Equipping Biblical Counselors: A Guide to Discipling Believers for One-Another Ministry by Bob Kellemen, M.D.

Harvest House


“Equipping the body of Christ for personal ministry has been Bob’s life work. This practical, step-by-step manual is the mature fruit of that lifelong commitment.”
—Paul David Tripp, author of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand
Behind every spiritually fit church are leaders in the constant process of preparing other members to become counselors who nurture “one-another ministry.” But the success of this mission requires a practical, results-driven process for training the next generation to serve.

Equipping Biblical Counselors, pastor and counselor Bob Kellemen shares a proven strategy for envisioning, enlisting, equipping, and empowering new Christian counselors—a practical four-step process he has spent decades refining. With this book, Dr. Kellemen humbly comes alongside church leaders to help them
  • assess their congregation’s strengths and weaknesses
  • shepherd new leaders with confidence and wisdom
  • encourage the consistent spiritual growth God longs to see in his followers

Invest where it matters most! Equipping Biblical Counselors reveals the steps ministry leaders can take to fulfill the calling in Ephesians 4:11-16 to embolden the body of Christ to continue changing lives with his unchanging truth.


About the Author

Bob Kellemen, ThM, PhD, most recently served as Academic Dean, Dean of Students, and Professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, IN. 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. For 17 years, Bob was the founding chairman of and professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has pastored four churches and equipped biblical counselors in each one. He and his wife, Shirley, have been married for over 40 years; they have two adult children, one daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters. Dr. Kellemen is the author of twenty-three books


Editorial Reviews


"Equipping Biblical Counselors is an excellent resource both for individual leaders and group discussion. The insights gained from years of experience by Dr. Kellemen and by the twenty- four best-practice churches is evident throughout the book. This is the book for you if you want to launch a biblical counseling ministry or want your church's current counseling ministry to move to a place of increased effectiveness."
--Randy Patten, Founder and Executive Director, TEAM Focus Ministries

"Bob Kellemen--trainer and coach extraordinaire--has a focused goal: He wants to see your church's one-on-one ministry transformed. The way he does that is by giving clear, practical instruction along with a full package of supplies and tools. And when you follow his coaching, you'll be surprised to find that the result is not so much Bob's system as it is an equipping model that is specific to your church."
--Ed Welch, Faculty and Counselor, CCEF, Author of Created to Draw Near

"Bob Kellemen's Equipping Biblical Counselors is a desperately needed gift to church leaders for helping the church to envision, enlist, equip, and empower the saints for the work of ministry. Bob's seasoned, insightful, and humble experience emerges in each chapter. I highly recommend this work whether you are just starting out or have been in the trenches for years. I was personally encouraged and challenged in addition to coming away with many ideas that I will use in my own ministry."
--Robert Cheong, Pastor of Care, Sojourn Church Midtown, Louisville, Kentucky

"There are people sitting in your church who don't realize the potential they have to impact lives. There are police officers, psychologists, physicians, teachers, nurses, and moms who are now biblical counselor/disciple-makers who would never have imagined that they could be used by the Lord to save marriages, help others deal with unruly emotions, and grow to be Christlike worshipers. Bob skillfully provides a user-friendly biblical strategy for how to train more like them by unleashing the potential of your church through training disciple-makers. Personal, impactful ministry is not just for the professionals, and Bob shows you why and how."
--Ernie Baker, Pastor of Counseling and Discipleship, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Chair of the online BA in Biblical Counseling, The Master's University

"Dr. Kellemen has produced a landmark book that fills a significant vacuum in the biblical counseling literature. This is a comprehensive work that not only offers an exceptional overview of biblical counseling, but also provides a wise, strategic, and thoughtful guide outlining the essentials of developing a robust counseling ministry within the local church. Equipping Biblical Counselors has the potential to influence a massive paradigm shift in how ministry is exercised in the body of Christ both now and in future generations."
--Jeremy Lelek, President, Association of Biblical Counselors

