Caring for the Souls of Children: A Biblical Counselor's Manual (eBook)

Biblical Counseling Coalition
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Coming alongside struggling children can feel like an uphill battle. Yet children struggle with the same desires adults struggle with, are lured by the same lies adults fall prey to, and can find hope in the same source adults can find hope—in Jesus. This manual helps counselors share Christ—the way, the truth, and the life—while tailoring interactions and teachings to the understanding of children. Articles are written by a wide range of biblical counselors, authors, and pastors who have worked with children for many years including Amy Baker, Julie Lowe, Marty Machowski, Jessica Thompson, Jonathan Holmes, Michael R. Emlet, Garrett Higbee, Edward T. Welch, Kevin Carson, Harvest USA, Charles Hodges, Joni and Friends, Bob Kellemen, and Pam Bauer. 

Caring for the Souls of Childrenequips counselors, parents, pastors, and other helpers who love children, to boldly trust in the sufficiency of Scripture for counseling. Edited by counselor and author Amy Baker, this in-depth resource begins with an overview of foundational principles for counseling children and addresses a different counseling topic in each subsequent chapter. Topics addressed include a wide variety of general and specific issues that children face including anxiety, anger, abuse, suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, shame, grief, disability, disease, sexual identity, and many others. 


Amy Baker, PhD, Editor, is the ministry resource director at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN), a member of the board of directors for Vision of Hope, instructor and counselor at Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, and the author of Getting to the Heart of Friendships and Picture Perfect: When Life Doesn't Line Up as well as several counseling minibooks. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children. 

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“Every child struggles to find his or her way in life, but for children dealing with a disability, finding the way can seem filled with dead ends. How do we shepherd a child through those difficult seasons? In Caring for the Souls of Children, you will find a rich resource of wise insights, seasoned advice, and solid biblical guidance to help children view their limitations from God's point of view. I give this much-needed book a double thumbs-up!”

Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center 

"Some books over-promise, but not this one. On all the most pressing issues in counseling (and parenting!) children, Caring for the Souls of Children delivers with grace and wisdom. I highly recommend this resource." 
Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation(CCEF)

“This wonderful book about counseling children (and teens) fills an important gap in biblical counseling resources. We are reminded that children experience the same kinds of problems and fears that adults do and thus need our help. This book will be of great practical use as the authors present many realistic counseling situations in which they walk the reader through a wise, compassionate, and biblical way to help hurting children. This resource will be a of great help to pastors and counselors who work with children and teens. I plan to highly recommend it to all of my students.” 
Jim NewheiserDirector of the Christian Counseling Program and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary;Executive Director, The Institute for Biblical Counseling and DIscipleship (IBCD) 

“As a longtime biblical counseling pastor and now professor, I have waited over thirty years for a book like this! Amy Baker and her team provide a one-stop shop of readable, gospel-centered, biblically-driven strategies to help counselors and caring adults minister to kids facing all sorts of struggles. Children need Jesus; this book helps us bring him to them.” 
Robert D. Jones, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Pursuing Peace and Anger: Calming Your Heart 

“If you work with children, in any capacity, you need Caring for the Souls of Children. This counseling manual is a rich, robust resource addressing the vast array of issues related to child soul care. It provides introduction to methodology and theory, addresses common but often overlooked aspects of counseling children, and delves into the darkest challenges a counselor will face with instruction for counseling topics like self-harm, trauma, and post-suicide counseling.” 
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition 

“Dr. Amy Baker and her team of writers have greatly served the church of Jesus Christ by assembling this important book. The chapters are both practical and theologically robust. Surely the Lord is pleased when counselors give special care to ministering to children. These truths will also be helpful to parents, teachers, and children’s ministry leaders.” 
Steve ViarsSenior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, IN; author Loving Your Community 

“Whether to counsel children and how to counsel children are some of the most common questions within the biblical counseling movement, yet there have been few resources available on this topic. Thankfully, a team of well-qualified counselors and trusted authors have worked together to fill a gap in the biblical counseling literature. If you counsel and you have struggled knowing how to serve the children in your community, then this resource is a must-read.” 
Rob GreenPastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries, Faith Church, Lafayette, IN; author of Tying the Knot and Tying Their Shoes 

