We have received numerous letters and emails in response to Christ-Centered Ministry versus Problem-Centered Counseling. Some are testimonies of having trusted the Lord during trials rather than psychological counselors. These are living epistles of the work of Christ in believers who turn to Him during difficult circumstances. Others testify of times when God has used them to minister His life to another before the intrusion of psychological theories and therapies into the church. We rejoice that Christ-Centered ministry continues quietly as needs arise among believers who are not trained in counseling methodologies. These are not the people who would be noticed by the world. They are the saints who are seen by the Lord Himself as they labor quietly behind the scenes to minister the life of Christ to one another.
However, because of the stronghold of problem-centered counseling, people expect to talk about problems. In fact, problems become the main focus of discussion not only in the counseling office, but also in small group settings and in various gatherings of Christians. How can believers move out of this rut of talking about problems into talking about Jesus and about God’s Word? In other words, how can this “radical proposal” for ministry be put into practice?
Moving from problem-centered counseling to Christ-centered ministry can only be accomplished through full reliance on the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, without mixing in the wisdom of men. Those who will catch the vision of what God has for them in Christ-centered ministry will grow in their spiritual walk. They will experience the answer to Paul’s prayer for believers in Ephesians 3:16-21.
(PAL N12V2 – March-April 2004)