Ministry Proposal Lay Counseling 1
Table of Contents
Ministry Proposal Lay Counseling
Lay_Counseling_1.pdf Here you will find the summary of Dr. Siang-Yang Tan’s book, Lay counseling: Equipping Christians for helping ministry (1991). Please read and refer to it when working on your project paper, although do not clone your projects by this. The book is listed in the optional resources.
The last week should be dedicated to finalizing the work on your project; follow the syllabus instructions (see below as well). Note that you are to focus on a Mentoring or Mediation ministry (NOT “Counseling ministry” per se). The project is a ministry project, not a teaching project. So the process must incorporate doing mentoring, or doing mediation as a service, not teaching mentoring or mediation.
There are no other assignments for you to complete this week. If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact me no later than 10 days prior to the due date. That will give us enough time to preview and make necessary edits.
As a reminder, I do not want to see titles that have anything to do with “…..Counseling Program” as I specifically want them to focus only on either of the two topics we’ve studied in this course.
An experiential exercise/project will provide an opportunity to put into practice the principles and concepts studied in the Course. Imagine that your church leaders have asked you to develop a Lay Ministry with the focus on either: 1) Mentoring, or 2) Mediation services, and present your proposal to the pastoral leadership team for review. In order to accomplish this, you have been assigned the following tasks:
a. Outline your ministry proposal in a systematic way through a detailed position paper and formal proposal. The paper must include the following elements under separate appropriately-titled headings (in approximately 8 pages):
1) name of your ministry [keep this short in one strong complete sentence]
2) purpose of your ministry [why have this ministry? What was the need that precipitated it?]
3) the counseling philosophy of your ministry [this must agree with the church philosophy and vision to have buy-in]
4) the use of supporting scriptures regarding your vision and purpose [list several scriptures that support the need for this ministry but write out only the pertinent phrases of each verse]
5) the scope of the ministry (including any limitations) – [what is the target population? specific gender or ages? who would you exclude and why? how wide a catchment area?]
6) the hours and location/s of services [address, phone, website, to where the people will come, or where the main offices are]
7) how the ministry is accessed – describe the process [how do you get the word out? how do the people reach you? what do they have to do to get services?]
8) the duration and process of care [what’s the procedure for the service? how long do they partake of services? how do you care for them?]
9) the potential benefits of the ministry [Use Acts 1:8 as the model: start with a center and go out in widening circles thinking of all who would benefit from this ministry e.g. pastors, congregation, community, etc.]
10) any costs or fees associated with the ministry [what are both the tangible and intangible costs (borne by whom?), even if the church is already bearing some of those costs; if church policy now is not to have fees, is that wise for your program?]
11) how staff (mentors or mediators) will be selected, trained, and supervised [start with who will select the staff, how will they be trained, who will supervise them]
12) how confidentiality and consent issues will be addressed [include any appendices with forms that you may use]
13) how the ministry will be connected with other community and Christian resources [list how you will network with other similar ministries (which ones?) and how other ministries will support you – how might you collaborate in your “Mentoring/Mediation” services?]
b. List potential references and local contact points that would provide additional resources for the particular ministry focus (in approximately 1-2 pages). [are there other ministries in your community that offer similar services? The ministries should be connected with the type of services you offer]
c. Organize your proposal under the different headings or key elements listed in Sections “ a” and “ b.”
d. Type the whole proposal double-spaced and approximately 12-15 pages in total length (including the Title page, Table of Content, and Appendices). Write the paper in APA style format and organize it in an appropriate presentation format[this is not PowerPoint, but properly titled for respective ministry/church], similar to what could be distributed for a leadership review.
*** Submit all files (for all assignments) as MS Word documents only and name them according to the following format: first use the course number; then underscore; then your first name and first letter of your last name; then underscore; and finally, the name of the assignment itself e.g., HSC560_JohnD_proposal. Also, use the same file name in the “subject” line of the email.