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2 Reviews

  • 4
    Very helpful for parents and biblical counselors alike

    Posted by Wendy on 09 20 2020

    This great resource speaks to many situations that children face, and provides biblical counselors and parents with tools and advice to address them pastorally and with care.  Beginning by addressing foundational and methodological issues and developmental stages, it encourages counselors to reach out to children with gospel truths and comfort. This provides a framework, which is then used as the focus turns to numerous specific counseling issues that are addressed by different authors. Children and their relationships includes leading children to Jesus, the relationship with parents and friendships. Children and their emotions, included helping those who are anxious, angry, dealing with shame, and what to consider after a suicide attempt. Children and their bodies covers talking about sex, sexual identity, children who self harm, and those with a disability or disease. All were balanced, helpful, compassionate and contained wise advice. Finally, children and trauma covers abuse, children of divorce, facing grief and death, and children not living with their biological parents. Some observations: * Each chapter is structured around an example of a child and their situation, which is then used as springboard to consider the wider issue. It’s a helpfully concrete way in to considering the issue being addressed. * Numerous authors refer to the Psalms as a way in to talking with children and giving them the language they need. This reflects the reality that children can gain as much truth, comfort, instruction and wisdom from Scripture as adults, and we should desire to lead children to these truths and help them find ways to absorb them and apply them to themselves. * Every chapter has a ‘word to parents’, making this book extremely accessible to carers as as well as biblical counselors. These assist parents to reach out and care for their children, while being aware of their own struggles. * You shouldn’t read this and then expect to be fully equipped to counsel children. This would be one of many resources you would want to have before you proceed. However, the wisdom and insight contained within will encourage those who counsel children (both ‘officially’ and ‘unofficially’) to consider how the gospel impacts all aspects of a child’s life and circumstances, and how to journey with them to see the Lord is for them and with them. * Similarly, it’s true that God’s word is indeed sufficient, but it needs to be applied wisely, well and appropriately. This book is a help to that end, but not the only resource and skills you would want. Some chapters (eg the one on abuse) really only started to address the issues, rather than being comprehensive. In conclusion, this is a good guide for parents, caregivers and counselors as they reach out to children, helping them to see God is at work, is in control and loves them, through the complexities of life. I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • 4
    Really Helpful Book!

    Posted by Alistair Chalmers on 09 17 2020

    Pastoring and counselling people is tough! It’s hard to know what to say at times and it’s hard to know when to listen and when to speak. Counsellors are a huge blessing to the church and with their professional expertise they can be a great help. Many pastors are learning not eh job as they go, pulling on different resources and helpful tips to help us along the way. One of the hardest ages to care for pastorally, in my opinion, is children. Here is a resource that will help with that. Whether you’re a pastor, a parent, a teacher, a friend or a family member, this book will be a great resource to have on your shelf. Too often we think that children are too little to think through what the Bible teaches and how it changes lives. It’s so easy to simplify answers to children’s questions because we think that the same answers we would give adults are too complicated. This all transfers over to how we care for them and pastor them as well. Here’s what Amy Baker says about that “For children, the struggles, desires, and hopes are no different than for those of us who are adults. Therefore, the counsel we provide for them should lead them to the same place—the good news of Jesus Christ.” The book is split into two parts. In the first part the foundations and methodological issues for counselling children are presented. In the second part specific issues or areas are addressed where children may need counselling. The book address four broad subject; children and their relationships, emotions, bodies and trauma. Under each brand category there are multiple chapters written by different counsellors to aid the reader. This book covers so much ground it is quite remarkable. One of the things that I like about this book is that it’s a collaboration of different authors and counsellors. Each chapter is written by an expert, or experienced, person in that field. Another thing I really liked about this book is the importance that it puts on God’s Word for counselling. The number of different authors of the chapters is one of the reason that this book is such a helpful tool. Pages of experienced pastors, authors and biblical counsellors equipping the reader to sensitively and faithfully care for the soul of a child. I’m really thankful that I read this book and would highly recommend it to parents, people in ministry and those who are thinking about pursuing a career in biblical counselling. If you want to seriously consider how you can care for children in some of the very relevant but difficult areas of life today, I suggest that you get this book. Each page is full of wisdom and valuable insights that will help to equip you to counsel children, ask the right questions and go to the right Scriptures.

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