Counseling Mushrooms and Oak Trees

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

Counseling is an encounter with what we call in our vernacular, “presenting issues.” Any good biblical counselor knows that presenting problems typically express deeper heart-based concerns. These “roots” are what get our attention, and hopefully our ministry efforts as well. But even in looking at heart issues in counseling I find it tempting to expect oak-sized change with mushroom-like immediacy. Continue reading

What Do Addicts Need from You?

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

If you have a family member or friend trapped in the throes of addiction, you know enduring pain. One of the most devastating realities of addiction is that it inflicts collateral damage on loved ones — the people trying to help the most end up being hurt the most.

Care for people struggling in addiction demands a resiliency of character and commitment that is extraordinarily difficult to sustain over time. Continue reading

Keeping our Counseling Biblical – Part Two

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

In the previous blog we addressed the tendency to drift from biblical counseling to pragmatism and attempts to help people in difficult seasons. I have found that having some reminders to keep me clear-headed and heart-focused in biblical counseling is essential to help keep my counsel biblical. Here are four more reminders that help me stay faithful to the practice of biblical counseling. Continue reading

Keeping Our Counseling Biblical – Part 1

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

I’ll admit it. There are times in my life where counseling gets confusing. The struggles people face as they come into my office can be complicated and daunting to address. People want real help and I want to give it to them. When problems are so immense and change is so hard, I can find myself subtly drifting away from sound biblical counseling towards practical answers and moral pep talks just to keep people moving in a positive direction. Continue reading

Pride Still Matters in Ministry

Andy Farmer

Andy Farmer

I just came back from a week of teaching biblical counseling to a group of pastors-in-training. Some are church planters; some will be serving as staff pastors; some are awaiting assignment. It was a privilege and joy to work with them on both the theology and the practical ministry of biblical counseling, and they were eager and grateful for the training. There are times when ministry is really fulfilling, and this was one of those times. Continue reading