Equipping Counselors for Your Church

Equipping Counselors For Your ChurchBuy an autographed copy of Equipping Counselors for Your Church on Sale at 35% Off

Enjoy the Book Video Trailer

Read a Free Sample Chapter

Read the Table of Contents and Discover a Dozen Ways You’ll Be Equipped

Enjoy Blog Tour One, Blog Tour Two, Blog Tour Three, and Blog Tour Four.

Download a 64-Page Equipping Teaching Resource (Class Syllabus, Discussion and Application Guide, Learning Objectives, and Teaching Outline)

Download the Appendix Table of Contents Listing the 17 Appendices in Equipping Counselors for Your Church

Download Appendix 1.1: Listing of the 24 Best-Practice Disciple-Making Champions

Download Appendix 2.1: Congregational SWORD Heart Exam and Learn How to Assess the Spiritual Health of Your Congregation

Download Seven Appendix Documents on Mission, Vision, Passion, and Commission: Appendix 3.1, Appendix 3.2, Appendix 3.3, Appendix 4.1, Appendix 4.2, Appendix 4.3, and Appendix 4.4.

Download Appendix 5.1: Formal Congregational Vote.

Download Appendix 6.1: Biblical Counseling Information Packet for twenty-pages of resources on enlisting, selecting, interviewing, and recruiting biblical counselors in your church.

Download Appendix 7.1: Biblical Counseling Equipping Goals and Objectives.

Download Appendix 10.1 with documents for assessing trainees, and Appendix 10.2 with sample lesson objectives and outlines.

Download Appendix 11.1 which is the massive Biblical Counseling Ministry Policy and Procedure Manual–over 25 pages of forms, documents, and resources for overseeing your ministry.

Download Appendix 11.2 which provides sample ministry evaluation forms, and Appendix 12.1 which offers a sample Church Discipline Policy.

Download the 25-Page 4E Presentation Handout/Outline

Download 5 Robust PowerPoint Presentations Covering the Outline: 4E PP “Warm-Up Lap”, 4E PP Lap One: Envisioning, 4E PP Lap Two: Enlsiting, 4E PP Lap Three: Equipping, 4E PP Lap Four: Empowering

Download the 20-Page Equipping Counselors Class Syllabus

Download the 15-page Discussion and Application Guide

Download the 4E Learning Objectives

Download the 2-Page Biblical Counseling Ministry Welcome Form

Download two one-page forms for Authorizing Release of Information

Download the 4-Page Biblical Counseling Personal Information Form

Learn about Consulting for the 4E Ministry Training Strategy

Learn how you can host or attend a seminar on Equipping Counselors for Your Church

Why You’ll Want to Read Equipping Counselors for Your Church

You’re passionate about equipping God’s people for every-member-ministry as biblical counselors, small group leaders, spiritual friends, mentors, and one-another ministers. However, you’re tired of seeing great effort expended on “programs” that don’t launch, don’t last, or don’t result in leaving a legacy of loving leaders. So am I. That’s why Equipping Counselors for Your Church teaches you a biblical, field-tested, best-practice approach to equipping God’s people for biblical counseling using the “4E” ministry training strategy of envisioning, enlisting, equipping, and empowering godly ministers for ministry.

What You’ll Learn

After reading Equipping Counselors for Your Church, you will be able to:

1. Envision God’s Ministry: Jointly create mission, vision, passion, and commission (MVP-C) statements that nourish the compassion, conviction, and connection needed to launch flourishing biblical counseling ministries.

2. Enlist God’s Ministers for Ministry: Mobilize ministers by nurturing a family and building a team prepared for change, skilled in conflict resolution, and connected to the MVP-C Statement.

3. Equip Godly Ministers for Ministry: Apply transformational training strategies that comprehensively address the “4Cs” of biblical content, Christ-like character, relational competence, and Christian community.

4. Empower Godly Ministers for Ministry: Oversee the ongoing “organizing of the organism” by leading ministries that are built to last, that grow from gosod to great, and that leave a legacy of loving leaders.

Pastor James MacDonald’s Foreword to Equipping Counselors for Your Church 

4E Logo

As a pastor who has served in the same church for over twenty years, I hold up and preach the Bible not only as God’s timeless Truth, but as practical Truth for every day. If you have been in ministry for very long, you know that there are some knots that can only be untied in a more personal time of sharing God’s Word one-on-one. Historically, the problem has been two-fold: most pastors are not well equipped and their time is very limited. The other issue is Christian counselors coming out of many seminaries and Bible colleges have been taught and bought by the therapeutic culture.

Those who would counsel representing Christ and His church need to get back to the sufficiency and relevance of Christ and the Word in counseling. We need to compliment solid Bible teaching from the pulpit with strong biblical counseling in the office. Church staff members also need to equip non-vocational counselors to meet the needs of the church body.

