Posts Tagged ‘counseling’

Effort or Ability?

Recently, I heard a discussion between 2 of my mentors about biblical counseling. I think they missed the heart of the issue when discussing biblical counseling as a “special calling.”

Biblical counseling is NOT a special calling. Nowhere in the Bible is it found in there as a special calling. In fact, I would argue that all saints are called to the ministry of biblical counseling which is simply “one anothering” and “discipleship.” All are called to make disciples and to love one another by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:12-16).

The error today is that people think biblical counseling is a special calling which implies a special enabling, or ability. To these well-intended but errant brothers & sisters, some people have the ability to counsel while others do not.

But I disagree and here’s why.

I say it’s not a matter of ability but a matter of effort, time, and skill development. All saints can learn the skills necessary for counseling. They can attend training read the Bible and study to show themselves approved. All saints are equipped with the Holy Spirit so the “ability” is there but it takes time to develop the skills of listening, gaining involvement, building a rapport, discerning lies, and teaching truth. All of this CAN be learned by a Spirit-filled believer who puts forth the effort and time necessary to learn these things.

That’s why at TIL we pair people up with a more experienced partner in ministry. Following Jesus’ model in Luke 10:1, we pair a less skilled (less time doing counseling) counselor with a more skilled (more time spent in counseling thus more experience) counselor. In time, our hope is that the learning counselor will develop into a lead counselor and take on a new counselor.

So that’s the simplicity of our model and why we believe it’s an EFFORT (time) issue rather than an ABILITY issue since all believers have the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

-Mark (grateful that GOD is able and we are to learn from Him)


The Lovelady Center in East Lake

March 27, 2010 1 comment

Next week, we’ll begin training the leaders at The Lovelady Center in East Lake. We’ll be sharing with them the hope found in the biblical approach to addiction!

Please pray for this endeavor: that God would be glorified and that He would open our eyes to see Him more clearly!

Also, if you’d like to support this class, it is costing us approximately $1825.00 total, or $75.00 per person to provide the training and materials! We’d appreciate any amount donated to help offset our costs for this important opportunity.

-Mark (thankful that The Lovelady Center is seeking to glorify the Lord in their approach to biblical counseling!)

We work with children and teens!

August 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Not everyone knows that we provide biblical counseling to children and teens! We are counseling more and more young people and I love it because teens are fertile ground.

They are teachable (most times) and do their assigned homework unlike many adults. In fact, many of our young people who we are currently ministering to, run circles around some of our adults in terms of their child-like faith and even accurate knowledge of the Scriptures!

Recently, we saw an entire family become reconciled to God and each other and the Lord worked through the children! Praise His Holy Name!

It’s a blessing to work with young people and their families! We have over 13 biblical counselors who have a gift of working with children and teens! What a blessing!

One final note: We counsel teens and children as long as their guardians/parents are part of the process! Parents must be willing to meet with us FIRST and be active in the biblical counseling process or it will not be as effective as it could be!

-Mark (thankful to work with young people who sometimes challenge me in my walk with Him)

What does TIL offer?

March 10, 2009 Leave a comment

You may not be aware that Truth in Love has biblical counselors who are equipped to address the following problems in a BIBLICAL manner:

Career Transition Counseling

Marital Counseling

Parental Counseling

Child/Teen Counseling

“Addiction” Counseling (of all types)

Individual Counseling for Anger, Fear, Worry, and Sadness (depression)

Counseling for Men to become Leaders in their homes

Counseling for Women for all types of issues

Financial Counseling

Soon we will likely be offering biblical Counseling for the DEAF as someone recently completed the training program for counseling and is working toward ASL certification!

The Bible speaks to all of these subjects and even more! All of these “services” are provided FREE of charge AND with 2 biblical counselors – not one!

Praise the Lord for His provision!

-Mark (extremely grateful for the wonderful team God is assembling at TIL)

“Snapshot Counseling”

March 7, 2009 Leave a comment

It is March 1st in Birmingham, AL, when I wrote this…and it’s snowing for the first time all year.

So I thought to myself, what if we had visitors to our city today from Asia and they only came to B’ham today. What would they think about our city? What conclusions would they reach?

Well, they might think that we are a winter wonderland like Canada since it is covered in snow and snowing in March! They may make a faulty interpretation that this is how B’ham is all of the winter (when it has not snowed all winter – not once until today!).

These well-intended persons may go back to Asia and tell their families all about snow-bound B’ham, AL, and give a false impression about our city’s climate, people, etc.

Apply this to biblical counseling: When you meet someone for the first session, you get impressions, too. Yes, you gather data and factual information but you only have a short period of time to evaluate what they are telling you. You, too, can make wrong interpretations about your counselees after just 1 session!

This is why homework is important. We assign homework to evaluate whether the counselee really is motivated to please God and to change – or not. It’s their responsibility to do their homework! Not mine! And it demonstrates to me whether they are really serious about addressing the issues or they are just meeting with the counselor to tell people, “I went to counseling. It didn’t help.”

We must be careful not to judge people after the first session of biblical counseling. It’s simply one snapshot picture of the counselee’s life. Give more time to really see whether they are motivated or not – based upon the simple objective data of the completion of homework between sessions!

-Mark (desiring to do more than “snapshot” counseling – desiring God to change hearts and lives)

Huge Announcement: CAREER TRANSITION COUNSELING now available through TIL!!!

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

By God’s grace, we are offering CAREER TRANSITION COUNSELING through Truth in Love Ministries!

We are doing this to meet the need due to the economic crunch that our country is currently grappling with. We are offering FREE biblical, career counseling to anyone desiring to change careers. We have someone who specializes in this area donating counseling time to Truth in Love on a limited basis.

Please pray that the Lord will supply us with more financial resources so that we might provide this badly needed service to more people and churches in the Birmingham area.

If you would like to give to support this new facet of our ministry, the online giving tab is available through our website ( OR you can mail in a payment to us at:

PO Box 367

Clay, AL 35048

Call Ronny at 205-910-0085 to make an appointment at Philadelphia Baptist Church next week!

-Mark (thankful that God allows us to minister to hurting people in a variety of ways)

Our rate of GROWTH is exponential…

February 5, 2009 2 comments

By God’s grace and by God’s design, our ministry is exploding. Jason and I want to share what He’s doing with you!

Example #1: We started with 3 volunteers on March 28, 2008.

As of February 3, 2009, we now have 32 volunteer biblical counselors.

Example #2: On March 28, 2008, we had 2 team biblical counseling sessions on Fridays.

As of February 3, 2009, we have an average of 12 sessions per Friday.

Example #3: We met with approximately 140 people in the first 3 months of this ministry (March 28th, April, May, & June).

In January of 2009 (only 1 month), we met with approximately 140 people equaling our first 3 months in one month!

Praise the Lord is all we can say! Jason and I are blown away DAILY at God’s Hand of blessing upon this ministry that seeks to honor Christ and to take Him at His Word.

-Mark (thankful that God allows me to work in this ministry and that He laid His vision for this ministry on my heart)