18 Reasons Some Christians won’t go to their Pastors for Counselling

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While growing up, I really admired pastors and the instrumental roles they play in the lives of their members. The work of a pastor is very huge. It is required of pastors to have so much knowledge aside theological knowledge. This enhances his administrative work, social relations and the ability to interact and liaise with people in a multicultural world. In addition to the numerous tasks of pastors is the ability to offer Christian counselling members. However, it is not every church member that will be interested in seeking godly counseling services from pastors. With my experience as a pastor and a Christian counselor, I find this situation a bit disturbing. In this article I will throw more light on 18 reasons some Christians won’t go to their pastors for counselling. However, I will commence with benefits of going to your pastor for counselling.

Benefits of going to your pastor for counselling.

1. Free counselling service: As part of the responsibilities of your pastor, he is to ensure your spiritual growth, welfare and maturity in the LORD. In the same manner, your pastor is supposed to counsel you freely. Inasmuch as some pastors may not be trained as professional counselors, God has given them the grace to discern and counsel you. It is not all problems that needs a professional counselor. Sometimes, it could be a spiritual problem and that is where going to your pastor for counseling is non-negotiable.

2.Divine direction: One of the benefits of going to your pastor for counseling is receiving divine counsel and directions. God has placed your pastor in your life to play important roles. Your pastor represents God and through him, you can receive divine directions for your life. On the other hand, a professional counselor who is not a Christian can take you through all the therapeutic procedures but you may not receive what you were looking for. It could be a spiritual problem that needs a pastor to counsel you and intercede for you for the healing grace of God to come to locate you.

3.Intentional pastoral care: Having realized your challenge, pastors will have intentional pastoral care for you. This requires special attention and series of spiritual disciplines, counselling and other activities to enhance the healing and restoration of the troubled member. Sometimes, the troubled member may undergo series of counselling services under different counselors as assigned by the pastor.

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18 Reasons Some Christians Won’t Go To Their Pastors For Counselling

1. He uses other people’s issues as examples in his sermons: If you cannot keep secrets, then you cannot be a pastor and a counselor. These two professions demands high level of keeping secrets to maintain your integrity and calling. One of the biggest challenges that prevent people from patronizing counselling service breaking the trust and confidence of the counselee. It is an unethical behaviour in the counseling ministry. It disturbs people to hear their sensitive issues being used as examples during sermons. As a pastor, one of the things you should do is to ask permission from individuals to use their case as examples in your sermon. The case being used as an example should be relevant to the sermon being preached. However, always ensure to withhold the name of the person and never mention the name. It is not everyone that feels comfortable being talked about in public. Remember that everyone is entitled to his or her own privacy. Out of the 18 reasons some Christians wont go to their pastors for counselling, this first point causes some members to leave the church or remain tight lipped on other disturbing issues.

2. Christian counselling is different from therapeutic counselling. One of the major reasons for which church members will not go to pastors for counselling is that Christian counselling and therapeutic counselling are two different things. While Christian counselling seeks to restore the counselling back to a good relationship with the LORD, establishing peace and ensuring healing, therapeutic counselling goes beyond this. It is for this reason that referrals are normally made by Christian counselors to specialists. As pastors and church leaders, it is important to note though God can heal all sicknesses, it is not every sickness that needs only spiritual attention. Lack of knowledge can make people perish exercising their faith wrongly.

3. Not trained and educated. Pastors with little education do not attract some caliber of people for counseling unless through an outstanding powerful ministry. Pastors without higher levels of education can sometimes exhibit this in their naivety, weak knowledge base and losing touch of basic trends in life and cannot cope with latest technology. If you have the least level of education and cannot meet the spiritual needs of your people, you may not only attract your members to get closer to you but lose some as well. This, however, will affect your church growth.

4.That feeling of breakdown in trust and confidence in the member: The fact that your members do not approach you for counselling services does not mean that all is well with everyone. Some people may have serious problems that need the attention of the pastor but cannot approach you. Why? They simply do not want you to know about the situation for them to feel bad about their wrongdoing.

