Ministering to the Spiritual Needs of Man; Elementary Course
Before we begin, we need to get a couple of things clear! First off-Unless you have been trained and Licensed to do so, you must not represent yourself as a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist. A Psychiatrist is a doctor who treats mental illness with medicine and procedures, and a Psychologist is someone licensed to study behavior and provide therapeutic services, and counseling. For that matter, the best credentials you can have is to represent yourself as a Minister of the Lord! In other words- You are a Minister who can listen, be there for emotional support, and Pray for God to help them. You are none of the above. Secondly!- If you are confronted by anyone exhibiting unstable or dangerous behavior, it is strongly suggested that you do not engage them at all! Refer them to their personal Physician, that he might get them the true help they need.
As a Minister of the Lord- You should never begin trying to give directions in another persons life, without first talking to the Lord about it. Remember! When life gets so rough that people seek your input, for them it has gotten critical and they know they can no longer handle things by themselves. You may run into things, you may not be able to handle right off the bat. You need to Pray that the Lord will open your mind and help you to be receptive, to the needs of others. Ask the Lord to help you to be humble and non-judgmental towards the person you are about to counsel. Never enter into a session with preformed notions or ideas. Allow God to lead you into understanding the person’s problem.
When you begin talking with someone, allow them to speak and you listen! Don’t assume they’re just lost, and need to repent their sins. Sins might very well have absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on. If you do this!-They’re going to detach from you and just want the whole session to be over with! In one of our Mentoring Courses-We learned that God allows things to happen in people’s lives for several reasons. It may very well be, that it is “sin” that’s causing the problem. But-It could also be that the person is failing to follow a call from God, on something the Lord wants them to do. Like Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale, because he refused to go to Nineveh as the Lord had instructed him to do.
It could also be that God is trying to Purify them. Sometimes He will let things happen, as a way of helping them become stronger in Christ! Sometimes- Trials and troubles, may be more of a sharpening stone, God uses to hone us into the tool, He desires us to be. Always remember these points and listen long an hard, before you fly into preaching “Salvation” to them!-For they may very well -already have that! Listen to what they have to say, and pray for the Lord!-To lead your sessions with them in the way they need to go.
Getting Down To It
After you have heard the problem that’s causing them so much grief. Have prayer with them. Ask God to guide both of you, and help you to understand what the problem is!-And Why!-It’s happening. If need be-Listen to them problem-Pray!- and schedule another appointment to address the issues later. You might need to get away and meditate with the Lord for awhile, and pray for a Scripture guide line to go by. Remember! To fix the problem!-You must first!-Understand the problem. Take the word of God in with you, and never try to handle things yourself.
Whether you decide to pray and reschedule! Or continue while you’re with them, go into the counseling with God on your side.
Conduct the session quietly and calmly.
Begin by asking a question and listen to the reply, Then give a response, in other words, make the call! one question at a time. A good first question, (after you have listen to their problem carefully,) Should always be;
“Are you Saved? Do you know the Lord?” If the answer is “No!” Your response should be;
“Then before we begin-I would like to offer you the opportunity to be Saved. God will be a lot more receptive to your needs, if you are one of His children, rather than an un-saved person.”
Offer this hope as a lifeline opportunity. Do not try to force them into something they are not willing to commit too. If they say ”yes”-then pray with them. But-if they say “no!” Don’t try to force them, at this point, and don’t tell them you’re not going to help them if they don’t! We are not trying to give an unruly child his medicine! We’re trying to help them to come to realize-That without Jesus!-There is little help for them.
Explain how Jesus forgave sins, and healed people of their affliction. As with the man who was blind and deaf and dumb! Jesus healed him and told him to go and sin no more lest a worst thing should come upon him. Tell of the harlot- that was brought before Jesus, when the men wanted to stone her to death under the Laws of Moses. Jesus told them, “Let he that is without sin cast the first stone at her.” When the men had all walked away, he asked her, “Woman-Where are thine accusers?” When she told him that they were gone! He told her, if they didn’t accuse you neither do I. Then He told her to go and sin no more. Then tell the person you are counseling, if at any point they wish to pray for God to forgive their sins, just let you know, and you will help them to receive the Lord at any point.
