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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HotTopics » Churches Counseling,....
Churches Counseling,.... [message #705654] Wed, 29 June 2011 08:28 Go to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9565
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member

Churches Counseling Poll[ 15 vote(s) ]
1.My church counsels anywhere any time 6 / 40%
2.My church only counsels in the church 1 / 7%
3.My church does not offer counseling 4 / 27%
4.I am not currently part of a local church 0 / 0%
5.We are all the church, what are you talking about? 1 / 7%
6.Something else 0 / 0%
7.Some combination 3 / 20%

...not sure where this belongs, so sticking it in here.

I was told just recently that a Biblical church that does counseling does not go "out" of the church to counsel and follow up with people.

It was reportedly due to liability and risk to someone's health, etc. (what if they had a heart attack?)

I have heard about churches not having counseling at all because of the financial liability and risk. But I've not heard of a church being willing to counsel on the church property, but not outside the church.

Is this common? What are your churches like? Here's a poll.

[Updated on: Wed, 29 June 2011 08:38]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Not sure where this belongs... [message #705659 is a reply to message #705654 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 08:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bonnie  is currently offline Bonnie
Messages: 5911
Registered: April 2005
Location: MidSouth
Senior Member
It is sad, but yes, churches are really under the gun when it comes to liability. My husband will counsel anytime, anywhere, but he knows it puts him in jeopardy of law suits.

The other problem is that people can say anything they want to about a pastor, and inevitably, it will be believed. Most legal counsels recommend that a pastor tape all counseling sessions. Some go as far as suggesting they be videotaped. Otherwise its all a matter one person's word against another's. We have a colleague who has been drug through the mud on national television by someone they had counseled. What his accuser says he did and what he said he did are two very different things. Facts back up what he says, but it makes a much more lurid news story to go with the accuser's story. Even if he is cleared, his ministry is ruined. A pastor can not be effective if he reputation is trashed, so they diligently protect it.

That's why no one wants to counsel anymore.


Bonnie
Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705690 is a reply to message #705654 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 10:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
Messages: 4553
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
Our church counsels in the church and will refer to outside counselors for issues that are bigger than the staff feel they can handle.


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705729 is a reply to message #705654 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 15:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tina  is currently offline Tina
Messages: 566
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
When my dh passed away, I never asked for counseling, but another homeschool mom who happened to be a "Hope minister" (we do not use the word "counselor"--probably for liability) was appointed to call me every week for six months to check on me. We also visited at each others' houses from time to time, and she counseled/ministered hope to me then, too.
Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705731 is a reply to message #705654 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 15:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
Messages: 6499
Registered: April 2005
Location: NW rural Illinois
Senior Member

I am part of a ministry that offers biblical counseling to women. All of the biblical counselors have a certification from a seminary BUT they very carefully say they are NOT licensed counselors. They were told that this helps to protect them since they only give counsel from the scriptures and not psychological counseling and are not licensed by the state. I'm sure every state has different requirements and conditions.


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705762 is a reply to message #705690 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 19:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
Messages: 5476
Registered: April 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Senior Member
Leigh wrote on Thu, 30 June 2011 00:11

Our church counsels in the church and will refer to outside counselors for issues that are bigger than the staff feel they can handle.


Ditto this. The issue is whether or not the counsellor can manage the issue. The location isn't a problem - my minister will go to people's houses, or let people come to the home. Our counselling service is also open to anyone who wants it, including people who are not members of the church, but they have to pay. Our counsellors are all qualified specifically in counselling (including my minister). But I think it is wise for all counsellors to recognize their limits. I certainly did, when I did this kind of work. A degree doesn't necessarily mean that a single person can handle everything that crosses the doorstep.

(Sorry, I picked #2 by mistake.)


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705809 is a reply to message #705762 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 22:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5810
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
Y'all know that I live under a rock so I am sure it will not surprise you when I say... WHAT???? Since when is counseling within the church something that you have to worry about liability and being sued? You have to have a license from the state to minister to people? Really? This seems STUPID to me. What business is it of the government what goes on inside a church? What am I missing here?


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705810 is a reply to message #705809 ] Wed, 29 June 2011 22:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bonnie  is currently offline Bonnie
Messages: 5911
Registered: April 2005
Location: MidSouth
Senior Member
Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Wed, 29 June 2011 21:46

Y'all know that I live under a rock so I am sure it will not surprise you when I say... WHAT???? Since when is counseling within the church something that you have to worry about liability and being sued? You have to have a license from the state to minister to people? Really? This seems STUPID to me. What business is it of the government what goes on inside a church? What am I missing here?


Since the situation within the Catholic church came to light several years ago, just about everything a pastor does is suspect. Its very sad. We are a lawsuit happy nation, and it affects the church as well.


Bonnie
Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705851 is a reply to message #705810 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 07:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5810
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
What happened in the Catholic church in regards to counseling?

So what you're saying is, a pastor cannot counsel a married couple who is having difficulties unless he has a license from the state as a certified counselor?


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705865 is a reply to message #705654 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 08:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Diana P.  is currently offline Diana P.
Messages: 4032
Registered: April 2005
Location: New England
Senior Member
We offer Biblical counseling & prayer in our church, and for very serious issues, we have someone in our church who is a professional social worker & family counselor.


Grace & Peace,
Diana

"Do your best, then rest"

Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705990 is a reply to message #705654 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 23:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
K in nc  is currently offline K in nc
Messages: 3157
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member

I voted #7. I think we offer counseling on the church grounds, but also other places, but I am not sure. I think it may be a case by case basis. We have also been known to refer people to other churches/ministries if need be.


Wife to the most wonderful man in the world for 27 years! Mom to the three most wonderful kids in the world! (well most of the time)
Re: Churches Counseling,.... [message #705996 is a reply to message #705851 ] Thu, 30 June 2011 23:09 Go to previous message
Bonnie  is currently offline Bonnie
Messages: 5911
Registered: April 2005
Location: MidSouth
Senior Member
Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Thu, 30 June 2011 06:46

What happened in the Catholic church in regards to counseling?

So what you're saying is, a pastor cannot counsel a married couple who is having difficulties unless he has a license from the state as a certified counselor?


I was referring to the sexual abuse by priests. The fall out from that has affected ALL areas of the ministry, as far as liability goes. Can a pastor counsel a married couple? Of course he can! That's what God wants him to do. I'm just saying it is probably not what his insurance company wants him to do. My husband does it anyway.


Bonnie
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