Additional Notes and Tips:
- “Counseling Philosophy” Since you’re not to use the term “counseling” it will be the philosophy of your mentoring or your mediation ministry. So what is “philosophy?” You have to go along with what your church’s or organization’s philosophy is (their vision, their main objective) as you are proposing to be an arm of that church or organization. You can’t appear out of left field with something new that takes the focus away from the aim of your ministry, which should either be mentoring or mediation for this assignment. That section should not be long, just prove that your ministry will be fulfilling the philosophy of the church (are they a relational? community-minded? bible knowledge-based? family oriented? seeker friendly?).
- Scriptures you use should support this, but not be preachy or long-winded.
- Scope means who exactly are you serving?
- Cost: there are also intangible costs that must be considered.
- Process: how is the (mentoring; mediation) going to happen? Please don’t write out a whole program or a training here, just go through the steps of how do they come for it, then what do they/you do? for how long? how do you know they are finished? This should be a process, not a canned training; so you don’t use someone else’s package. You’ve studied both in this course, so use the phrases and concepts you now know.
- “Staff” – you will not have counselors, you’ll have mentors or mediators
- Community connections means from who/where will you get support and who/what will your ministry support?
- Resources: should be along the lines of what you’re trying to do. If it’s “women mentoring,” then find resources for just that, for women’s services, and/or for mentoring. It shouldn’t be for counseling, family therapy, marriage therapy, finances, poverty support, etc. When pulling resources, keep Acts 1:8 as your pattern. Who’s the closest (Jerusalem)? county (Judea)?, state (Samaria)? uttermost (national and world)?
- Be sure to give me the reference page if you use ideas from anyone – references is not the same as resources.
- No, you don’t need to write an abstract. This is a proposal paper.Costs/Benefits: there are intangible costs and benefits to any project, aside from financial. Consider energy, time spent, effort, being away from family, other investments, etc. You want to make sure you consider these as the “board” may ask when you give the proposal.
An overview of
Lay counseling: Equipping Christians
for helping ministry
By Siang-Yang Tan
• The Need for Lay Counseling Ministries • Biblical Basis for Lay Counseling
• A Biblical Model for Effective Lay Counseling
• Basic Principles of Effective Counseling • Reasons to Refer
• The Literature of Lay Counseling • Building a Ministry of Lay Counseling
• Selection of Lay Counselors
• Training of Lay Counselors • Supervision of Lay Counselors
• Evaluation of Lay Counselors • Potential Pitfalls
• Is lay Christian counseling helpful or dangerous? • Can we expect an average person without a master’s
or doctoral degree in counseling to be able to meet the needs of someone plunged into depression or wracked with indecision by some complex problems in life?
• Lay counselors are “individuals who lack the training, educational experience, or credentials to be professional counselors, but who nevertheless are involved in helping people cope with personal problems” (Gary Collins, cited p. 14)
• Lay counseling is present in churches, para-church organizations, mental health settings, Christian, and secular
The Need for Lay Counseling
• Psychological problems are increasingly evident
• Christians are not trained to handle difficult problems (i.e. typical answer is “you’re a sinner, just pray about it”)
• There are Scriptural texts that support the use of lay counseling
Biblical Basis for Lay
• Conservative circles are concerned about the “seduction of Christianity by secular psychology”
• Every ministry must begin with Biblical and theological basis, including lay counseling
• Two categories of Scriptural reference provide biblical support for lay counseling ministries in churches – Calling of all Christians to be involved in ministry
(priesthood of all believers)
– All believers are called to be involved in ministry to one another (i.e. people-helping by non-professionals and para-professionals)
The Call to Ministry in General (Priesthood of Believers, I Peter 2:5,9)
• Eph. 4:1-16 demonstrates God’s will for all saints to be equipped for ministry or service – Unity of Calling: no clergy-laity distinction
– Unity of Ministry: each member of the body is indispensable. We don’t have a ministry; we are one.
