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One of the most challenging situations in my counseling ministry is trying to place counselees in a long-term, “sanctification context” in their local churches where they may receive ongoing care from competent disciple-makers.
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Counseling is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. The long-term problem is our toxic and adversarial relationship with sin juxtaposed to the ongoing solution found in progressive sanctification within a local church. Though counseling can bring temporary relief while setting a new trajectory for your life, it is a short-term relationship with a mentor in a brief and sterilized context.
Sin - Holiday - Jesus - Plan - Sanctification
Sadly, sin never takes a holiday, and we’ll always be fighting it until we see Jesus, which is why we need a proactive plan for sanctification that is long-lasting and practical while situated in multiple contexts within a local body of believers.
Paul lays out a conceptual plan for how pastors can develop their leaders so the church can mature into the fullness that Christ offers to any regenerated individual or group of believers.
Step - Plan - Church - Leadership - Things
Step one of this proactive plan is for the church leadership to imitate the things they want their people to pursue. Though the pastors are teaching, it’s imperative that they are emulating the things that they are urging the people to implement into their lives. Notice what Paul said about the modeling aspect of his teaching in Philippians, Ephesians, and 1 Corinthians.
It would be a tragic misstep to attempt teaching those under your care without modeling your the very same instruction. One of the questions I ask pastors is, “What do you want your congregation to be?”
Whatever that is, you must...
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