Facilitating Counseling Groups: A Leader's Guide for Group-Based Counseling Ministry

Brad Hambrick and John Chapman
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Facilitating Counseling Groups, the second book in the Church-Based Counseling series, provides training for lay leaders to guide a group-based church counseling ministry (G4 model) that addresses common life struggles.

Leading a counseling group is different from leading a general discipleship group, even if both exist at the same church. A counseling group focuses on a specific need, garners heightened levels of vulnerability about matters of greater sensitivity, and requires more skill and intentionality from its leader.When a layperson is well-equipped, this kind of ministry is tremendously rewarding, as they see God multiply the work he did in their life with people walking a similar journey. 

Brad Hambrick and John Chapman equip lay leaders to be effective in a group-based counseling ministry within the church. By learning how to use their life experiences and a group curriculum to help others overcoma life-dominating struggle of sin or suffering, leaders will learn to share the comfort and hope for change that can only come from God.  

  • Part of the Church-Based Counseling series designed to help churches mobilize and utilize levels of care from friendship to mentoring to counseling groups.  
  • Introduces readers to the G4 model of group-based counseling. 
  • Outlines the dynamics of leading a topic-specific peer counseling group and underscores the importance of ongoing support and training for group facilitators. 
  • Includes foreword by J. D. Greear 


Brad Hambrick, ThM, EdD, serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, and has authored several books, including Making Sense of Forgiveness, Angry with God, and The Church-Based Counseling series, and served as general editor for the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused curriculum. 

John Chapman, MDiv, serves as the Director of G4 Recovery-Support Group Ministries at The Summit Church in Durham, NC. He holds an M.Div. in Biblical Counseling and is pursuing a Doctor of Education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. John and his wife Jennifer have two children and live in North Carolina. 

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Facilitating Counseling Groups is one of the rare how-to books that answers more questions than it raises. You’ll discover how a group’s needs reveal the best way to help its members, how to deal with challenging participants and circumstances, what your goals should be for each stage of your group, and more. Facilitating finally takes the mystery out of leading counseling groups.”
Sam Hodges IV, President, Church Initiative (GriefShare and DivorceCare)

“Almost fifteen years ago I started biblical counseling in a group format. It is one of the most impactful things a church can do to build a soul-care culture. Brad and John have laid out a helpful step-by-step approach to getting group-based discipleship and care going in your church. This book is long overdue, and I recommend it to anyone considering building a recovery or soul-care ministry that includes a group format.” 
Garrett Higbee, President, Soul Care Consulting; director, Lead Healthy Retreats (TSNI)

“I’m often asked, ‘How can I get equipped for ministry?’ Facilitating Counseling Groups is one of the best group-based ministry-equipping tools I've ever read! It provides detailed, practical guidance from two leaders who have been equipped personally through years in the trenches of face-to-face ministry with sufferers and sinners. This book gives you priceless wisdom for your ministry tool belt.”
Ellen Mary Dykas, Director of Equipping for Ministry to Women, Harvest USA; author of Jesus and Your Unwanted Journey: Wives Finding Comfort after Sexual Betrayal

Facilitating Counseling Groups is a comprehensive guide for churches who want to train lay leaders on how to facilitate group-based counseling ministry using the G4 model, which emphasizes targeted discipleship. I highly recommend this excellent resource to all church leaders who want to bring healing and hope to those in their congregation who are hurting and need more support. This is the best-kept secret that the church needs today.”
Shannon Kay McCoy, Biblical Counseling Director, Valley Center Community Church; council member, Biblical Counseling Coalition; author of Help! I’m A Slave to Food

“For those who have no experience with group counseling, this book is highly accessible. For those looking to enhance their existing groups ministry, this book is remarkably comprehensive. As more biblical counselors embrace the validity of groups, this book will surely become THE guide for facilitating from a biblical perspective.”
David and Krista Dunham, Counselors, Sparrow & Heart Soul Care; authors of Table for Two: Biblical Counsel for Eating Disorders

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2 Reviews

  • 4
    Great book - it's the second in a series

    Posted by Molly Gant on 05 29 2024

    This is a good book for your church - the only thing is that it is the second one in a series, so be sure to purchase the first of the series before reading.

  • 5
    great flexible template

    Posted by Danni B on 03 20 2024

    This book, along with the companion Mobilizing Church Based Counseling, is extremely needed in our churches and culture today. It seems no matter what way we turn, we are bombarded with human issues that require biblical counseling. Unfortunately, biblical counseling is not prevalent in most churches or communities. Hambrick and Chapman do an amazing job of introducing biblical counseling, its need and importance, and implementing it within a church body in their Mobilizing companion book but in this book, they walk through in great detail how to get such a ministry started. They provide an amazing amount of practical information, layouts, formats, templates, etc. that can be modified to fit each unique scenario. They structure the book with an introduction and three sections with a total of twenty three chapters. The sections include: Understanding the Life Cycle of a Night of G4 Supporting the Life Cycle of Group Participants Facilitating the Life Cycle of a Group I would argue that this book is more of a handbook, an instruction manual, for starting a biblical counseling group in your church. They present the basics to have a foundational understanding. They present starting points to follow and implement. They present multiple scenarios and options in group facilitation that best fit the unique characteristics of your church. This is definitely a resource that will be referenced many times when beginning a biblical counseling ministry. Ultimately, this book could become extremely overwhelming with the amount of information presented and the challenges that come with it. That’s why I suggest that this book is read alongside its Mobilizing companion book. The two together are powerful and eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed and ill-equipped. I received an ecopy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

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