– Unity in Common Life: (Eph. 2:5, 6, 19, 22, 3:6; 4:16); we are interdependent
– Unity in Purpose: ultimate goal is maturity in Christ; ordained pastors should equip the saints for ministry or service
The Call to Lay Counseling as a
Specific Ministry • Mandate to show Christ-like love to one another (John
13:34-35) and carry each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2)
• All believers are to admonish, encourage, or help one another (Rom. 15:14; Col. 3:16; I Thess. 5:14)
• Some believers specially gifted with exhortation, or paraklesis (Rom. 12:8)
• Jay Adams developed nouthetic (from nouthesia) counseling, “change through confrontation out of concern.”
• Dr. Frank Minirth notes 5 verbs in NT relevant to ministry of counseling: parakaleo, noutheteo, paramutheomai, antechomai, and makrothumeo, all appearing in I Thess. 5:14:
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
A Biblical Model for Effective
• Primarily based on three well-known
approaches to Christian counseling: Jay
Adams’ Nouthetic Counseling, Gary
Collins’ People-Helping, and Larry Crabb’s
• Three major headings:
– Basic View of Humanity
– Basic View of Counseling
– Basic Principles of Effective Counseling
Basic View of Humanity 1. Humans need a sense of self-worth (not self-
worship), which comes from Christ alone
2. Humanity’s basic problem has to do with sin. The model does not assert that all emotional suffering is due to sin.
3. The ultimate goal of humanity is to know God and enjoy him forever.
4. The model assumes a basic cognitive-behavioral perspective; problem feelings are usually (not always) due to problem behavior and more fundamentally to problem thinking.
5. The model takes a holistic view of persons as physical, mental-emotional, social, and spiritual beings. Similar to Lazarus’ Multimodal Therapy approach of BASIC I.D. (B=Behavior, A= Affect, S=Sensation, I=Imagery, C=Cognition, I.=Interpersonal relationships, D.=Drugs/Biological Factors) but also includes spiritual.
Basic View of Counseling 1. One view amongst professionals is that
counseling and psychotherapy are different, where counseling would not attempt to change the personality. “There is a continuum from the simplest form of counseling through to the deepest levels of psychotherapy” (p. 40).
2. A second view is that counseling and psychotherapy are terms to be used interchangeably, also the view of this model.
20 Most Frequent Reasons
People Seek Counseling 11. Other unpleasant feelings
12. Family and marital trouble
13. Help in resolution of
conflicts with others
14. Deteriorating interpersonal
15. Drug and alcohol
16. Sexual difficulties
17. Perceptual distortions
18. Psychosomatic problems
19. Attempted suicide
20. Difficulties at work/school
1. Advice in making simple
2. Answers to troublesome
3. Depression and guilt
4. Guidance in determining
9. Bizarre behaviors
10. Anxiety, worry, and fear
Basic Principles of
Effective Counseling The Holy Spirit’s ministry as counselor or comforter is critical in effective Christian counseling (John 14:16-17). In every counseling session there are at least three people present, the counselor, the client, and the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is the basic guide for dealing with problems in living (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We must learn to interpret and apply the Bible appropriately and properly. This model, however, does not imply that the Bible is an exhaustive guide to counseling.
Prayer is an integral part of biblical helping (James 5:16). Use of prayer during the session requires discernment, proper timing.
The ultimate goal of counseling is to make disciples or disciplers of clients. Counselors should fulfill the Great Commission.
The personal qualities of the lay Christian counselor are important for effective counseling (Rom. 15:14, Col. 3:16). A lay counselor must be spiritually mature to be effective. Other important characteristics include self-understanding, understanding of others, remain objective, able to get along, experience, a genuine believer, capable, God-fearing, honest, available, willing to refer difficult cases (Ex. 18:21-22).
The client’s attitudes, motivations, and desire for help are crucial factors for determining whether counseling will be helpful or not.
The relationship between the counselor and the client is another significant variable affecting the effectiveness of counseling.
Empathy, respect, concreteness, genuineness, confrontation, immediacy, truth.
Talking alone does not lead to change – it requires confession, reconciliation, forgiveness.
Basic Principles of
Effective counseling is a process which unfolds cyclically from exploration to understanding to action phases.
