The world is experiencing unprecedented suffering and wounds. As followers of Christ, we are called to respond. People caring for people is not a new concept and the Bible is replete with illustrations of caring acts that are similar to what is known today as counseling. In today’s world this work is also known as pastoral care, spiritual direction, psychotherapy, coaching, mentoring, social work, crisis intervention, trauma treatment and more. Some focus on ministering to the needs of Christians. Others are using their God-given gifts to reach out to all those in need of care and counsel.
Counseling as viewed through a western, middle class lens evokes images of well appointed offices and “fifty minute” hours. But, the needs of a world where poverty and trauma abound will not be addressed if this approach continues to predominate. The needs in today’s world require biblically grounded caregiving responses that are holistic, indigenous, and systemic. Christian counseling has greater Kingdom potential than has been realized in its first forty years. But, to have a global impact, it will need a new look.