I’ve addressed a wide range of issues in counseling others in the past three decades as a pastor.
It would be impossible to adequately prepare young leaders for handling the many issues encountered in ministry today.
The landscape of society is extraordinarily complicated — due primarily to the breakdown of the family over the last four decades.
Those who aspire to leadership are typically driven by strong desires to help others. But something must be done to protect new leaders from too much trial and error. There is a significant risk of hurting those under their care when you’re unprepared to handle issues but believe you’re qualified.
Even worse, some efforts to help could actually bring disrepute to pastoral ministry as well as to the gospel itself.
A new pastor must expect to be approached with issues beyond the scope of his preparation. These leaders (like all others) must be postured with the humility necessary to acknowledge that they will not always have adequate answers to complex problems.
But things become difficult when these leaders enter ministry with the belief that the Bible is enough for all of our problems. And then they conclude that since they know the Bible, they are ready to address every issue adequately.
Leaders easily feel obligated to have answers for every problem they encounter. This is where they might fall for the temptation to reduce all of life’s problems to spiritual issues needing spiritual solutions.
This can become even more harmful when a leaders’ ego is inflated with a misguided spiritualized sense of authority about the Bible being all we need to solve all our problems.
So I am writing to challenge new leaders to realize that simplistically naïve or reductionistic answers to complicated matters can both hurt and mislead people.
Please do not misunderstand me.
I am completely committed to the Scriptures when they are rightly and fully applied in context. God speaks powerfully to the matters of this life both directly and in principle throughout Scripture.
I am concerned about wrongful or simplistic uses of the Bible as the magical cure book for everything we encounter.
I’ve written three posts expanding on this concern as a kind of warning to young leaders and to Christian counselors.
If interested in these posts (and a bit more), find them here,