Liberty Theological seminary JOURNAL ENTRIES A paper submitted to DR. STEVEN BROOKS In partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the course PACO 500-C01 By Mark Davis 24587590 [email protected] edu september 23, 2012 JOURNAL ENTRIES Week 1 Reference: “Pastors are also unique among counselors because of their social and symbolic roles. People approach pastors, therefore, with different expectations than those with other helping professionals. ” (Benner, 33) Reflection: This quote reminds me that having the position of a pastor gives one great responsibility both before man and God as a representative of God to people.
Additionally, whether “fair” or not, people hold pastors to a higher standard because of the position. Relocation: I hope and pray that as I continue to grow through this course and focus on my responsibilities that come with the position I must be willing to give of myself whole-heartedly to accomplish the task of helping to lead people into all that God would desire them to be. I understand that apart from the Holy Spirit I will not be effective in this ministry. Rather, I must be completely submitted to the Spirit and His leadership in order to be effective as a faithful minister and pastor to lead the sheep entrusted to him.
Week 2 Reference: “Perspective came when I discovered that most people have within them the resources to effectively manage their own lives. While they momentarily may be upset and confused, with support and clarification, they will find their strengths and handle their lives. This belief helps me keep ownership of problems where it belongs. ” (Petersen, 72) Reflection: As a Christian counselor I have a responsibility not to “fix” people’s problems, but to help them see their problems in light of God’s Word and help guide them to a life that brings glory to God.
It goes back to the thought of give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach him to fish feed him for a lifetime. Relocation: Dear Father, help me to be effective as a counselor to be an extension of you in my counselee’s lives. Give me wisdom and guidance as to how to direct each individual to find the ability in God’s Word and with the leading of the Holy Spirit to handle their struggles in a fashion that brings honor to You. My goal is to help people become dependent not on me as a counselor or guide, but to find confidence in the Word of God coupled with the Holy Spirit. Week 3
Reference: “When we acknowledge the counselee as the expert, we are recognizing the resourcefulness that proceeds from his own personal history and grace events. ” (Kollar, 73) Reflection: As the counselor I must recognize that no one knows the counselee better than himself. As such, apart from the Holy Spirit, he is the greatest asset to helping “solve” his problem. When using SFBT the focus must be upon finding the solutions not dwelling on the problems. That is not to say that the problems are ignored, but rather drawing upon the Lord’s past work in his life, and as Kollar puts t, “grace events,” that allow an individual to be reminded of God’s great forgiveness and redemption. Relocation: Dear Father, help me to be a tool for use in your hands to be effective in ministry and in the lives of the those you grant me the opportunity to help foster biblical change. Help me to point my counselees to the hope that lies in Christ and see the solutions instead of dwelling on the problems. Grant wisdom to help us move beyond the problems and into your matchless grace. Help them to see the Holy Spirit who indwells them and empowers them to become more conformed to the image of Christ.
Week 4 Reference: “Problem focused counselors view counseling goals from the perspective of problems or concerns the counselee wants to work on, behaviors he wants to change or relationship difficulties he faces. No matter how sincerely these goals are addressed, the may perpetuate a focus on the problem. Solution-focused pastoral counseling is outcome focused. Rather than focusing on what needs to be changed, it is more helpful to think about what this changed life will be like” (Kollar, 123-124). Reflection: Kollar reminds me yet again that I must focus on the solution—not the problem.
Given my personality type that will be a difficult task to accomplish as I tend to find problems and hunt for solutions. Instead I must focus on how to help to equip the counselee with the tools needed to see their problem and find hope in a solution in Christ. I must be an agent of hope in the life of the counselee. Relocation: Dear God, help me as I have begun to better understand myself in the way that you have created me and help me to use that knowledge to make me more effective as a counselor.
To understand that you have called me to a ministry of hope and that I will not look to solve my counselee’s problems, but rather help them find hope in the power of Christ in them to bring about lasting change. My total desire is that You will be completely and totally in charge of my life and actions, so as to bring glory to You and You alone. Week 5 Reference: “Successful people do not hang on to bad stuff for too long. Deja vu people get rid of bad stuff. Period. Sometimes quickly and sometimes through a process, but they get rid of it” (Cloud, 45).
Reflection: As I read this passage I was immediately reminded of Paul’s words in Philippians 4:8 encouraging the Philippians to guard their thinking and guard their mind. Cloud reiterates in another fashion the importance of focusing on the positive or solutions, if you will, instead of the negative and problems. The way one thinks ultimately affects one’s outlook on life and situations. As such, when one becomes dominated by negative thinking it in turn causes them to be negative.
We must learn to let go of life’s problems and let God use them to work His redemptive power in our lives taking the seeming tragedies of this life and fashioning them to bring Him the ultimate glory and honor. Relocation: Dear Father, help me to understand the importance of learning to focus, not on the negative, but on your power that has the ability to change my heart and mind and help me to see the positive side of life and circumstances to seek your mind. Help me to learn to think according to Philippians 4:8 and to filter my thoughts through Scripture and to find comfort and strength that is only found in You.
Week 6 Reference: “Life has been given to counselees for a specific purpose. Their expectations will grow stronger as they hold within their hearts God’s intention for them” (Kollar, 243). Reflection: So many of the tasks that Kollar listed for solution-focused counseling were great points. What a powerful thought that the counselees that God sends my way have a specific purpose and focus in life. As a counselor I get the tremendous opportunity to help them bridge their hurt or confusion or whatever it is that has brought them my way to see the mighty hand of God that is at work in their life, even on the darkest nights.
Helping to develop big picture vision in the life of the counselee will help them throughout all their life as they learn to trust and follow God, even when they are unsure of the situation and circumstance. Relocation: Dear Father, help me to see with your eyes and to love with your love. To have a heart that is tender to the hurt and needs of others that I might be a tool of yours to accomplish life-long change in the life of the counselees that you direct across my path. Help me to live my own life as an example of a person who is completely and totally dependent upon you as I seek your will and follow your guidance in my life.
May the purpose you have for my life forever be my focus as I live for You. REFERENCES Benner, David G. 2003. Strategic pastoral counseling: a short-term structured model. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. Cloud, Henry. 2004. 9 things you simply must do to succeed in love and life. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. Kollar, Charles Allen. 2011. Solution-focused pastoral counseling: an effective short-term approach for getting people back on track. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Petersen, James C. 2007. Why don’t we listen better? Portland, OR: Petersen Publishing.