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Category – Counseling


A Pastor’s Reflections: Fire and Ice

VFT
As a child I can remember there were massive differences between my maternal and paternal grandparents. My paternal grandparents hardly ever said a cross word at one another—I don’t recall them ever having a fight. Maybe they were good actors, or maybe I didn’t visit them enough and they fought…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Don’t Pull the Trigger Too Fast

VFT
One of the church’s biggest problems is divorce. I can’t say that I’ve seen any documented statistics, but one of the mantras I’ve heard over the years is that the divorce rate is the same inside and outside the church. About half of all marriages end in divorce. I have…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Poker Face

VFT
One of the most important elements of being a good pastor is maintaining a good poker face when you’re counseling, that is, showing no reaction. I promise, chances are you will sit down with people in your church and hear of some crazy things. One couple told me that the…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Data Gathering

I think when people imagine what it’s like to receive pastoral counseling, they envision their pastor or elder giving them wonderful advice. And, to a certain extent, this is true. When you have a problem and need advice, your pastor or elder should be able to give you sound counsel.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Always Say Yes

VFT
One of the most helpful pieces of advice I received was from a Scottish Presbyterian minister who gave the following advice: “Always say yes.” He gave his advice in the context of a talk to future pastors and how to handle the various requests that come to the pastor. He…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Straight from the Source

VFT
I can remember in seminary dueling with a number of different critics regarding Reformed theology. God’s sovereignty was a regular topic of debate. For the record, I did not attend a Reformed seminary, hence truths taken for granted at Reformed institutions were not widely accepted at my school. The subjects…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Freud or Paul?

VFT
In the twentieth and twenty-first century, Christian counseling has taken off like wildfire. Seminaries that once saw preparing men to be pastors as their bread and butter now offer counseling degrees. Let me state up front, I’m not opposed to the study of counseling, psychology, physiology, or the ways in…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: Never Tell Them To Leave

VFT
One of the most tempting things in the pastorate is to tell someone they should leave the church. At first glance, such a sentiment might seem totally out of character for a pastor, but there are some factors can make it sound like reasonable counsel. What should you do when…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: The Benefits of Membership

VFT
Are some people more special than others? As the pastor, to whom do you owe your time? These are important questions because you will have people pulling on your calendar and schedule and you’ll have to decide to whom, among the many people you encounter, you should give your time.…
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A Pastor’s Reflections: How Do I Know If I’m Called?

VFT
One of the regular questions I receive is, “How do I know whether I’m called to the pastorate?” It would be one thing if God sent telegrams from heaven with your name on it—discerning a call would be a whole lot easier. Did you get the telegram or not? But…
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