My personal background is I have been a practicing License Psychologist in private practice in the State of Ohio since 1994 and I have been working in the mental health field since 1977 (at this point having over 40 years of experience). After becoming licensed as a psychologist, I sought within my practice to provide psychological interventions consistent with a Biblical perspective. This has always been my passion as I have practiced as a psychologist.
For over 20 years outside of my practice of psychology I have also been involved with providing Life Coaching. Life Coaching is different from Psychological Counseling. It does not involve giving the individual a diagnosis and is it not involved in treating mental illness. Life Coaching, as a discipline, has drawn a lot of its concepts from Psychology and Motivational theory and a whole industry has arisen providing Life Coaching. As part of a church ministry what if we can help equip and train individuals to provide “Christian Life Coaching”? There is an overlap between Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching. An ordained pastor legally can provide Pastoral Counseling as an extension of his/her pastoral role. In most cases state boards will not challenge a pastor using the term “Pastoral Counselor” (although some have tried) because Pastoral Counseling has generally been seen as just an extension of providing Biblical guidance to a person using some skills that overlap some of the tools used by people who practice counseling. The key is that the Church remains separate from the state (and hopefully remains so and we need to safeguard the right of the Church apart from the State in this regard). Individuals under the auspices of a church can state that they provide Biblical Counseling but would have to be careful of not using any form of the term “Counseling” outside of and not under the umbrella of a Church. There are people who define themselves as “Biblical Counselors” practicing outside of a church or and outside of being “clergy” - however, they expose themselves to potential risk from licensing boards. This is not to say that that these people are not effective in what they do I am just saying that the terms “Psychologist or Counselor” are legal terms, and someone cannot call themselves a Psychologist or a Counselor without having the appropriate State License. The term “Life Coaching” is not a legal term and the practice of Life Coaching does not require a license to practice. Some State Boards may attempt to claim or move to claim that “Life Coaching” should be governed by and set up as a restricted practice under the rules and regulations of a State Counseling Boards or State Board of Psychology. I am not aware of this occurring at this time (but it needs to be something watched) as I believe people who practice Life Coaching need to stand up to any blockage by a governmental agency preventing the practice of Life Coaching. There are Certification programs for Life Coaching available which can add credibility to someone who wishes to provide Life Coaching; however, certification is not a license and a state cannot prevent someone providing Life Coaching if they are not certified because that would require legislation in state to require Life Coaches to be Licensed first before restricting a person from providing Life Coaching.
So, what if we teach “Christian Life Coaching” to members in our congregation. What if we set up training to individuals to provide “Christian Life Coaching” as part of their church. Pastors who are providing “Pastoral Counseling” could also benefit from this as well.
This is what I wish to be a part of to help equip people in our churches to do. I want to help individuals working as part of a church, or lay leaders, and pastors, in further equipping them within the ministry of the church.
What if we could make more available resources to help lay-people within the Church with obtaining advanced skills to help people who are struggling in the church with a variety of issues. The goal is to train people to be involved in individual Christian Life Coaching and train people in small group ministry to address specialized needs that are not necessarily addressed adequately in a Bible study group and help facilitators of small groups to more effectively lead groups dealing with specific issues.
Often, those in the Christian Community are perceived by Non-Christians or people within the Church seeking help from another person in a church as either giving a superficial answer to someone who approaches them for help, or the individual just feels uncomfortable in responding to the individual and as a result the individual may experience further hurt from members of the Body of Christ instead of encouragement and healing toward a pathway forward. There is a saying - “Although Christians have been referred to as being the Army of Christ sometimes, we are an Army that shoot our own wounded.”
What if we could help people in the Church to better equip them with skills to minister to these individuals? This is precisely a goal I feel led to at this stage in my life. I have worked with people for over 40 years and I believe I have training and skills to offer the Church.
Here are the core beliefs governing this website and resources provided
A belief in a Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
A belief that Christ came into the world, lived, died on the cross, and resurrected from the dead.
A belief that Christ died for our sins and that through his death and resurrection and inviting him into our life we are given the gift of salvation.
The Christian faith as practiced has its ups and downs due to our human condition. However, we have the promise that God is always with us even though sometimes we may lose our way. We believe in God's Grace and if we have a conscious and meaningful intent and desire to repent and turn away from how we have fallen short (sinned) and we confess that sin we are forgiven of that sin(s) through Christ’s death and resurrection.