Discipleship Counseling CCOU201 B06 Discipleship counseling written by Dr. Neil T. Anderson is a complete guide to helping others walk in Freedom and grow in Christ. This book is very useful to church leaders, counselors, lay leaders, anyone who needs a step by step guide on biblical counseling. This book gives the reader a better understanding on how discipleship counseling works and shows them how to create a counseling ministry in their own church. Dr. Neil T. Anderson lays out a very strong foundation of counseling through truth, Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, the counselees’ faith and the support of the Christian community.
He discusses the encouragers and the counselees’ role in discipleship counseling. Both parties must be open to the move of the Holy Spirit and his truth for the road to recovery, healing and freedom in Christ Jesus. Dr. Neil Anderson combines the ideas found in Helping Others Find Freedom in Christ and Helping Others Find Freedom in Christ Study Guide. Also, he focuses on four specific counseling areas to help the reader better understand the importance of discipleship counseling. One, he focuses on defining mental health and understanding how biblical counseling addresses the whole person, their body, soul and spirit.
Two, counseling the spiritually oppressed and counseling in Christ to resolve root issues. Three, overcoming false guidance, deception, bitterness and rebellion. And, most importantly helping others experience freedom in Christ by helping them understand the root causes of their spiritual problems and applying biblical solutions. Truth is very important when it comes to counseling. It is essential for secular counseling and especially for Christian counseling because truth is the foundation.
It is the counselee’s responsibility to be honest and forthright in order to get the help that they need. In James 5:16, clearly states, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. ” In order to be an effective counselor, the counselee should not be in denial but honest about all their hurts, issues and concerns. Before any healing can take place, confession must be the first step. Also, the encourager must live and speak truth in their personal life and when they counsel.
In order to be an effective counselor, they must be led by the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit must be present at all times because he “enables Christian counselors to commune with God and access the knowledge of God revealed in scripture (Tim Clinton, Archibald hart & George Ohlschlager. ,p. 66). ” It is the Holy Spirits job to lead the encourager and the counselee out of darkness and into the marvelous light. As, it was mentioned in the previous paragraph, truth is the foundation of Christian counseling, which is God’s written word, the Holy Bible.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 it states that, “all scripture is given to us by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. So, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every word good work. ” So, the word of God instructs the counselee how to live a life that is proper and pleasing to God. The truth encounter, James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. ” In order to be an effective disciple and encourager they must first submit to God, second resist the devil and third, he will have no authority in their life.
Many people will try to resist the devil without submitting to God and fail continuously. And, they are those who submit to God, but they do not resist the devil and they remain in bondage. The truth is God has given his church power and authority over Satan and his dark forces in high places. If Christian counselors do not exercise the power and authority God has given them, they are not able to delegate responsibility. In, caring for people God’s way the authors state that, “power is the strength or might to change; the ability to execute a plan; and the capacity to remain firm and constant in a situation, despite opposition,” (p. 5). Once the truth encounter is realized the counselor will not operate in the spirit of fear or their flesh. They must know that Christ has given them authority and through the Holy Spirit they are empowered. So, discipleship counselors should take pleasure in knowing that Satan is a defeated foe and he has no authority to set the agenda in their counseling session. The second most significant point in Discipleship counseling is root issues. Dr. Neil T. Anderson discusses seven root issues that need to be resolved in the counselee’s life. One, false guidance and participation with cults and the occult.
Two, Deception, “people are living in bondage to the lies they believe,” (p. 141). Three, bitterness. Unfortunately many people carry, “emotional scars and bears the pain of wounds inflicted upon them by others,” (p. 141). Four, rebellion. In this age, many people are rebellious and do not respect authority. Five, pride it “keeps us locked in a pattern of false thinking and prevents us from seeking the help we need,” (p. 143). Six, habitual sin, this root issue will keep the counselee in bondage, hindering their desire to live free in Christ. And, the seventh root issue is family ties.
The counselee must repent and break the cycle of generational curses. An individual cannot grow unless they deal the root issue of their problem. Many people will repeat the same destructive thinking and behaviors because the root issue was never resolved. Once the root issue is discovered and dealt with, the counselee will grow and experience changes in their behavior. The seven steps “will bring to the surface any issues that are critical between a person and God,” (p. 148). Disciple counseling is all about helping the counselee resolve their root issues with four important methods.
One, allowing God to cure the soul. It is not the counselors responsibility to cure the counselee, it is their job to work with God, “as He cures the soul,” (p. 159). Two, relying on God’s strength to find freedom, starting with positive affirmation. Three, getting to the root of the issue in the presence of God. “God will provide the guidance we need in order to get at the root issues, and He will provide the power to change,” (p. 161). And, four dealing with repressed memories and working through them with the help of God. The third significant point is establishing and maintaining freedom in Christ Jesus. Freedom in Christ is having the desire and power to know, love, worship and obey God,”(Spiritual Freedom Manual). Christ is the only way for anyone to be freed from the chains and bondage from Satan, the flesh and the world. Also, Tim Clinton and etc. , in Caring for people God’s way, declares that “many people who will not be freed-including freed enough to grow into maturity-without a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit” (p. 49). So, without the acceptance of Christ and his Spirit of truth, the counselee will never experience change.
Their symptoms will be treated but the root issues will never be resolved. In order for the counselee to maintain their freedom they need to know: “(1) who they are in Christ; (2) the authority and protection of the believer; (3) the nature of the battle that is going on for their minds; and (4) how to walk by faith by the power of the Holy Spirit according to what God said is true,” (p. 167). Before wounds can heal, the counselee must establish their freedom in Christ first. On a daily basis the counselee must choose each day to walk in their freedom, by renouncing Satan and walking in the truth of God. Dr.
Neil Anderson states, “Every work of Satan and every way of Satan had to be renounced in order for repentance to be complete” (p. 221). The counselee must exercise their God given authority daily because the encourager cannot do it for them. It is also important that the counselee recognize the different demonic forces that might be operating in their lives. Once the tactics of Satan is recognized, the counselee must take a verbal stand against Satan, they cannot do it in their own strength but through the power of the Holy Spirit. The counselee must “Walk in the Light! ”, “Walk in the Armor of God! ” and “Walk in the Grace of God! (Spiritual Freedom). Discipleship Counseling is truly a must have for all who are interested in Christian counseling. Dr. Neil T. Anderson has covered every topic, concern and issue pertaining to discipleship counseling. He brought up some very good points, which was difficult to narrow down to three significant points. But, without truth, dealing with root issues and the counselee maintaining their freedom, it would not be discipleship counseling, only secular counseling. He gives the reader a complete guide to helping others walk in freedom and grow in Christ.
References Anderson, T. Neil. Discipleship Counseling. 2003). Venture, CA: Regal Books. Clinton, Tim. , Hart, Archibald. , & Ohlschlager, George. A New Guide for Christian Counseling: Caring For People God’s Way. (2005). Nashville, TN: Nelson Publishers. NIV-Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. Spiritual Freedom Manual. http://www. setfreeministries. com. Retrieved on February 24, 2010. The Discipleship Ministry. Spiritual Freedom. (2000). http://www. biblestudycd. com. Retrieved On February 24, 2010.