Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling: Models for Sustainable Church-Based Care

Brad Hambrick
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Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling, the first book in the Church-Based Counseling series, provides a framework for guiding churches through the process of building a volunteer-led counseling ministry.

Many churches would like to start a counseling ministry, but they don't know where to start. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling offers direction to churches for creating a ministry built around lay-led counseling groups and mentoring.Based on proven models used in his own congregation, Brad Hambrick lays out a clear plan to launch a sustainable soul-care ministry that can be replicated in churches of any size.

Hambrick brings clarity to common points of confusion about church-based counseling and provides guidance on how to provide oversight for lay-led counseling groups and mentoring relationships.Your church can minister the hope of the gospel to the struggles of life—both sin and suffering—without incurring unwise liability or going beyond the capacity of your members.

  • The first book in the Church-Based Counseling series is designed to help churches mobilize andutilize levels of care from friendship to mentoring to counseling groups.
  • Discover two flexible models of church-based counseling ministry. One addresses common life struggles(the G4 model) and the other focuses on premarital and marital enrichment.
  • Designed to fit within a local church and to be implemented by volunteers.
  • Acknowledges and addresses questions and concerns of liability and ethics of lay counseling as well as the care and well-being of the mentors and leaders.
  • 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.

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"Many churches recognize the need to provide a faithful counseling ministry but simply do not know how to start or what to do. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling addresses these challenges with wisdom, guidance, and practical plans for implementation. Thankfully, this book does not advocate a one-size-fits-all approach but provides adaptable models to choose from. Brad Hambrick is both a seminary professor and a local church counselor and is the perfect person to author this much-needed book."
Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling is the most practical thing I have ever read. Brad's years of experience navigating the problems churches face creating structures is pervasively evident. If you want a sustainable plan for the most common counseling challenges churches encounter, you couldn't do better than this book (and you might want to get a dozen copies to share)."
Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, CCEF (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation); coauthor of Untangling Emotions

"In Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling, Brad comes alongside you and explains exactly what you need to know to start a church-based counseling ministry. He's anticipated your questions and highlights the information that's most important for you, given your church's goals and resources. Reading the book is almost like talking with Brad. Mobilizing is an easy-to-understand guide that you'll refer to often."
Sam Hodges IV, President, Church Initiative (GriefShare and DivorceCare)

"I'm excited to see a book that addresses ethical issues in church-based counseling with such wisdom and clarity. In addition to outlining a practical and innovative model of counseling, this is exactly the book that churches need to help them think through confidentiality, referrals, documentation, and other ethical concerns that can be tricky to navigate in church settings."
Esther Smith, Director of Christian Trauma Counseling; author of A Still and Quiet Mind

"More and more churches are realizing the need to provide soul care to the people in their congregations. However, most pastors and church leaders are overwhelmed by the mere thought of the task. Mobilizing Church-Based Counseling is here to help. Brad Hambrick brings a wealth of insight and knowledge about people, churches, counseling, pastors, and the systems that are needed to bring these things together to offer helpful, biblical, sustainable care through lay counseling ministries. Whether you are looking to start a counseling ministry, seeking wisdom to sustain a struggling counseling ministry, or building on an existing one, Mobilizing will help."
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition; program coordinator for biblical counseling, Boyce College

"Many churches love the idea of being a place of care, but they are sobered by the possibility of hurting rather than helping. Strong pastoral counseling, lay counseling, and counseling groups truly are difficult to do in an organized and effective way. Brad has done church leaders a real service by offering a realistic template for providing relational ministry wisely and well for the problems of life. Highly recommend."
Michael Gembola, Director, Blue Ridge Christian Counseling; author of Anxious about Decisions

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1 Review

  • 5
    rich understanding and resources

    Posted by Danni B on 03 20 2024

    This book, along with the companion Facilitating Counseling Groups, 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. The structure of the book includes an introduction to the basics of church based counseling and three sections that dive into different areas of such a ministry. Navigating Common Points of Confusion Three Spectrums of Counseling Ethics in Church Based Care How Would We Start a Counseling Ministry? There is a chapter that is specifically written and addressed to pastoral staff. The introduction suggests that pastors read this chapter first as it allows them to jump right into the vetting process and “navigate concerns of lability, sustainability, and “fit” with other church ministries.” There is so much good information in this book for churches and ministries that are looking to start a path of biblical counseling. The authors do a great job of emphasizing the vast realm of counseling – what it is, what it looks like, its benefits and rewards, and its end goals. Appendix A is one of my favorite sections as it provides such powerful and useful real life examples of discernment. New Growth Press’ biblical counseling series is a great resource for any church, ministry, small group or individual to read. Whether their models are implemented or not, the information provided in these books is incredibly powerful for strengthening day to day relationships. I received an ecopy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for an honest review.

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