Discipleship Counseling

In the Forward to my first book, Victory Over the Darkness, I wrote, The focus of my ministry, both as a pastor and seminary professor, has been the inter-related ministries of discipling and Christian counseling. I have been a discipler and a counselor of countless people. I have also taught discipleship and pastoral counseling at the seminary level and in churches and leadership conferences across the country and around the world . . . I am saddened by how we have separated the ministries of discipleship and counseling in our churches (and seminaries). Christian discipleship too often has become an impersonal program, although good material is being used. Christian counseling has been intensely personal, but often lacks good theology. I believe discipleship and counseling are biblically the same. If you were a good discipler you would be a good counselor and vice versa. Discipleship Counseling is the process where two or more people meet together in the presence of Christ, learn how the truth of God’s Word can set them free and thus enable them to conform to the image of God as they walk by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the second edition of The Bondage Breaker I wrote, In 1982 I left the pastorate to teach at Talbot School of Theology. I went there knowing there were people in our church who had problems I didn’t have adequate answers for. I would teach and preach God’s Word the best I could, but I really didn’t see much change in the lives of the faithful people who attended regularly. I believed with all my heart that Jesus was the answer and that the truth of His Word would set people free, but I really didn’t know how . . . I was searching for a wholistic answer, rooted in God’s Word, centered on Christ, and usable for all Christians everywhere. The tool that resulted is called The Steps to Freedom in Christ, which is now being used all over the world. All this study and research was for my second doctorate from Talbot, and this book “The Bondage Breaker” – was my dissertation.

Those two books have each sold 1.4 million copies in English and have been translated into many languages. I had no idea that I would end up with a global ministry (see www.ficminternational.org). For the next few weeks I will be sharing what Discipleship Counseling (Regal Books) is and how I got there.

Dr. Neil

For Spanish, see http://www.ficmm.org/blog