"Bob Kellemen knows equipping biblical counselors from A to Z. He has done a tremendous job of structuring a stepwise strategy to develop the lay counselors in your church. In his humble style, Bob has gathered the best leaders of local church counseling ministries and done the work of benchmarking for you. This is a book that you will reference often as you help the hurting and equip the saints for the work of soul care in your church."
--Garrett Higbee, Pastor of Biblical Soul Care, Harvest Church North, Indianapolis, Indiana;
Leader Care Specialist for the Great Commission Collective

"Dr. Kellemen's book fills a long-standing gap in biblical counseling and church-based ministry literature. It's an excellent resource for church leaders and counselors who are looking for practical biblical guidance, which includes instructions and all the necessary nuts and bolts for developing the one-on-one personal ministry component in their church's spectrum of care. It is marvelously comprehensive and systematic, while at the same time flexible enough to apply to a variety of church personalities."
--Sam Williams, Professor of Counseling, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Equipping Biblical Counselors is invaluable for ministry leaders and for all one-another ministers. It paints a compelling biblical vision for the heart of church leadership--equipping God's people for ministry. When I had lost sight of this, Dr. Kellemen not only reminded me of this but rekindled my passion for this important calling. Bob also gives us practical coaching on how to actually do this. He does this not by giving us a prepackaged formula, but by giving us practical principles and tools that we can adapt to our own context.
--Jeff Ballard, Pastor of Soul Care, College Park Church, Indianapolis, Indiana

"Equipping Biblical Counselors fills a gaping void. Bob lays out a thorough theology and an adaptable strategy for training congregations in soul care that has been honed over his twenty-five years of ministry as a pastor, counselor, trainer, and consultant. Bob also shares insights from two dozen best-practices churches that have been guided by the New Testament's vision of soul care. As a result, Equipping Biblical Counselors provides a practical framework that has both the breadth and depth needed by a congregation to make an impact for Christ in today's world."
--Jeff Forrey, Senior Writer/Content Developer for Church Initiative

"If you are considering growing or establishing a biblical counseling ministry in your local church, Equipping Biblical Counselors is the first book I recommend. It has been personally helpful as well as incredibly practical for the churches I do consulting and training for. Bob Kellemen provides a compelling vision and road map for creating a biblical counseling culture that fits your particular church. I hope this new, revised, and updated version will equip many more pastors, leaders, and churches for years to come!"
--Jason Kovacs, Executive Director, The Gospel Care Collective

"Do you ever wish someone would help you better envision, understand, organize, and implement personal ministry in your church? If so, this book is for you. After interacting with twenty-four ministry leaders, Dr. Kellemen serves as your personal coach, giving you insight on how to better serve the body of Christ. As you seek to serve those God has called you to help grow and maneuver through the challenges of life, this book will help you understand, plan, develop, and implement authentic and lasting personal ministry in your church."
--Kevin Carson, Pastor, Sonrise Baptist Church, Ozark, Missouri

"Dr. Bob Kellemen knows that God has called all Christians to be active participants in the ministry community he designed the church to be. Bob also knows that it is not enough to give people a vision and call them to commitment--they must also be biblically trained. Equipping the body of Christ for personal ministry has been Bob's life work. This practical, step-by-step equipping manual is the mature fruit of that lifelong commitment."
--Paul Tripp, Founder and President of Paul Tripp Ministries, Author of Instruments in the Redeemer's Hand

"Has your church come to the realization that your personal ministry of the Word needs to be more robust? So often we can see the destination that would better unleash God's glory, but we can't see the pathway that will take us there. Intimate knowledge of God's Word, decades of experience, and countless conversations have equipped Bob well to speak to you on this very point. He understands the gap and has invested his life in learning how to close it. Equipping Biblical Counselors is not a one-size-fits-all how-to manual. Rather it's a user- friendly workbook to guide you to God--your Guide who already knows the pathway laid out for your church for his glory."
--Betty-Anne Van Rees, Adjunct Faculty and Counsellor, Heritage College and Seminary

"This is a must-read book for everyone who longs to see their church be more effective at helping people grow and handle the issues of everyday life. It is intensely biblical with a model that flows right out of the pages of Scripture. And it's equally practical. You'll be encouraged and equipped to be a person who...encourages and equips. My friend Bob Kellemen has done a masterful job at helping us strategize how to be truly effective in the culture in which Christ has placed us."
--Steve Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana; Author of Loving Your Community