The difference between counselling and pastoring is…

The difference between counselling and pastoring is charging.

A good counsellor will only ever help people to identify and make up their own mind about morality. They might try and influence it, but they will never ever impose their own beliefs on their clients. (Ok, they “should” never do that… I have heard of many bad counsellors that do).

But although Pastoring includes helping people work though their issues, it is not limited to that. Pastoring includes telling people right from wrong, calling people to repent from things they don’t actually think are wrong… all done prayerfully and from the pages of the bible. Pastoring includes charging people with their responsibilities before God.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2Timothy 4:1-2


One thought on “The difference between counselling and pastoring is…

  1. Perhaps saying the same thing differently is: counselling needs personal connection, but pastoring is at risk when the primary criterion is ‘how we get on.’

    I often advise people to shop around if seeking counselling. If the connection doesn’t happen with a particular counsellor, that’s OK, not a failure.

    But I don’t tell people to shop around for pastors (their Christian dad, employed minister, etc). In that case, God’s gospel created the relationship – so work together to trust & live the gospel.

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