I’m not sure what you think of when you think of pastoring, but what I think of (if I were a pastor) is the preaching, the craft of sermon writing, the books, the Bible studies. Of course, it’s all fun in my mind (which means I assume too much about myself if I think my Bible studies would be riveting). But counseling usually isn’t on the top of what I want to do. In fact, dealing with people’s problems is almost never what I want to do. So for those who are new pastors, counselors, or who have little experience counseling, Jonathan Holmes has written a book to help get you on your feet and to begin to wade in the waters of counseling and reconciliation.
This is a very helpful book, especially for those who are either new at pastoring or who haven’t had much counseling experience. Holmes gives a lot of practical advice on what to think through before and after your meetings, like how to start and end a case without overpromising and under delivering. He encourages admitting that you are limited in your own knowledge and experience, and that referring counselees to those with more experience is not a sign of weakness. Holmes points you to many good counseling resources through his footnotes. If you are a pastor and/or counselor, take note! Use these books. Read his footnotes and the advice he gives there. Go to the weblinks he provides (see for instance the weblink on p. 58, fn. 5. It points you to a website with sample counseling forms if legal paperwork or informed consent is needed).
- Author: Jonathan D. Holmes
- Jonathan Holmes serves as the pastor of counseling at Parkside Church in Ohio, is the founder and executive director of Fieldstone Counseling, and serves on the council board for the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC).
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (March 5, 2019)
Disclosure: I received this book free from Zondervan. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.