Stage 1: counselor helps client identify problem feelings
Stage 2: counselor helps client identify problem behaviors
Stage 3: focus is on identifying client’s problem thinking
Stage 4: counselor teaches right, biblical thinking
Stage 5: secure a commitment from client to such biblical thinking and obedience to the Lord and His Word
Stage 6: client is encouraged to plan and carry out biblical or right behavior
Stage 7: client can identify and enjoy Spirit-controlled feelings of security and significance.
Basic Principles of
Directive or nouthetic counseling is an important part of Christian counseling, but style or approach in counseling should be flexible.
The model remains flexible with regard to specific techniques or methods to be used in counseling. Scripture remains as ultimate screening guide.
Effective counseling requires cultural sensitivity.
Outreach and prevention techniques are also important for effective lay Christian counseling. 6 proposals for Lay counselors’ training:
1. To assess role of environmental stressors in emotional problems
2. In technique of community outreach and empowerment
3. In cultural awareness and sensitivity
4. To be aware and make use of existing support systems within the churches
5. In how to develop new support systems within the church when needed
6. To communicate more actively and regularly with others, especially leaders of other outreach ministries in the church
Reasons to Refer
As a general rule, make a referral when you lack the time, emotional stamina, stability, skill, or experience to continue counseling. When you are no longer able to help someone, refer. More specifically refer counselees:
With legal difficulties,
With severe financial needs,
Who require medical attention,
Who are severely depressed or suicidal,
Who will require more time than you can give,
Who want to shift to another counselor,
Who show extremely aggressive behavior,
Who make excessive use of drugs or alcohol,
Who arouse strong feelings of dislike, sexual stimulation, or threat to the counselor,
Who appear to be severely disturbed.
The Literature of
Lay Counseling Secular Literature
Reasons for Using Lay Counseling: 1. Shortage of mental health professionals to meet increasing demand
2. National surveys (1957 and 1976) indicated people would go to a family physician or clergy more often than mental health professionals. (The text does not give evidence of more recent surveys.)
3. “Spontaneous remission” meaning many people get better over a two year period without any professional intervention.
4. Much research has evaluated the results of counseling by lay counselors with little or no training versus professionally trained therapists, and although there is still much controversy over the results, both appear to be equally effective.
5. Indigenous lay counselors may be more effective with their own culture than those professionals from outside a specific culture.
6. Nonprofessional or lay counseling serves as a means for recruiting lay counselors into professional counseling careers.
Problems with Using Lay Counseling: 1. Boundary confusion; lay counselors may attempt more than they can do.
2. Lay counselors may feel insecure due to lack of training/experience.
3. Professionals may be unwilling to support them due to liability/risk/prestige.
4. Pragmatics of training – universities more focused on training professionals
Utilization of lay counselors include: volunteers in hospitals, mature women as mental health counselors, college students as companion- therapists, and indigenous nonprofessionals for impoverished areas.
Need formal assessment for selection and training in human-relations.
The Literature of
Lay Counseling Christian Literature
Jay Adams’ “nouthetic counseling”, Gary Collins’ “people- helpers” and Larry Crabb’s “biblical counseling” are most influential approaches to Christian counseling in the literature.
Models and literature are expanding, with many books and journal articles being published.
Special issue of Journal of Psychology and Christianity was devoted to lay Christian counseling (1987, vol. 6, no. 2).
There is little empirical research evaluating training of lay Christian counselors, and research on effectiveness of lay Christian counseling is scarce. A few are mentioned in the text, along with suggestions for future research.
Building a Ministry of
Lay Counseling Start by choosing an appropriate model for a lay Christian counseling ministry for a particular type of church or agency. Models are not one-size-fits-all.
The Informal, Spontaneous Model assumes lay Christian counseling should occur spontaneously and informally in interactions and relationships already present or possible through the existing structures of the church. Common in evangelical churches; use spiritual gifting and basic training, but do not receive ongoing supervision.
The Informal, Organized Model assumes lay Christian counseling should be an organized and well-supervised ministry which nevertheless should still occur in informal settings as far as possible. Counselors are carefully selected and given training with supervision, but the counseling occurs informally; e.g. Stephen Series system of lay caring ministry.
