There are several roles that the church plays in the counseling process. The roles vary from ministering to the direct physical needs of a person to ministering to the inner depths of their souls. Some of the roles consist of its members admonishing others through warnings and corrections, comforting people who are faint-hearted, supporting people who lack strength, and being patient with everyone.
In admonishing others, members of the church should warn a person who is unruly and lacking discipline (1 Thess. 5:14; Col. 1:28; 2 Thess. 3:14, Luke 17:3). They should also correct and teach them (Col. 1:28; 2 Tim. 2:24-26) in the wisdom of God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:2-4) the error of their way as well as how they can be restored unto Christ. Additionally, if the person is unreceptive to God’s teachings, the members of the church should take note of the person and restrain from keeping company with them (2 Thess. 3:14-15).
In comforting the faint-hearted (1 Thess. 5:14), members of the church should bring forth truth (1 Co. 14:3; 2 Pet. 1:2-4). They should also comfort people who are in trouble, as God has comforted them (2 Co. 1:4). Additionally, the members should comfort others so that they are not overcome with sorrow (2 Co. 2:7) as in the case of Mary and Martha at the loss of their brother Lazarus (Jn. 11:9), or as in the case of Peter when people gathered at a home to intercede for him in prayer (Acts 12:12).
In supporting those who lack strength (1 Thess. 5:14; Acts 20:35), members of the church should bear other’s burdens and infirmities (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 15:1, Col. 3:12-13). They should also provide for those who hunger, thirst, lack clothes, and are sick (Matt. 24:35:36). Additionally, the members of the church should pray for those who are afflicted, sick, in need of confessing faults and receiving healing (James 5:13-16).
In being patient with everyone (1 Thess. 5:14; 2Tim. 2:24-26; Rev. 2:19), members of the church should do so with love (Matt. 22:39; Eph. 4:2; 1 Thess. 3:12). They should also forgive those who are repentant (Luke 17:3-4; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13). Additionally, the members of the church should restore a person in gentleness (Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).
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R. A. Gómez