database and attach a printer.
-Appoint a lay-counseling ministry coordinator who will recruit, train, and schedule counselors.
-Recruits must be born-again, as this is biblical counseling.
-Recruits should be able to read and write in order to use the database effectively.
-Recruits should be seasoned believers who are well-versed in the Word of God.
-Recruits should be faithful men and women who follow-through on their commitments.
-Recruits should express a passion for this type of ministry.
-Establish prayer support. Not everyone can or should be a counselor, but you can involve everyone in praying for the ministry.
-Use the introductory chapters of this manual.
-Train recruits in how to use the database.
-Advise that if a counselee uses obscene, vulgar, or abusive language, they should terminate the counseling session.
-Warn recruits to never give medical advice, i.e., advising a person to stop taking medication.
-Warn recruits that they should never give legal advice.
-Establish a counseling schedule, days and hours the center will be open and staffed.
-Advertise the counseling ministry in the church bulletin, local newspapers, flyers, churches, local media, and through small business-sized cards.