I'm not a professional; will people listen to me?

The experience of many "non-professional" pastors and elders who do biblical counseling is that this makes absolutely no difference. When the word gets out that help is available, desperate people will come. In His sight, those who are ordained to the work of counseling their flocks are God's professionals! That, in the final analysis is what counts. Pastor, don't be cowed. Growingly do what God requires of you and He will bless.

Now, of course, God expects you to counsel effectively. He calls upon Timothy (and you) to work assiduously at becoming more and more proficient at ministry (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12-16). Professionalism (making a "to do" about it) and becoming a professional (one who knows how to do his work well) are two different things. To help in this regard, I have written a book entitled, Committed to Craftsmanship, which you may find encouraging. While God certainly expects your best, He knows that you are growing and have not arrived.

In my early days of counseling, God was gracious, giving me cases that were not as difficult as those that came later. He knew that I was working hard at learning how to counsel, and He fitted cases to my ability at any given time. If I grew too satisfied with how things were going, however, He would then send me a case beyond my ability to handle, to keep me from becoming overconfident and to cause me to dig more deeply into Scripture for answers. I have little doubt that He will do much the same thing for you.

People will come when they learn you can help. When you have helped one or two others, the word will get out: "There is the place to go if you want biblical help." And people will start beating a path to your doorstep. Degrees, licensing and the like, mean little to people who are desperate for help.

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