Developing and Maintaining a Thriving Lay Counseling Ministry

September 15, 2016 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

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Siang-Yang Tan
Eric Scalise

Lay helping within the Church and among parachurch organizations is a rapidly growing and global phenomenon. The movement is due, in part, to the shortage of professionally trained clinicians, the lack of regulatory infrastructure in many countries, and the resulting need to provide mental health services to millions of hurting and broken people, and those who fall between the cracks. This in-depth, 12-hour workshop intensive will cover initial planning considerations and core guidelines for developing an effective lay counseling or lay helping ministry from a biblical perspective. Using two major models: informal organized and formal organized, the selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of lay counselors and helpers will be addressed, along with the role of mental health professionals. Specific attention will be given to Christian integration, as well as pertinent multicultural and ethical, legal, and liability issues.

Training Modules
Session 1: Casting the Vision: A Call to Care and the Biblical Basis for Lay Counseling
Session 2: Planning and Building a Dynamic Ministry: Choosing an Effective Model
Session 3: Having the Right Foundation: Selecting and Training Lay Counselors
Session 4: Guarding the Sacred Trust: Supervising and Evaluating Lay Counselors
Session 5: The Role of the Church and the Christian Community: Liability, Ethics, and the Law
Session 6: Coming Full Circle and Finishing Well: Compassion Fatigue and Self-care

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Develop a broad understanding and vision regarding the need for lay caregiving and counseling in the local church and be able to formulate a biblical basis for these types of ministries and programs
2. Receive a practical “blueprint” for planning and initiating a successful lay counseling or lay helping ministry from a biblical perspective using two, major models: informal organized and formal organized
3. Identify and integrate a strategic plan regarding the selection and training requirements necessary for creating a solid foundation and a successful ministry launch
4. Learn how to establish systematic programs and protocols for the ongoing supervision of lay counselors, including the oversight and evaluation of ministry effectiveness
5. Understand legal, ethical, and liability issues in protecting the Church, care receivers, and lay counselors, as well as the critical partnership between the Church and community-based resources
6. Articulate the components of ministry-related stress and compassion fatigue, and how to craft a comprehensive and individualized stress prevention and management plan