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Counseling on Mission: Part 3
As church planters we often reach unreached, unbelieving, and very broken people. As a result, pastoral wisdom and gospel-centered counseling quickly become important skills. After all, the biblical office we hold is not church planter but elder-pastor. How are you cultivating pastoral wisdom? How are you growing in your capacity to shepherd your flock with wisdom, truth, and love? Are you spending time with "slow" or "challenging" people each week? Or do you gravitate to "teachable" people, neglecting the weak and hurting sheep?
Why should we spend time counseling when we could be evangelizing or preaching? Because in order to plant healthy missional churches, we must grow in gospel depth and breadth. In order to guard and guide our people well, it is imperative that church planters have a regular intake of wisdom (applied theology) from which we can counsel, disciple, train, and lead. As we mature, our sermons should deepen with pastoral application that grows from spending time with struggling sheep. The best application is mined, not from homiletical brainstorming, but from pastoral counseling. Why counsel? Because counseling the church is:
- Part of our calling/office.
- Critical to healthy community and mission.
- Essential for insightful application.
- Part of being a church that speaks the truth in love.