Lay Counselors: Effective Criteria for Selecting and Screening Them

by Siang-Yang Tan and Eric T. Scalise, adapted from their newly revised and updated Lay Counseling: Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry.

The careful selection of lay counselors is a crucial step in the development of an effective lay counseling ministry. However, there is less agreement and even less research on what specific criteria should be used to select counselors.

Minimally we would suggest the following criteria should be used to select lay Christian counselors for a lay counseling ministry:
1. Spiritual maturity. The counselor should be a Spirit-filled, mature Christian and committed Christ follower (cf. Gal. 6:1), who has a good knowledge of Scripture, wisdom in applying Scripture to daily living, and a regular prayer life. The person should be known by those in church leadership, have a healthy response to spiritual and other forms of authority, and have a reputation for being a person of ethical integrity and moral character. Prospective counselors should also have a set length of time in which they have been actively involved in the life of the local congregation (we recommend a minimum of one year).
2.Psychological stability…

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re-posted from Pastor to Pastor eletter from ChurchSource.com.

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