Biblical Counseling is Like Preaching

Some have had difficulty in equating the two. But let’s take a look at the situation. There are similarities and differences. Here are a few of each.

  1. Both preacher and counselor seek to bring a message from God to those who listen.
  2. Both use the very same Source from which to gather that message—the Bible.
  3. Both confront those to whom they minister with truth that is intended to change their lives.
  4. Both give examples of what the Bible is talking about to show
    a.  What they are talking about.
    b.  How truth can be applied in life.
    c.  Ways in which it may be implemented.
  5. Both are interested in bringing about change through the Spirit using His Word, and not through psychological means.
  6. Both are committed to one end in all they do—the glory of God.
  7. Both use the Scriptures to direct, rebuke, urge, persuade, inform and convince their listeners.
  8. Both speak differently when addressing believers and unbelievers.
  9. Both are interested in one end for those to whom the minister—that their lives may please God.
  10. Both avoid using gimmicks to bring about the desired results.

How do they differ?

  1. One speaks in a louder volume than the other (ordinarily).
  2. One addresses a wide variety of people at the same time, whereas the other addresses a specific person or persons at one time.
  3. One speaks, but does not receive, verbal feedback as the other does.
  4. One does not discuss matters, while the other must do so.
  5. One is more general in what he says that the other who can be more specific and personal.
  6. One is concerned with the same basic issues over a period of time, while the other takes up a variety of topics during the period.
  7. One involves written assignments while the other usually does not.
  8. One speaks as a part of a worship service, while the other deals only with the problems presented in a less formal setting.
  9. One acts more as a herald while the other as a coach.
  10. One may seek immediate interaction among those present while the other expects eventual change of that sort.

These items are only a few of the similarities and the differences between the two. But you can see from them that they are very much alike in goals and methods, and that the differences are due largely to the distinct settings in which the communication of God’s truth takes place. Clearly, the two supplement, support and complement each other, each supplying a dimension that the other cannot. The two, in tandem, approximate each other and each is deficient apart from the other.

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One thought on “Biblical Counseling is Like Preaching

  1. Thank you for the focus on the Word. In “similarities” above we see 1. a message from God, 2. same Source – the Bible, 3. truth, 4. the Bible, 5. through the Spirit using His Word, 7. the Scriptures. Jesus’ prayer for his disciples recorded in John 17:17 was, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”