5. When members feel shy: No matter how confident you are, you may feel shy approaching a particular person. However, some people are naturally shy and may not want to meddle in your affairs at all. When these shy members have issues, they do not have the confidence to approach pastors and church leaders for redress. And for this reason, a lot perish and live in anguish in silence. Pastors and church leaders have extra responsibility to draw all men closer to them. People approach those they feel confident to approach and that precedes an established relationship.

6. Fear of church discipline: Church disciplines ensures sanity and order in the church. Church disciplines purges the church of evil dwelling among men. It brings awareness and helps members to live in the fear of God and reverence for Him. Without church discipline, sin will engulf the church and the darkness in the church alone will quench the fire of the Holy Spirit. When sinning members realized opening up to pastors about their situation will attract church discipline, they keep quiet in fight all alone. Sometimes, some of them manage to approach the pastor for counselling but become selecting in disclosing the facts of the matter. It takes those who really regret their deeds to boldly approach pastors and confess their sins and seek for prayers and counselling.

7. Fear of losing their positions: There are some people in the church that are most ‘post conscious’ more than their salvation and relationship with the LORD. To approach a pastor and confess their sins and seek counselling could be mean that they would be relieved of their positions. Where church discipline will lead to demotions, stripping one of his positions and asking other people to takeover those positions, some people will not approach pastors to seek counselling about their issues. They consider this more disgraceful and demeaning so they will keep quiet about their situation and continue to struggle in their spirit about the issue.

8. Perceived no help will come out of it: Dear pastors and church leaders, if you are a man of solution, your members know it. If you are a man of divine power, true prophetic ministration and a man of making impossibilities possible, people will look for you. They said to Jesus: “All men are looking for you”(Mark 1:37). Why? Because Jesus is a result oriented man. Jesus does not only pull crowd but pull surprising miracles and results. Your ability to produce results is not a matter of education. It is a matter of having the divine presence of God to enforce His will on earth in the lives of people. If you don’t have what it takes for men to come to you and seek the face of your God, then your God will be unattractive to people.

9. The too busy pastor: When the pastor is too busy, his members will not approach him to bother him on anything. One of the disadvantages of being a very busy pastor is that, your members may keep running to other pastors secretly for the solution they are not getting from. While some will take a bold step and leave your church, others will remain in your church but they have other sources of spiritual nourishment. When your members roam from one church to another, it is obvious that they may be indoctrinated, become not loyal and exhibit some form of non allegiance and disobedience. This affects church growth, church finance and all aspect of church administration.

10. Unfriendly and unapproachable pastors: I have met so many pastors that look so unfriendly and unapproachable. These days, the heavy security and body guards around some pastors alone prevent members from coming near them. And to be lucky to have access to these pastors for one-on-one counseling, you are sure to go through some bureaucratic procedures. Members who may not be willing to go through these processes may decide to keep issues to themselves or look for solution from elsewhere.

11. Bad family records of pastors: To many people, When the pastor and his family are also facing known terrible challenges, they will not make any attempt to seek counseling from them. Why? This is because the pastor has broken one of the rules in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 3. The aforementioned scriptures emphasize one who is able to put his house in order where both wife and children respect him and are with good character. Pastors, their wives and children are always on the spotlight. Much is expected from the pastor, his wife and the children. Scripture and society expect them to live exemplary lives, be above reproach and be a good model people can emulate.

As a pastor, there is high level of expectation to keep moral standard and ethical values. Whenever pastors, their wives and children default and are in the news for the opposite reason, it breaks the hearts of members. Mentees get disciple when pastors seen as mentors falter in the very things they preach against.

