Have you been in a circumstance where your friend needed counseling but you were unsure where to start? Or maybe you have been doing some counseling and want to further your knowledge. The book, Gospel Conversations: How to Care Like Christ by Robert W. Kellemen, equips the layman in the area of biblical counseling. It isn’t a light read for it has the quality of a seminary textbook. The author recommends it be done within a group context. Each chapter has a Self-Counsel and Group or Partner Interaction Worksheet which challenges the reader to put into practice what has been learned.
“Gospel conversations promote personal change centered on the person of Christ through the personal ministry of the Word.”
The gospel should be at the center of all biblical counseling and the end goal is Christ-likeness. Though some counseling is structured it also takes place in day to day relationships within the body of Christ. The premise of the book is:
“We learn to become competent biblical counselors by giving and receiving biblical counseling in the context of real and raw Christian community.”
The author stresses the importance of the counselor being involved in the counselee’s life. A relationship of trust needs to be established between them before any formal counseling takes place. As that is being formed the counselor can begin to develop the 21 core relational competencies that the author sets forth:
From these come four Acronyms-Grace, Rests, Peace(e) and Faith which give the reader 21 biblical counseling competencies to practice. The book includes an appendix filled with biblical counseling forms.
If you are looking for an in-depth book on biblical counseling, then this one is for you. On the other hand, if you just want some basic concepts on biblical counseling, you might think this book to be a little overwhelming. Though I found the author to be repetitive in some of his competencies, the book was informative and I will put some of the things I learned into practice when another counseling opportunity presents itself.
I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.