Some have said that small group leaders are not qualified to fill the role of Christian counselor; it is best to leave it up to the professionals they say. I, personally, am not a trained counselor. I have spent some time with Christian counselors, and I have spent time listening and reading what several respected counselors have to say about small groups. I have determined that while small groups and small group leaders may not think they can be Christian counselors, Christian counselors widely say the people they work with need to be in small groups as part of their basic treatment!
While there is debate about how much counseling a small group leader should or should not do, the fact is that healthy Christian community is seen asÂ essential in the perspective of many Christian counselors. A healthy functioning small group will do Christian counseling whether the group or anyone else thinks they can or not. Here's what a few professional Christian counselors have said:
"Certainly I've emphasized the need to trust God, to know Him, to surrender ourselves to Him to quit trying to explain Him, to immerse ourselves in His Word, but, like most Christians, I've put a great deal of stock in self-awareness and self-discipline. Know yourself and choose wisely. And that's pretty good advice.
It's become clear to me, though, that God handles things a bit differently. He does, of course, rebuke and exhort, and his Spirit does search our hearts for hidden matters that interfere with trust. But the absolute center of what He does to help us change is to reveal Himself to us, to give us a state of what He's really like, and to pour His life into us. And a critical element in the revealing process is to place us in a community of people who ...