The Formal, Organized Model assumes that lay Christian counseling should not only be an organized and well-supervised ministry, but should occur in a formal way, such as through a counseling center. May be stand- alone facility or a part of the church. Staffed by professional counselors and therapists who oversee selection of lay counselors. Lay counseling would take place in offices with appointments scheduled. Regular staff meetings occur with a licensed, professional counselor or pastor of lay counseling as supervisor. Several variations of this model occur and are available for review through church groups.
Building a Ministry of
Lay Counseling Five Steps for Building a Lay Counseling Ministry:
1. Become familiar with the 3 models for counseling ministry (previous slide) and assess which one, or combination of, would best fit your agency’s needs.
2. Get support for the idea of lay counseling from the pastor, pastoral staff, and agency board. Without their support it will be difficult to proceed.
3. Screen potential lay Christian counselors from the congregation, using appropriate spiritual and psychological criteria (more on that in future slides).
4. Provide a training program for lay counselors, focused on basic helping relationships within a biblical framework.
5. Develop programs or ministries where the trained lay counselors can be used. Program depends on your model.
Building a Ministry of
Lay Counseling Ten Guidelines for Establishing a Lay Counseling Center 1. Determine clear objectives for the counseling service.
2. Establish the “ethos” or distinctive character of the lay counseling center by giving it an appropriate name.
3. Carefully select, train, and supervise the counseling personnel (director should be licensed professional counselor or pastor with training and experience in counseling). Provide training journals.
4. Arrange for suitable facilities for the counseling center. Include reception, waiting area, and at least 2-3 counseling rooms.
5. Establish operating hours of the center. Days, evenings, weekends, etc., Consider emergency procedures, length of sessions, etc.
6. Establish a structure within which the lay counseling center will function. Appoint a director to run the center, board or committee to oversee, secretary/receptionist, etc.
7. Spread the word about your center – marketing can be accomplished through various media, but should be non-threatening to clients.
8. Clarify services the center will offer: (premarital, groups, individual, etc.). Tan suggests referring out for all testing, including vocational tests.
9. Carefully consider the financing for the center, including books, supplies, furniture. Consider liability issues if you accept donations for services by lay counselors.
10. Determine the church affiliation of the lay counseling center. Several churches could come together and start a center. Take into consideration doctrinal issues and follow-up for ongoing spiritual care and guidance of clients.
Selection of Lay
• What criteria should be used to select lay counselors?
• What are the best methods for screening lay counselors?
“Everyone agrees that the careful selection of lay
counselors is a crucial step in the development of
an effective lay counseling ministry” (p. 97).
Selection of Lay Counselors:
Criteria • Little research in defining selection criteria
• Psychological tests are often used, However, consensus is – test for skill first, personality later
– Group Assessment of Interpersonal Traits (GAIT)
• Important characteristics for counselors to possess – Spiritual maturity (Gal. 6:1, Spirit-filled, mature Christian, good
knowledge of Scripture, wisdom in applying Scripture to life, and a regular prayer life);
– Psychological stability (not emotionally labile or volatile, open and vulnerable, not suffering from a serious psychological disorder);
– Love for and interest in people (warm, caring, and genuine person);
– Spiritual gifts (exhortation, wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits, mercy, and healing);
– Some life experience (not too young)
– Previous training or experience in helping people (experience helpful but not necessary)
– Age, sex, education, socioeconomic status, and ethnic/cultural background (have diversity on your counseling team);
– Availability and teachability (time for training, supervision, ministry, and open to learning biblical approach to helping);
– Ability to maintain confidentiality (protect client privacy).
Selection of Lay Counselors:
• Applicants submit brief written statement affirming the following: – adherence to your church’s statement of faith or doctrine
– a testimony of personal relationship with Jesus Christ
– Reasons for wanting to be involved in lay counseling ministry and training program
• Require recommendation letters from 2-3 people who know applicant well
• Director and another church leader will interview the applicant to assess characteristics
• Psychological testing (e.g. 16PF or Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis, MMPI, Myers-Briggs) by trained psychologist
• Spiritual Assessments also helpful. Does not require trained psychologist. Examples are described in text: – The Shepherd Scale, The Spiritual Well-Being Scale, The
Character Assessment Scale, The Wagner-Revised Houts Questionnaire, The Spiritual Life Check-Up Questionnaire, The Spiritual Leadership Qualities Inventory.
