Christian Counseling Notes

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I.The Possibility of Change

A. Unbridled Pessimism (Cavanaugh)

B. Exuberant Optimism (Mahoney)

C. The Balanced Truth

II.The Potential of Change: Series of Questions

A.What Are We Trying to Change?

1. The Core Personality?

2. Discovering Who We Are in Christ?

3. The Desires?

B.What Do We Change People Into?

C.By What Authority?

1.The Scriptures:

2.The Goal: Maturity; Christ-likeness

As Christian counselors, we are under the authority to encourage people to change or conform to the pattern (the behaviors and desires) of Jesus Christ.

III.The Barriers to Change

A.Apathy – Lacking Motivation (Elijah)

Elijah’s lack of motivation was directly applied to “bad believing.”

B.Lack of Sustained Commitment – Resistance to Change (Hosea)

C.Lack of Belief that Change is Possible – Victim-Orientation (Saul/Jonathan)

“My environment has been bad so I can’t change.”

D.Lack of Knowledge – Concerning what God says about change, concerning the process of change, and concerning what needs to be changed

IV.The Bible on Change

A.We Can Change.

1.Regeneration – Immediate (Based on the Resurrection)

2.Transformation – Training Process (Through the Holy Spirit and the Word)

B.What Needs to Be Changed?

1.Sin (Isaiah 1:18)

2. Pride (Revelation 3)

3.Relationships (Malachi 2)

4.Behavior (Ephesians 4:28)

5.Attitudes and Beliefs (Matthew 19)

C.Elements Central to the Process of Change

1.Other People (Galatians 6:1)

2.The Word (Romans 12:1-2)

3.The Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5; Galatians 5:16)

4.The Community of Faith (Hebrews 10:24-25)

V.Elements Requiring Attention as We Help People with the Process of Change

A.Create an environment that optimizes the potential for change (Proverbs 29:18).

B.Provide loving direction throughout sessions (Ecclesiastes 12).

C.Be flexible in your approach (1 Corinthians 12).

D.Work out a framework that enables comprehensiveness and direction.

1. Addiction Issues

2.Thinking Issues

3.Feelings (Indicators)

4.Spiritual Issues

5.Environmental Issues

6.Developmental History Issues

E.Work collaboratively to decide where we need to begin and go.

F.Get a commitment to action plans.

G. Give them something to accomplish outside the session.

H. Monitor the process and commit to intercessory prayer support.

I. Terminate and transition to service and community

Change comes as a result of training not trying.

CCOU 203 Study Questions:

1.What are the opposing beliefs about change? Is change possible? What authority establishes the direction of change for the Christian caregiver?

2.Name four barriers we encounter when we seek to help people with change?

3.According to the Bible, what needs to be changed in people’s lives? Name four elements that are central to the change process. What elements should be fostered to create an environment that optimizes the possibility of change?

4.Is it good for the Christian caregiver to provide direction for the care-seeker? What do we learn from I Thessalonians 5:14 about flexibility in care-giving? Why should we work collaboratively with the care-seeker to develop an action plan?

5.Why is it important to pray for people we are helping with change? What attitude does faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ produce in those who are seeking to change their lives?

Soul Care Notes:

I Kings 19
Isaiah 1:18
Hosea 6:11
Romans 12:1,2
II Corinthians 5:17
Philippians 4:13
Ephesians 4:12-16
Ephesians 5:1
II Timothy 1:7
II Timothy 3:15-17
I Thessalonians 5:14
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