Intensive Discipleship. That’s how I once heard counseling… at least “biblical or Christian counseling”… described. The idea is that every now and then folks in the church battle with particular sins, temptations, and various other struggles that require more focused attention than what can be received in a typical group Bible study. For those times there’s the need for one-on-one counseling, or, intensive discipleship.
The thinking behind this is that very often these issues are spiritual in nature. God’s Word is sufficient to diagnose what’s going on in that person’s life as well as to offer the solution to the problem at hand. Hey, it worked for 1,800 years or so before Freud came on the scene. Believe it or not, the Church actually cared for such needs. That’s why pastors were quite often referred to as physicians or shepherds of souls (and that wasn’t just talking about salvation issues). (I refer you to Richard Baxter’s Christian Directory.)
The list below is made up of ministries that are doing a great job, not only of actually “doing” such counseling ministry, but also equipping, encouraging, and educating folks in the Church to do the same.
Remember my rule of thumb with how I choose which websites make my Top Ten list: “Online usefulness.” In other words, there are many ministries that are doing great things for Christ, but their websites may not be that helpful. With these Top Ten lists I’m trying to share the websites that will be the most useful to you – via articles, newsletters, blogs, video, audio and podcasting, training events, curricula, books, etc.
Here’s my list. As usual, these are in no particular order (after the first two… which I visit all the time)…
Grace and Truth,
1.) CCEF – Christian Counseling & Education Foundation - These guys have been around a long time and are getting better with age. They are keeping their website fresh and relevant and the content is second to none. Great stuff here.
2.) Counseling Solutions - Rick Thomas is one of the most prolific guys I know. And, full disclosure, he got me up and running with my wordpress blogging. But I sought him out only because of the great job he was doing with his counseling ministry online. More resources here than you’ll even know what to do with. Great site! Great ministry!
3.) American Association of Christian Counselors - Their strength is in their training programs, conferences, and their magazine, “Christian Counseling Today.” They are working on becoming more user-friendly, but for now, you may have to “work” a little to find what you’re looking for. But your effort will be well worth it.
4.) National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) – They are primarily an equipping ministry, though their online usefulness is growing. I have been a part of their training programs and they are excellent.
5.) Faith Biblical Counseling - These folks have an incredible church counseling ministry. And their website is getting exponentially better and better. They have an awesome webstore where you can get great books and audio/video resources to help you learn more about how to counsel or particular issues Christians face. Great stuff.
6.) Association of Biblical Counselors - Great website with a growing list of resources – blogging, articles, audio, video, etc. You can also become a member and get access to some resources that are very helpful in counseling or teaching.
7.) Brad Hambrick’s blog is very helpful on subjects related to counseling. Brad does a great job of keeping it up to date.
8.) Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) – This is another example of a ministry that has been around for years doing great things for the Kingdom. But now their website is improving quickly and become a great resource center. Love it.
9.) Peacemaker Ministries - Ken Sande and company are great on the topics of peacemaking, reconciliation, etc., for couples, families, churches, etc. They have a wide ranging ministry that you really ought to check out.
10.) Biblical Counseling Center - I already loved these folks. But even since I last stopped by their site they have “super-improved” their website. Fantastic! Lots of great resources. Easy to get around and find what you’re looking for. You need to check them out.
Well, I have had to force myself to stop at listing only ten. Frankly, there are several others that absolutely deserve to be on this list. But, I have to draw the line somewhere, so I want to encourage you to also check out other great counseling websites by clicking here.