Now we get down to the individuals problem itself. We will now discuss several scenarios, and the application of counseling to each situation;
Financial : I would pray that none of you who take this course, would be one of those that believe the answer to the problem , lies in the person gathering every dime he has, and giving it to the poor, or the church or some preacher. If he had the money to do that-He wouldn’t be having financial issues.
Pray with him for God to give him relief for his financial stress. Ask God to open his eyes, that he may see other solutions to his dilemma. Ask the person himself to pray for God’s help. Let him ask the Lord himself, for the help he needs to resolve the issue. Ask that this be done in Jesus name.
After the prayer-Advise the person to talk with people at his bank or credit union, or the people he may owe. Ask them if there is anything the man can do to lighten his load a little.
Advise him to cut back on things he don’t need; Is he wasting money of things like lottery tickets,- or gambling? Is he spending too much money eating out?
Questions like these can sometimes reveal things the man can do for himself that can make things better. He will need to realize, God loves to help those who help themselves!- And not just make a mess, and dump it into God’s hands to fix.
Sickness and Disease : The person tells you that he or someone close to him, has just found out they have a life threatening, or a disabling disease. You find this out in your session and he asks for prayer.
Pray first!- Ask God if it his will-To relieve the condition. Pray sincerely, that God will intervene on the person’s behalf. Have them to pray also. The most important prayer prayed-will be from the one who needs the intervention. Establish this with the person, and stress how important it is.
Again if-The person is un-saved! Now would be another excellent opportunity to witness Christ to them, and the great need they have- to do this. You may even tell them-”I’m not trying to force you into heaven, but God will be more willing to answer a prayer from someone who receives him-Than he will from someone who wants his help, but-Don’t want anything to do with him.” Always remember! Our first duty to the Lord!-Is to win the lost! If the person is then not willing to receive the Lord! Bless them!- That God will intervene upon their life, and help them to come to know the Lord. Bless them!- That God will heal their sickness, and by so doing, reveal to them -That God is faithful and true, and wishes no man to suffer. Ask God to move upon their life in Miraculous ways. After you have Blessed them, Disengage. Advise them that God remains ready to help them, but they will have to help themselves first! They must be willing to accept Jesus into their hearts, and receive Salvation for any further help to come into their lives. Advise them-If they are not ready to accept the Lord’s help, then perhaps their doctor may be able to help them in some way. But they need to know! God is standing by waiting to help them get through this thing, if only they receive him. Sometimes- God still does miracles. It may be, He will do one for them, and bring them to Him by the miracle. Remember!-Sometimes things may move in a certain way, but you might not be able to see it at the time.
Death of a Loved One : The hardest thing to discuss with people is the death of someone close to them. This is especially true-If the person you are talking to is lost.
Lost people see death as always the end. They don’t believe they will ever see that person ever again, and all is lost. Consoling a lost person is especially grievous. Jesus Christ is what we have to offer them to take the pain away. First you ask them if the person who passed was a Christian? In most cases, (at least we hope) they will say yes. If They do! We can assure them the person isn’t dead!-But, gone to be with the Lord! Recite John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever!, believeth on him, should not perish; but have everlasting life.” Explain for them God’s plan to reunite them one day in heaven. Stress the importance of them giving their life to Christ, in order for this to happen. Offer to pray with them, that God will receive their loved on into heaven, and grant that they will again see them some day. Ask that God have mercy on them, and help them, to make the right decision to receive the Lord.
If the person who died was lost, it is harder to console the person you are counseling. The greatest thing you can do is pray with them. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!
Do not dare-Wander into no mans land, by trying to assure them brother John is somehow in heaven now! And God didn’t really care that he was stoned when he died in that car crash. Brother John is more likely in hell, but that too is God’s call to make!-Not ours!
Instead you assure them that God is merciful! God is Love! It is not His will that any should perish! But-That all would have everlasting life. God is able to deliver whom ever he may please. Tell them to pray sincerely that somehow!-God gave brother John a last chance before he died to receive Christ, and instruct them to pray and seek the answer. If they are lost!-Tell them God loves them, and don’t want them to be worried. That if they will accept Jesus!-They will find rest in their souls concerning their dearly departed brother. Witness Jesus! For he will direct all conversations, and give answers to those who will seek to find them in Him.