The book ON BELAY! was written to help train ministers and lay persons alike in the basic skills of Christian counseling. Since the book and teaching program based on it was first developed, both have undergone many changes and improvements. As a part of the teaching team, and also one of the original developers of the program, this writer can safely say that this present format of the program and book is by far the most complete, representing thousands of hours of study and prayer.
As you begin reading On Belay! it is important to be aware of how it was developed and its primary components. First, though the book is a fairly comprehensive guide, it certainly does not attempt to answer every question or deal with every counselling situation. Such a guide would take volumes of work, which goes far beyond the scope of this book. The primary issues relating to Christian counselling have been discussed and, where further study is necessary, an effective bibliography has been provided. Secondly, the book has been divided into six primary sections.
Section I deals with general theories of Christian counselling, the process of integration of psychology and theology, primary schools of secular as well as Christian counselling, what the Scriptures say about the counselling ministry, family life cycle development and how this affects all people, as well as other areas of importance.
Section II presents the two primary views of personality development: Nature vs. Nurture. Also examined are the Temperament Theory, Personality Theory, and specific Counseling Theories.
The Characteristics of Divine Personality, the Work of the Holy Spirit, and Models of Biblical Counseling are explored and expanded on in Section III.
Section IV presents technical aspects of a counselling ministry. It will include principles of psychological assessment, or how to determine what the needs of human beings are. It will guide the reader, step by step, to discover what people feel and what to do once they tell you how they feel. Further, the importance of positive and effective communication is presented.
Included in Section V will be principles of counseling including communication, discipleship models, dealing with individuals, groups, and families, various techniques of counseling, marriage and family counseling issues, as well as how to assist adolescents and children, cross-cultural perspectives in counseling, group counseling, and issues relating to healing, inner healing, and demonology.
Finally, Section VI focuses on specific problems in counselling such as fears and guilt, oppression and deliverance ministry, behaviour and character transformation, human sexuality, forgiveness, and addictive behaviours. Further, the importance of ministerial ethics in counselling, having knowledge of when and how to make effective referrals and how to develop a more effective counselling ministry for yourself will be presented. Also, you will find a glossary of terms and a bibliography of helpful books at the back of this book.
Reading systematically through this volume is recommended. Doing so will make the book come alive, and will become a more effective tool for the reader since each portion of the book builds toward the next. However, each chapter and each section is also designed to be utilized as a reference guide individually.
This subject is also available in eBook format from Smashwords: On Belay
In this way desiring to declare more fully to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, God interposed by an oath, so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 6:17-20)
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