By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

The ministry of counseling

By Derek Brown, Ph.D., LPC

Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries

I went to seminary with the intention to study theology and counseling, but I had no plans to be a counselor. I had been in ministry just long enough to know that care for the soul gets messy and I knew the essence of ministry is to love God and love people. I figured if I learned about both, I would be best equipped for whatever direction God led.

But there was a specific moment when things changed. I was working at a local counseling center where interns came by invitation only. Somehow, I had made the cut, but I knew I had much to learn. I did my best to convey competence, despite feeling out of my league. I approached each session with thorough planning and preparation in order to maintain adherence to the theory and treatment protocols. And then came a question I wasn’t expecting. Don’t get me wrong, this question is exactly why I was in the room, but it wasn’t in the script. When the client sitting across from me looked at me with desperation in his eyes and asked what gives me hope, I knew I could gently redirect the question back to him, but my conscience knew I couldn’t. What help have I given if I perfectly executed the treatment plan but robbed a desperate heart of the Gospel? Would it break the rules of this clinic? My soul didn’t care. When I chose to openly share the Gospel in the context of that counseling relationship, my heart knew there was no return. The Gospel and good counsel belong together for the sake of the afflicted.

I am so grateful for the opportunity today to provide a counseling ministry that doesn’t ever compromise the Gospel. I am thankful for counselors who have experienced the call to offer grace and truth to the hopeless and afflicted. In this season of uncertainty, Living Well Counseling is your reliable source for affordable Christian counseling in Arkansas. This ministry of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries has recently expanded to include 22 counselors in 13 locations around the state, as well as tele-health for anyone in Arkansas! Living Well Counseling offers hope and healing for children, adults, couples, and families. You can take the first step toward Living Well today by calling (877) 455-8554 to schedule an appointment with a Christian counselor. 

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