Training of Lay Counselors
• Gary Collins suggests three phases:
– Pre-training Phase
• Select materials, publicize, select participants, initial
course on spiritual gifts (The Joy of Caring or Discover
Your Spiritual Gift and Use It)
– Training Phase
• Provide opportunities for counselors to learn skills,
practice with “experimental clients,” minimum of 40-50
hours over several months.
– Post-training Phase
• Continuing education, further learning opportunities,
discussion and supervision of cases, encouragement
Training of Lay Counselors Models of Lay Christian Counselor Training (Which model you choose will depend on the model of your program)
– Larry Crabb’s Model consists of three levels. • Level I is Counseling by Encouragement (Encouragement: The Key to
Caring, Crabb & Allender). • Level II is Counseling by Exhortation. 35-40 hours classroom training for
mature believers. • Level III is Counseling by Enlightenment.
Only a select few enter a 6-12 month weekly training program.
– Gary Sweeten’s Model (College Hill Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, OH). Uses discipleship counseling approach. Four courses. First 2 taught sequentially over an 8-week period for 2½ hours per session, with homework.
• Session 1: “Apples of Gold I” competency-based, interpersonal skills. • Session 2: “Apples of Gold II” teaches skills of concreteness, genuineness,
self-disclosure, confrontation, and speaking truth in love. • Session 3: “Rational Christian Thinking” integrates REBT with Scripture. It is
6 weeks, 2½ hours per session with homework. • Session 4: “Breaking Free from the Past” is most intense. Requires 50 hours
of prep, deals with past traumas, generational blessings and curses, personal sins and character defects.
Two facilitators lead group members, includes teaching.
Training of Lay Counselors
Models of Lay Christian Counselor Training (continued) – Horace Lukens’ Model – Six sequential levels of training.
• Level I: “Body Life Skills” for all Christians. Focuses on basic skills of living in Christian community.
• Level II: “Theory and Theology” for Christian leaders and teachers. Integration of Christianity and psychology, developmental psych, abnormal psych.
• Level III: “Personal Awareness” for Christian leaders and teachers, examine personal needs, temperaments, characteristics, and psychological testing.
• Level IV: “Body Life Skills II” for lay counselor trainees only. Development and refinement of counseling skills.
• Level V: “Practicum” counseling supervision for lay counselors trainees who have demonstrated competence in all previous levels.
• Level VI: “Advanced Training” for trainees who are competent in first 5 levels, and show an interest specific training such as financial counseling, marital and family therapy, vocational evaluation and counseling, etc.
All levels are 8-10 weeks in duration.
– Stephen Series (founded by Dr. Kenneth Haugk, pastor, clinical psychologist, author, and educator). Applies more to lay caring ministry, not to lay counseling per se. Once selected through a 9-step process, trainees enter a 12-day Leader’s Training Course intensive and comprehensive in the following areas: administrative resources, training topics/presentations, implementing and maintaining Stephen Ministry in the congregation. Training topics cover a variety and range from what to do during first contact to counseling relationship exercises, community resources, and ministering to suicidal persons and shut-ins.
Supervision of Lay Counselors • Loganbill, Hardy, and Delworth (1982) define clinical supervision as “an
intensive, interpersonally focuses, one-to-one relationship in which one person is designated to facilitate the development of therapeutic competence in the other person.”
• Research indicates “mere counseling experience did not help counselors improve their ability or competence.”
• Supervision should be regular and effective. Weekly or biweekly group or individual sessions. Not “friendship” supervisor.
• Practice Models include minimum intervention, vertical supervision, professional training, and implicit trust models.
