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How Pastors Counsel

A short reflection from Ed Welch: How Pastors Counsel

He is a pastor who schedules two full days of counseling each week, and he has done this for years.

“How do you structure those days?” That was my first question. I was wondering how many people he scheduled, how often, and if he does it alone or with other church leaders in the room. My question wasn’t that important. I was actually more interested in my next question about what he was learning as a result of those two days a week.

“I make appointments every hour and a half, and I speak with each person or couple for a little less than an hour.” That made sense. Counselors often write down notes after a meeting, or get a cup of tea, or check email.

Then he said, as if it were obvious, “I use that half hour to pray for the next counseling time.”

I had no more questions. I learned from him everything I needed to know.

Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D. is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written many books and articles on biblical counseling, including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression; Running Scared; Shame Interrupted; and Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love. He and his wife, Sheri, have two married daughters and eight grandchildren. In his spare time, Ed enjoys spending time with his wife and extended family and playing his guitar.

How Pastors Counsel