To All Potential Nouthetic Counselors

Hello! Believer, let me greet you in the Name of Christ, in Whose cause we serve!

In this short article I’m interested in telling you something about why you should become a full-fledged Nouthetic Counselor, and something about what counseling will be like. There is much in other parts of this website that explain what Nouthetic Counseling is, what our program offers and how you may go about becoming a part of it. Therefore, those are matters that I shall not consider.

If you truly believe that the Bible is the written Word of God—as much His Word as if you heard Him speak it, then you should be interested in Nouthetic Counseling. If you believe that, for a wide variety of reasons, many of your fellow Christians are in dire trouble, from which they are not extricating themselves, you ought to be interested in Nouthetic Counseling. If you think that the church is severely weakened by these Christians who are so caught up in their own problems that they have little time or gumption to fight the wars of the Lord, then you probably will be interested in Nouthetic Counseling. If you care for the church, the body of Christ, as God’s precious possession, and are saddened at the psychologizing of it’s preaching and counseling, then you will be interested in Nouthetic Counseling.

I say this simply because all of these things, and much more, are a concern and ministry of Nouthetic Counselors.

When we counsel, we are convinced that God has provided all things necessary for life and godliness in the Scriptures. For that reason, Nouthetic Counseling is based solely upon the Bible. Not only are our counseling principles Bible based, but our practices are derived from those principles as well. That means—from top to bottom—Nouthetic Counseling is Scriptural. We tell our counselees that whenever we give a direction or use a means in counseling, that they ought to feel free to ask for a biblical reason for it, and we will gladly give them a rational from the Word of God. If a Nouthetic Counselor should ever require anything of a counselee that he cannot support biblically, we tell them that he should admit it and cease and desist from it in the future.

Nouthetic Counselors are human beings. They are sinners, like those they serve. At times they fail; the Word they minister never does. They subject themselves wholly to God’s will as it is expressed in the Bible. That means that they not only urge their counselees to obey it, but that they also wish to do so themselves. All sinners, though saved, err. That is a part of our present condition, as those who are still being sanctified. However, since they attempt to keep as close to biblical teaching as possible, they are far less likely to go astray in their counseling than others whose counsel is not biblically-based.

“Why should I seek training in Nouthetic Counseling? Can’t I learn how to use the Bible to counsel people on my own?”

Of course you can. But will you? The development and pursuit of Nouthetic Counseling has been going on since the 1960s, and much has been learned about how to counsel people from the Scriptures over that time. Does it seem reasonable for each Christian to go through the process of developing, on his own, what other Christians have already developed and are ready, willing and able to share with him?

Nouthetic Counseling is, as you can read elsewhere on this website, an application of the biblical practice of nouthesia, a term used by the apostle Paul for counseling. In it are elements of admonition, instruction encouragement and some others, but most of all it has a familial note that rings of loving brothers and sisters who are in trouble. So far as I know, while those qualities of loving concern might be found in the church in other venues, it is in Nouthetic Counseling alone that they are an essential part of the work itself.

I said I’d be short. There is so much to tell, that it is impossible to do so in this one article. But, perhaps, something in the article has stimulated your interest, and you’d like to know more, if so, contact Donn Arms at donnarms@nouthetic.org, and he’ll take care of you. Blessings!

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