• Conceptualization of supervision: theoretical or developmental – Theoretical is based on counseling theory or therapeutic orientation of the
supervisor – Developmental model cuts across theoretical orientations and is based on
developmental stage/needs of the counselor
• “Ideal” supervisor: – Brainstorming, role play, modeling behavior (by the supervisor), and guided
reflection. – Feedback should be systematic, timely, clearly understood, and reciprocal. – Avoid constrictive, amorphous (unclear guidance), unsupportive and
therapeutic (focusing on supervisee as a counselee) environments – Christian supervisor is spiritually mature, use of Scripture whenever
appropriate, ethical, depends on Holy Spirit. – Who should supervise? Experienced pastor, elder, lay
counselor or professional counselor. Ideal is professional counselor, but not always feasible or essential (Tan).
Evaluation of Lay Counselors
• Evaluate Counseling Knowledge and Skills – Self-report measures, written responses by lay
counselors to counseling situations (videotaped), ratings by others of the counselors’ behaviors and skills in session (videotaped), peer ratings provided by other lay counselors
• Evaluate Personal and Spiritual Growth – Possible tools: Personal Orientation Inventory (POI),
Spiritual Well-Being Scale, Character Assessment Scale, Wagner-Revised Houts Questionnaire, Spiritual Leadership Qualities, Age Universal Religious Orientation Scale (I-E Scale)
• Minimal Requirements for Evaluation Research – Counselor Training Program Questionnaire (CTPQ),
Helping Relationship Inventory (HRI), and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (or the I-E Scale).
Evaluation of Lay Counselors
• Measures for Outcome Evaluations from
a variety of viewpoints provides a more
comprehensive assessment of
– Patient/client self-report
– Trained outside observer/expert observer
– Relevant other ratings
– Therapist/counselor ratings
– Institutional ratings
The Local Church and
Lay Counseling • Difficult to estimate how many local
churches have lay counseling ministries.
The Stephen Series alone has been used
successfully in thousands of
• Beyond the local church are many more
examples. For example, para-church
organizations like Youth For Christ and
Campus Crusade use lay counselors, as
do Prison Ministries, Christian mental
health centers, and context of missions
training and counseling.
• Legal and ethical issues more prominent since clergy malpractice suit against Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA was filed March 1980 by the parents of 24-yr-old Kenneth Nally, who committed suicide on April 1, 1979. Suit claimed clergy, pastors and church were negligent. Went to California Supreme Court, which in Nov. 1988 ruled against the Nallys on a 5 to 2 vote, and then on to US Supreme Court which in April 1989 refused to review the California Supreme Court decision, thereby letting it stand. Essentially, this meant that pastors and church workers had no legal duty to refer troubled parishioners or church members to licensed psychiatrists. Regardless of the court decision, the question of legalities and ethics are present.
• See AACC ethics guidelines for current data.
Christian Counseling by Gary Collins suggests 8 major areas of potential problems.
1. The Counselor’s Motivation
2. The Counselor’s Effectiveness
3. The Counselor’s Role
4. The Counselor’s Vulnerability
5. The Counselor’s Sexuality
6. The Counselor’s Ethics
7. The Counselor’s Burnout
8. The Counselor’s Counselors
• Legal and Ethical Issues Relevant to Lay Counseling – See Clergy Malpractice by Dr. Thomas Needham
for details on twenty potentially high-risk
• Consider three issues when addressing legal/ethical dilemmas:
– Malpractice insurance (prevention)
– Legal standards – stay current
– Supervision of lay counselors
Six major types of lawsuits filed against psychologists and counselors
1) breach of contract
2) physical assault
3) sexual assault (the largest number
of lawsuits fall into this category)
5) suicide – failure to protect
6) negligent infliction of emotional
distress (harm to client)
• Tan recommends further research on role of spiritual gifts in effective counseling, whether
lay or professional
• “It is still important for lay Christian counselors
as well as pastors to learn to care and counsel
in a systematic and skilled way, in order to be effective and truly helpful” (p. 230). The choice
is not whether we should or should not counsel, but the method we use to counsel
people (disciplined, skilled, or unskilled and
Tan, S. Y. (1991). Lay counseling: Equipping Christians for a helping ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Note: some slides refer to outside
resources, all found in Tan (1991).