Consider Your Counsel: Addressing Ten Mistakes in Our Biblical Counseling

New Growth

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Biblical counseling is not an easy calling. How do you effectively communicate the gospel to hurting people? Theological training and learning from other counselors are both key to growing in the wisdom, love, and skill needed to apply Scripture to yourself and others. Preparation is key, but sometimes the most effective training comes after you’ve jumped into the ring—when a coach puts his arm around your shoulder and helps you take a look at what you’ve done well and where you can grow.  

In Consider Your Counsel, Bob Kellemen comes alongside counselors and shares where he and others have missed the mark. Drawing on more than three decades of counseling supervision experience, he unpacks ten of the most common missteps that he has noticed in his own counseling, as well as those he has mentored.  

From teaching before listening to targeting sin but not suffering, Kellemen helps counselors of all ages see where they may need to reassess their methods and continue to grow. Each chapter briefly discusses a typical counseling mistake, then delves into a discussion of alternative approaches and practical suggestions for maturing as biblical counselor. This uniquely helpful book will help readers do an honest assessment of their counseling and encourage them to grow as counselors and friends.

Review

“Bob has hit the nail on the head! Every biblical counselor should review this book annually. Every counselor in supervision should be required to read to it. It is not a critique—it is a self-evaluation tool that will aid the counselor in maintaining biblical excellence while providing competent, consistent under-shepherding. This book is rather like the pastoral epistles focused on one aspect of ministering. This is one of those books I wish I had written. Having supervised about 300 counselors towards certification, I’ve touched on all of these issues more than once.”

Howard Eyrich, Director of Doctor of Ministry Program, Birmingham Theological Seminary; ACBC fellow

“The pace at which a counselee changes is often a reflection of how skillfully the counselor models the compassion of Christ and ministers the Word of God. In Consider Your Counsel, Bob Kellemen provides wise, insightful, and practical advice to biblical counselors in ten areas where we can easily err. The concise chapters, exposition of Scripture, and questions for evaluation at the end of each chapter make this book ideal for personal or group study. The historical quotations and stories are powerful. This is a valuable resource for every counselor who wants to keep sharpening their ministry skills.”
Randy Patten, Director of Training Emeritus, the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC); founder and president of TEAM Focus Ministries

“I have a new, favorite book to give to every biblical counselor who is desiring to sharpen their skills. My friend, Bob Kellemen, who in over thirty years of ministry has counseled thousands of individuals and supervised hundreds of counselors, guides us through ten of the areas where we are the most prone to err. He gives us solid analysis of our areas of weakness and then through practical example and winsome advice he directs us to biblical solutions. This book is such a treasure—so concise and so full of great insight. I want every one of my trainees to read it. 

The example Bob gives of exploring Scripture with your counselee using the life of Tamar is worth the price of book. Proverbs teaches us to love reproof, and Bob is a gentle shepherd offering us wise counsel. His insights in the areas of emotions and the body-soul connection are powerful. This book is a wonderful gift to the counselor and to those of us who supervise counselors to sharpen and strengthen us for greater effectiveness in ministering God’s grace through his authoritative Word to the body of Christ.”
Bob Somerville, ACBC Fellow; adjunct professor, The Master’s University; author of If I’m A Christian, Why Am I Depressed? 

 “Drawing upon years of experience in training and supervising biblical counselors, Bob Kellemen highlights the mistakes and imbalances he has observed in both young and seasoned counselors (including himself!) in order to provide a ‘supervision in writing’ for his readers. In so doing, he implicitly demonstrates the growth and development of the biblical counseling movement over time. Particularly helpful are his reflections on the relationship between the sufficiency of Scripture and the competency of the biblical counselor.”
Michael R. Emlet, Dean of Faculty and counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners

“When I read books on counseling, I measure them by the chapters that speak to my need to be a better counselor. Consider Your Counsel by Bob Kellemen helps me in all ten chapters. He calls me to listen more and reminds me that I need to see counselees first as sufferers. As a physician, I am grateful for the reminder that physical disorders impact our emotions, thinking, and behavior. There is so much good in this book for anyone who wants to be better at helping others!”
Charles D. Hodges Jr, Practicing Family Physician in Indianapolis, Indiana; executive director, Vision of Hope, Lafayette, Indiana

“Bob Kellemen is the biblical counselor’s biblical counselor. His work in Consider Your Counsel is profoundly scriptural and transformative. It is an essential guidebook for the new and seasoned biblical counselor. The poignant questions and illustrations throughout the book offer biblical self-examination and encouragement to learn and grow into a mature biblical counselor. If you want to be an effective biblical counselor, I highly recommend this book. I will be getting the counseling team at my church each a copy of this book and we will go through it at our monthly training meetings.”
Shannon Kay McCoy, ACBC; biblical counseling director, Valley Center Community Church; council member, Biblical Counseling Coalition

“Bob Kellemen is one of the most encouraging people I know. Even when he is challenging his fellow biblical counselors regarding errors we sometimes make, he does so in a gentle and positive manner. He draws upon his decades of experience training counselors to succinctly identify ten ways in which we (and yes, that includes me) fall short of providing the loving biblical care we aspire to give. Bob supports his concerns with Scripture while also offering wisdom from historical examples of faithful soul care. This is a book I want to get into the hands of my students as they move from the theory to the practice of biblical counseling.”
Jim Newheiser, Director of the Christian Counseling Program, RTS Charlotte; executive director IBCC; author of Money, Debt, and Finances 

Author

Bob Kellemen, ThM, PhD, is Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and Professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Bob is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries, through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. Dr. Kellemen served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been married for forty years and have two adult children and three granddaughters. He is the author of twenty books, including Gospel-Centered Counseling, Gospel Conversations, and Consider Your Counsel.