That is why I could not be more excited about Bob Kellemen and Equipping Counselors for the Local Church. Bob’s thorough research and benchmarking only confirms what our Elders and staff found out as we recently searched the country for the best leaders and models for a solid biblical counseling ministry. This is hard work and it will take an army of well-equipped soldiers to address the issues of people today. However, we don’t just need more biblical counselors, we need gifted equippers and those who can train and mobilize the troops. Equipping Counselors for the Local Church does not teach you how to develop a great “counseling center” in your church, but how to help your church become a full-orbed center for counseling.

Bob has made it his life’s mission to equip the saints for ministry. He is a counselor’s counselor and someone who has gathered the best practices in biblical counseling for over two decades.  He is a champion for what some call the “every person ministry” of speaking the truth in love.  It’s about time someone gave us a careful and biblical blueprint of how to develop an excellent, biblical counseling ministry in the church.

As the Senior Pastor of a growing, multi-campus church, I know the staff will never be enough to meet the needs of our congregation. We increasingly depend on the amazing servant volunteers that we call non-vocational counselors. They may serve as Small Group leaders, ministry leaders, or as formal counselors in our Biblical Soul Care ministries, but they are the backbone of care for our people at Harvest Bible Chapel.

Bob is leading the charge with several other key pastors and biblical counseling leaders who have started the Biblical Counseling Coalition. This book comes on the heels of a new day for biblical counseling in the church. I could not think of a better resource to put into the hands of those who want to know what to do next. You will want this resource on your shelf as you partner with many others in returning godly counsel to our churches, our homes, and our hearts as we equip the saints for the work of ministry.

I am personally encouraged by the men and women like those mentioned in this book. They get that the church is the place God intended for counseling. They get that counseling and discipleship are on the same continuum and that we should be ready to help our people in the family of God. They get that secular care leaves our people wanting and confused.

In this book you will find a thoughtful step-by-step approach to beginning or growing a “lay counseling ministry” in your church. Bob has spent time with the best equippers in the country and has done the work of condensing a mountain of extremely helpful information on these pages. I was particularly struck by his humility as he highlights many of his peers and their model as helpful examples of care in the church. You don’t have to do the time-consuming work of benchmarking your ministry or coming up with forms and procedures because they are all here.

Do yourself a favor and learn from the best. Make the course corrections now and enjoy the fruitfulness of fulfilling the great commission as you teach your people to love and obey God’s Word.”

Dr. James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Author of When Life Is Hard


What Others Are Saying about Equipping Counselors for Your Church 

“Bob Kellemen—trainer and coach extraordinaire—has a simple goal: he wants to see your church’s one-to-one ministry transformed. The way he does that is by giving clear, practical instruction along with a huge package of supplies and tools. And when you follow his coaching you’ll be surprised to find that the result is not so much Bob’s system as it is an equipping model that is specific to your church.”

—Dr. Ed Welch, Ph.D., Faculty Member CCEF, Author of When People Are Big and God Is Small


“So many of us long to see our churches equipped to minister the blessings of God’s Word to one another…and yet somehow it seems all too easy to get bogged down in the how. Bob Kellemen has given the church a tremendous resource—outlining not only the “how but also the “why” and most importantly the “Who.” This is a resource that will revolutionize the way your church does ministry and will give you the resources you need to offer practical help from a many-membered body serving one another and their community.”

—Elyse Fitzpatrick, MA, Author of Counsel from the Cross


“Dr. Bob Kellemen knows that God has called all of His children to be active participants in the ministry community that He designed the church to be. Bob also knows that it is not enough to give people a vision and call them to commitment; they must also be biblically trained. Equipping of the Body of Christ for personal ministry has been Bob’s life work. This practical, step-by-step equipping manual is the mature fruit of that life-long commitment.”

—Dr. Paul Tripp, D.Min., Founder and President of Paul Tripp Ministries, Author of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand


“This is a must-read book for every person who longs to see their church be more effective at helping people grow and handle the issues of everyday life. It is intensely biblical with a model that flows right out of the pages of Scripture. Yet it is equally practical. You will be encouraged and equipped to be a person who…encourages and equips. My friend Bob Kellemen has done a masterful job at helping us all think about how to be truly effective in the culture in which Christ has placed us.”

—Pastor Steve Viars, D.Min., Sr. Pastor, Faith Baptist Church, Lafayette, IN; Author of Putting Your Past in Its Place


Equipping Counselors for Your Church is an excellent resource for both individual leaders and also group discussion. The insight gained from years of experience by Dr. Kellemen and the twenty-four best practice churches is evident throughout the book. This is the book for you if you want to launch a biblical counseling ministry or if you want your church’s current counseling ministry to move to a place of increased effectiveness? Use Equipping Counselors for Your Church to help you identify the issues and solutions in your situation.”

—Randy Patten, Executive Director, National Association of Nouthetic Counselors


“This is the book we needed years ago at Mars Hill Church to help us re-think our counseling ministries. By God’s grace, we ended up with something like what Dr. Kellemen envisions; but save yourself the trouble we endured and let Bob’s wisdom guide you strategically through the process. In fact, join me: I’ll be using this book to re-think it all over again.”

