Can God Really Meet Your Emotional Needs?

When I was in college under the campus ministry, all answers came back to, “God is the answer.” If you felt lonely and depressed, God was the answer. If you were lonely and needed more friends, God was the answer.  If you thought a girl was cute and wished you had a girlfriend, God was the answer.  The notion was that God was the answer to all of your needs. It sounds like it must be true because it’s really spiritual, right? The only problem is that before the fall God only saw Read more [...]

Approaches to Christian Counseling

The basic task of pastoring people is helping them to grow. A major component of this then is counseling. And both counseling and pastoring are tied closely to your view of sanctification, and your view of the human person. There are several major schools of thought within the church today that provide an approach to helping people to grow: “Christian Counseling.”  Christian counseling has matured a tremendous amount in the past few decades, but when it started, Christian Counseling tended to Read more [...]

Christian Codependency

A codependent relationship is one where the love flow is when the bond is based on one person providing assistance and the other person receiving assistance.  In the world, this pairing is usually found between someone who is has low self-esteem and tolerates selfish behavior from the other person.  In Christian settings, however, a benevolent kind of codependency can also emerge based on someone’s desire to help another person in obedience to the commands of Jesus.

I believe that this kind Read more [...]

How to Avoid Pastoral Burnout

If you are any good at pastoring, you will quickly have more people to help than you have time to help them with. This can easily lead to burnout, where you are swamped pouring effort into your flock and seeing very little return.
So the question becomes who do you help, and when? The simple Biblical answer is that you help each according to his faith. But what does that mean? In translation to the pastoral context, you help those who are hungry. I do not help those who will not help themselves. Read more [...]

Helping Others to Develop Emotionally

When you are a little baby and you cry, your mom might say to you, “Oh, are you sad?”, or when you laugh she might say, “Oh, you’re so happy!”  This is part of a healthy upbringing.  Your parents and others who love you are giving you words for your emotions, helping you to process and ultimately to master them.  They help you  to develop an emotional vocabulary.  While it starts as a child, really understanding what is going on in your heart and what do about it is a skill learned Read more [...]

The Pastor’s Heart

What do you think of when you think of a "pastor"? The leader of a church? A preacher? Someone with a friendly personality? A pastor may be all of those things, but fundamentally, Biblically speaking, the essence of a pastor is something else: a shepherd. This shepherd keeps watch, over a flock, and if you are part of that flock, the shepherd keeps watch over your soul.
Being a pastor, therefore is not about the ability to teach or build big things, or draw a crowd, it's about the ability to care Read more [...]