Counseling

Counseling is designed to help individuals in a private, personal way gain biblical solutions to problems. Pastors have the responsibility to counsel their church members. Therefore, our efforts are directed primarily, but not exclusively, to non-churchgoing Christians and non-Christians. Our primary concern is to glorify God and to help others be reconciled to Him so that they also will live for Him. Counseling is offered without cost to the client provided by the generous support of believers. Donations are accepted but not solicited.

Christian Outreach Fellowships holds the following views regarding counseling:

The Scriptures have the answers for all of man's problems. "He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Psalms 107:20).

The most important issue in life is the lordship of Christ. Those who hear and believe the words he spoke will have life in the age to come (John 5:24). Those who reject the words will be judged by those very same words in the last day (John 12:48). Christian discipleship is the only way to know the truth which sets men free (John 8:32-36).

Each person is responsible for his own life and behavior. God has blessed us with the privilege of free will and holds each person accountable to utilize it correctly. Destructive emotions such as hate, anger, and bitterness must not be rationalized by blaming others, the environment, or a dysfunctional family. Biblical counseling helps the person accept personal responsibility so that change can be realized.

Sin must not be viewed as sickness for which therapy rather than repentance is sought. Habitual sin is not addictive or compulsive behavior that medical treatment will cure. Habitual sin is habitual sin, and must be dealt with as such.

Alcoholism, drug addition, sexual addiction, etc. choices and not diseases. With God's help and godly living, a person can be freed. If dealt with as disease, the self-afflicted souls are doomed to stay hopeless and helpless.

People do not have the answers to their problems within themselves. However, at times it is necessary to examine oneself with the guidance of a competent, godly minded counselor in order to realize the real problem.

Continual problems are most often prevalent because the person is deceived. Meek, spiritually minded counselors can guide the person to God's solution and restoration (Galatians 6:1 and 2; II Timothy 2:25 and 26).

Some mental and emotional problems are caused by a physical or chemical dysfunction. If a miraculous healing is not realized, a person should seek treatment from a psychiatrist or medical doctor who is qualified to prescribe proper medication. Biblical counseling can address the wrong behavior that can have resulted from the mental illness.

Interactive group meetings can be a valuable aid for someone seeking to change but not a substitute for repentance and obedience to the Scriptures.

Jesus taught that we are to surrender selfish, worldly concerns for life in the age to come (John 12:25). As we die to self and live for God, then our problems disappear or become manageable. This truth underlies all our counseling efforts.