—Mike Wilkerson, Pastor of Biblical Living, Mars Hill Church, Seattle, WA; Author of Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry


Bob Kellemen’s Equipping Counselors for Your Church is a desperately needed gift to pastors and church leaders for helping the church to envision, enlist, equip, and empower the saints for the work of ministry. Bob’s seasoned, insightful, and humble experience emerges in each chapter and is also reflected in his detailed appendices. I highly recommend this work whether you are just starting out or you have been in the trenches for years. I was personally encouraged and challenged in addition to coming away with many ideas that I will use to assess my own ministry.

—Pastor Robert K. Cheong, Ph.D., Pastor of Care and Counseling, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky


“Bob Kellemen knows equipping biblical counselors from A-to-Z. He has done a tremendous job of structuring a step-wise strategy to develop the lay counselors in your church. In his humble style, Bob has gathered the best leaders of local church counseling ministries and done the work of bench-marking for you. This is a book that you will reference often as you help the hurting, and equip the saints for the work of soul care in your church.”

—Pastor Garrett Higbee, Psy.D., Executive Director of Biblical Soul Care Ministries, Harvest Bible Chapel, Elgin, Illinois


“Dr. Kellemen has produced a landmark book that fills a significant vacuum in the biblical counseling literature: a comprehensive work that not only offers an exceptional overview of biblical counseling, but also provides a wise, strategic, and thoughtful guide outlining the essentials of developing a robust counseling ministry within the local church. Equipping Counselors for the Local Church has the potential to influence a massive paradigm shift in how ministry is exercised in the Body of Christ both now and in future generations.”

—Jeremy Lelek, M.A., L.P.C., President, Association of Biblical Counselors


“Dr. Bob Kellemen is a born encourager, coach, and equipper. His vision and enthusiasm are contagious! Bob has thought carefully about how to foster effective counseling of those struggling with sin and suffering in the context of the local church, and encourage informal disciple-making among all members. The result is this comprehensive resource, which will take your congregation through envisioning your unique counseling ministry, enlisting, equipping, and leading counselors, and administering your program. Whether you are a pastor, ministry leader, or a church member who’s already caught the biblical counseling vision, there’s something in this manual for you. Read it and dare to dream.”

—Dr. Laura Hendrickson, Psychiatrist, Biblical Counselor, Author of Will Medicine Stop the Pain?


“Dr. Kellemen’s book fills a long-standing gap in Christian counseling and church-based ministry literature. It is an excellent resource for church leaders or counselors who are looking for practical biblical guidance, including instructions and all the necessary nuts-and-bolts, in developing the one-to-one, personal ministry component in their church’s spectrum of care.  It is marvelously comprehensive and systematic, while at the same time flexible enough to apply to a variety of church personalities.”

—Dr. Sam R. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


“This is a remarkable book. Bob Kellemen has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of combining sound Christian theology, informed biblical counseling principles, and practical training procedures into a guidebook for developing a counseling ministry in the local church. While some books focus on counseling models, the structure of training programs, or on counseling techniques, Dr. Kellemen has demonstrated the importance of addressing a comprehensive biblical approach to counseling in the church. Bob gives you the information necessary to build a complete biblical counseling ministry. He walks you through each step and shows you how to make counseling ministry unique to your church, not borrowed and artificially applied, but intrinsic to the God-given vision and biblical mission of the local body of believers. The result is a thoroughly biblical book that provides rich material for ministers, seminary students, and people interested in developing care-giving ministries. This is a ‘must’ book for anyone interested in counseling and the church.”

—Ian F. Jones, Ph.D., Ph.D., Baptist Community Ministries’ Chair of Pastoral Counseling, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


“I am alarmed in our ever-increasing multiethnic urban society at how many people faithfully attend Bible believing churches with a successful external appearance while living in unbelievable personal and family dysfunction! Bob Kellemen’s call for and guidance towards a revolution of humble growing biblical counselors within the church is a timely resource for an urgent need.”

—Dr. A. Charles Ware, President, Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, IN; Author of  Darwin’s Plantation: Evolution’s Racist Roots


“Do you ever wish someone would help you better envision, understand, organize and implement personal ministry in your local church? If so, this book is for you. Who wouldn’t value an opportunity to sit with twenty-five leaders in biblical counseling—just to hear the conversation, listen to the interaction, learn from the dialogue, and benefit from the exchange of ideas in order to capture the challenges, commitments, struggles, vision, discernment, strategy and passion of these experienced and skilled counselors? After interacting with twenty-four ministry leaders, Dr. Bob Kellemen serves as your personal coach, giving you insight on how to better serve the Body of Christ. As you seek to serve those God has called you to help grow and maneuver through the challenges of life, this book will help you understand, plan, develop and implement authentic and lasting personal ministry in your church.”

—Pastor Kevin Carson, D.Min., Pastor, Sonrise Baptist Church, Ozark, Missouri