12. Negative news publication of false and fallen pastors: The media and digital space is full of many negative publications about pastors and prophets. The activities of false prophets and the negative reports alone push some people off. To avoid being vulnerable not to fall into wrong hands, some people will prefer not to be get closer to some pastors. Nevertheless, the genuine pastors in the system are more than the fake ones. Do not let the negative deeds of some affect your relationship will pastors. This should not also affect seeking godly counselling services from seasoned men of God.

13. Absence of transformative testimonies about the pastor’s ministry: In this world, some people follow trends. Recommendations and testimonies of the impact of your ministry are very powerful. One outstanding viral testimony about the power of God through your ministry is more important than 100 sermons that cannot lead people to come chasing after you to experience the power of God. These days, some churches use testimonies are their biggest marketing tools. As a result, many of those testimonies become fake and mere marketing gimmick. When the power of God is at work in your life, He will draw all men to Himself in your ministry. It is not about advertisement and fake publicity. It is about the power of God drawing people to Himself. While other prophets and preachers were in the comfort of a city life, John the Baptist was living in the wilderness but all people left the city to look for him in the wilderness. Sometimes, it is not a matter of where you are located in ministry; it is a matter of the manifest presence of the LORD in your ministry to confirm your works with signs and wonders.

14. Secretive attitude and feeling of no one should know about my issue: Some people are very secretive. They hate the idea of telling people about their disgraceful issues. Everyone has some level of secrecy. There are some things that people feel not comfortable to talk about it concerning their own lives. When disturbing issues crop up in those areas of their lives, it becomes difficult to open up and talk about those things. It takes high level of confidence and the ability to put shyness aside to come forward and confide in the pastor.

15. Personal reasons: No matter how good, how well trained, anointed and powerful the pastor may be, some people will still not go to him for counselling. Seeking help and counselling services is a choice and decision taken by the counselee. No matter what you do and regardless of the encouragement you give people, they may prefer to remain silent on their issue. Though this attitude is bad and may lead to depression and suicide, people should be encouraged. This demands first establishing the relationship with people first to develop trust and confidence.

16. Condemnation and ‘holier than thou attitude’ of some pastors: As a pastor or a church leader, you are supposed to rebuke sin and never entertain it. Sometimes, the way we carry ourselves alone when preaching could present us as superior human beings far away from sin. When members are caught in sin, they fear they would be condemned, accused and even sometimes, insulted.

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17. A feeling of immaturity to handle some issues in life: Some members have the feeling and perceptions that pastors see them as immature when they come seeking for counselling on ‘small issues’. Sometimes, church leaders and some pastors create such perception in the minds of the members. Comments such as “So, is that the reason why you came all the way from your house to see me?” can be embarrassing and cut of the desire of members to see pastors for difficult issues. These comments and the like indicate that members cannot think for themselves, lack maturity and cannot handle basic things in life. What is a small issue to one person could be a bigger issue to another person. Out of the 18 reasons some Christians wont go to their pastors for counselling, this very point makes members look so stupid. The headache that killed someone could be the same amount of pain that someone kept at home and did not even take any medicine.

18. You are not an authority in counselling: In our current generation, a lot of people make so much noise about their profession. Some have written books, organize frequent seminars, talk shows, frequent publications in their profession, go live on social media and lobby for some opportunities to be in the spotlight. Your pastor may not be a popular counselor. Your pastor’s duty is not to become popular but to make Christ popular for all to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. The fact that your pastor is not popular does not mean that he is not good at his work. Christianity is not about making noise to project self but the One that lives within. These days, most pastors also have certificate in counselling. If you do not have certificate in counselling as an authority, you may not also have the confidence to approach some issues. You need to be a licensed authority in some countries to render some services such as counselling.

Apart from these 18 reasons some Christians won’t go to their pastors for counselling, are there any more reasons not captured here? Share your experiences with us by commenting below. Are you also going through disturbing issues and needing someone to confide in for counselling, talk to Pastor Ernest Akorli via WhatsApp number +233249310230 or send an email: christoinfo2@gmail.com or ekakorli@gmail.com

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