Everyone is a Counselor

Ryan CooperAll Enews, Strengthening Team

Everyone is a counselor: But are you a good one or a bad one?

In the 2007 comedy, License to Wed, engaged couple Ben and Sadie embark on a crash course in pre-marital counseling with a Catholic priest (played by Robin Williams) before their wedding. Of course, hijinks ensues.  Throughout the movie, Ben has conversations with his friend, Joel, about the relationship when he encounters troubling spots.  However, Joel’s advice is consistently bad. Near the end of the film as Joel is giving out more of his worldly advice, Ben bravely pipes up and says, “You’re my best friend, man, and I love you. But you’ve got to be the worst advice-giver I know! I mean, not only is your advice terrible, but it just backfires at every turn!”

Is this us? Do we consistently give bad, unbiblical advice to those around us? Do we even ask if we can give advice or sit passively, offering them very little as yet another community member tells us about their pain?

Or do we ask if we can have the privilege of hearing more, offering ourselves to walk through the pain with them, desperately searching the Scriptures for the answers to their problems?

Whether it is a cup of coffee, a quick lunch at the local diner, bouncing down the gravel road with a friend in your truck, making a late-night visit to the hospital, comforting a family with a prodigal child, or a wide variety of activities, it seems we are constantly in the process of listening to the people around us and giving advice.

But is it good advice?

During the spring of 2021, The MT Soul Care Network began meeting together monthly to explore various biblical counseling resources in an effort to connect with each other, improve on our skills, and sharpen each other in the care for souls in our community. These monthly meetings are available to anyone in Montana from pastors to laypeople. 

The next meeting will be in October and will be announced on the MTSBC website.

In addition, this summer a group of 17 folks from the MT Soul Care Network made a trek to Grace Bible Church in Bozeman for their annual Biblical Counseling Conference in July.  This conference seeks to take biblical counseling and put it right in the laps of ordinary people like you and me. 

“I’ve been to pastoral conferences before and felt like they weren’t for me. This conference far exceeded my expectations.” “Out of the 15 hours of presentations, not one of them was questionable in theology, or application.” 

Often when we think of biblical counseling, we assume it is the work of the professionals and quickly withdraw ourselves from the task that God has clearly called us to: making disciples. Jesus took a ragtag group of people and patiently walked with them, believing that what He was doing in their hearts would last forever. The same is true with us. God can and longs to do the same with us. 

Won’t you join us this year for the MT Soul Care Network and consider being a part of the Biblical Counseling conference next July 14-16 in Bozeman.

About the Author

Ryan Cooper

Originally from Billings, Ryan joined the staff of Emmanuel Baptist Church in 2016 as the Young Adults Pastor. He became the Counseling Pastor and launched InStep Counseling Ministry in 2019. Ryan and his wife, Kim, adopted 4 children in 2015; Evan, Teagan, Alyssa and Brennan.