Pastoral Counselling offers the Church an immense opportunity for diverse ministry within both the congregation and the broader community. Pastoral counselling is normally perceived as an action that takes place only in a counselling room or study. The perception is also that this interaction is limited to the counsellor (or pastor acting as counsellor) and the one or more individuals who face a counselling crisis. This limited view has deprived pastoral counselling of its tremendous contribution to an assembly’s ministry potential.
We face many challenges in the post-modern societies that we live in. It is not only financial constraints and unemployment that people have to deal with. There are numerous other social challenges that the church has to address. In an assembly in close proximity to ATS, the pastor has discovered that more than 75% of his female congregants were abused at some stage in their lives as children. This has a dire effect on their adult functionality and on their experiencing God as a loving Father. Trauma experiences are part and parcel of our post-modern society, resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome in many peoples’ lives. Intimate partner abuse and family violence is rife in too many communities. The list is almost endless, describing the post-modern life-style that both Christians and non-Christians have to cope with on a daily basis.