Counseling Guide for Church Leaders

Elders, deacons and ushers are often asked to counsel church members who are facing serious problems. Every ministry leader should be prepared to give scriptural answers to difficult questions.

How to Pray for Salvation

  1. Work in teams of two.
  2. Use a template for sharing the gospel.
  3. Give them information from the Bible, not just your opinion.
  4. Pray for them to accept the gift of salvation.
  5. Lead them in a simple prayer of commitment.

How to Pray for Healing

  1. Work in teams of three.
  2. Anoint the person’s head with oil.
  3. Place your hand on their shoulder.
  4. Join with the other elders in a simple prayer.
  5. Be positive and encouraging.

How to Counsel During an Altar Call

  1. Listen for instructions from the pastor.
  2. Ask why they came forward and focus on that.
  3. Be friendly, courteous and conscious of the time.
  4. Answer the questions you can and ask for help if necessary.
  5. Introduce them to other members of the church.

Scriptures About Sin

  1. Sin is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).
  2. Sin leads to unrighteousness (1 John 5:17).
  3. Sin is not of faith (Romans 14:23).
  4. It is a sin to know to do good and not do it (James 4:17).
  5. Unbelief is sin (John 16:9).
  6. All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23).
  7. All of us have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).
  8. Nobody is righteous (Romans 3:10).
  9. Sin brings death (Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23).
  10. We die in our sins (John 8:24).

Scriptures About the Solution to Sin

  1. We can have everlasting life (John 3:16).
  2. He that has the Son has life (1 John 5:12).
  3. God sent Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8).
  4. God will forgive you (1 John 1:9).

Scriptures About Salvation

  1. We must be born again (John 3:3).
  2. We become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  3. We become sons of God (John 1:12).
  4. We receive a new life in Christ (Galatians 2:20).
  5. A new birth is necessary (John 3:6).
  6. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  7. We receive everlasting life by hearing and believing (John 5:24).
  8. We are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).
  9. All who believe in Jesus are justified (Acts 13:39).

Scriptures About Assurance and Security

  1. We can know we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
  2. God is able to keep us (2 Timothy 1:12, Jude 24).
  3. We are kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:5).
  4. We can be confident of God’s work in us (Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2).
  5. We are created for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
  6. Those who receive Jesus become sons and daughters (John 1:12).
  7. Nothing can separate us from God (Romans 8:38-30).

Scriptures About Dedicating Ourselves to God

  1. Commit your way to the Lord (Psalms 37:5).
  2. Trust in the Lord and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Scriptures About Victory

  1. Victory belongs to the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:11-13).
  2. God gives us victory through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
  3. Faith gives us victory to overcome (1 John 5:4).
  4. Greater is He who is in us (1 John 4:4).
  5. In all things we are more than conquers (Romans 8:37).
  6. We overcome evil by the blood of the lamb (Revelation 12:11).

Scriptures About the Love of God

  1. For God so loved the world (John 3:16).
  2. His love for us never ends (Jeremiah 31:3).

While there’s obviously a big difference between biblical and secular counselors, the goals of both should be to help people in their time of need. Pastors and church leaders should always be prepared to counsel members when those times arise.