What are the basic types of counseling that a leader in a SA or YA ministry can expect?

By Dennis Franck

  1. Types of Counseling Needed

    Counseling individuals will be an ongoing task for a leader in a ministry to young adults and/or single adults. The pastor or director does not have to be the only person counseling, however. There will be others in the ministry who surface as qualified people to be able to counsel. A pastor/director is smart to identify these and utilize them.

    There are basically four types of issues which will dictate counseling needs.

    1. Spiritual issues: People will want clarification and education regarding many biblical and spiritual issues such as God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, prayer, discipline, obedience, water baptism, finding God’s will, knowing right from wrong in the “gray areas” etc.
    2. Relational issues: People will also want help with platonic friendships, dating relationships, and the many issues that arise from them such as forgiveness, jealousy, divorce, parenting etc. 
    3. Emotional issues: People will express a need for counseling in the areas of self-esteem, anger, impatience, bitterness, grief, identity, widowhood, death of a family member or friend etc.
    4. Psychological issues: People will also want help with many types of addictions (food, sex, alcohol, drugs), co-dependency, multiple personalities, extreme low self-esteem, mental illness and other clinical issues. Most pastors to young adults and single adults should consider referring these types of issues to a trained, Christian counselor with clinical experience.

    The young adult/single adult ministry leader does not have to feel totally qualified to handle all types of counseling needed. The larger the group, the greater the need will be and the less one would be able to fulfill all counseling needs. The wise leader will refer some of the counseling to other pastors and ministry leaders, as well as establish relationships with Christian counseling offices in the area and refer individuals to them. 

The purpose of Assemblies of God Single Adult Ministries is to help districts, churches, pastors and leaders build spiritually-strong single and single-again adults of all ages.

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