Spiritual Friends

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Why You’ll Want to Read Spiritual Friends–The Remedy to “Take Two Verses and Call Me in the Morning”

Want to change lives? Spiritual Friends is the remedy to “take two verses and call me in the morning.” It helps you to help your friends. It’s a biblically relevant training manual and a relationally practical workbook for relating God’s truth to human relationships. Whether you’re a loving lay person, a caring pastor, a competent professional Christian counselor, or a student-in-training, Spiritual Friends will equip you to master the personal ministry of the Word. Enrich your spiritual friendships with 1000s of illustrative interactions and 100s of skill-building exercises. Learn 22 relational competencies for sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding God’s people.


“In Spiritual Friends, the second of a three-volume series on Christian Counseling, Dr. Kellemen continues to provide biblically based wisdom for Christian counseling. Focusing on how Christian friends can contribute to personal healing, he supplies a resource that can be used by lay, pastoral, and professional counselors. He skillfully equips his reader to think biblically, diagnose with wisdom, and intervene through relational interactions. His approach embodies the ‘bear one another’s burdens’ principle with great sensitivity and boldness.”

-Dr. Archibald Hart, Executive Editor, American Association of Christian Counselors

“I know of no other book that offers counselors, pastors, ministry leaders, and spiritual coaches as comprehensive and biblical a resource for learning and teaching the art of soul care than Spiritual Friends. It accomplishes what few books have ever attempted to do-lay out for us in very practical terms the Bible’s marvelously rich, but complex, pathway for cultivating the art of being a true spiritual friend. It’s a book designed to give you an intense work-out, stretching your capacity to help others grow and change in ways that you probably have never imagined.”

-Dr. Kevin Huggins, Provost, Philadelphia Biblical University, Author of Friendship Counseling

“Deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures and in the best wisdom of pastoral theology, Spiritual Friends will bless and challenge everyone who reads it. Spiritual Friends reminds us that spiritual fitness requires more than introspection and private devotions. We live and grow in relationship to others, especially our friends. Friendship is a word Jesus used to describe his relationship to his disciples, and Dr. Kellemen shows why spiritual friendship is essential to a healthy and normal Christian life.”

-Dr. Timothy George, Executive Editor, Christianity Today, Dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University

“Spiritual Friends is a remarkable book revealing the work of an author who is equally comfortable in the fields of counseling and pastoral theology. It is refreshing to read counseling theory that truly emphasizes truth embodied in the Word of God rather than reducing the Word of God to a condiment sprinkled onto psychological theory. Kellemen has the heart of a pastor, the wisdom of a counselor, and the expertise of a man trained carefully in counseling theory. He has successfully married the Bible and its truths with human needs.

-Dr. Don Fowler, Professor of Biblical Studies and Campus Pastor, Liberty University

“Spiritual Friends is a truly meaningful treatment of the spiritual, theological, and psychological dimensions of counseling, soul care, spiritual formation, and the relationships between them. It will serve as a practical training manual and an intensive resource handbook for those who approach the helping of people from a thoroughly Christian and biblical point of view.”

-Dr. Richard Averbeck, Director, the Spiritual Formation Forum, Old Testament Professor, TEDS

“Spiritual Friends unveils a profound way of living as a Christian within the body of Christ. After reading Dr. Kellemen’s book, you will not be satisfied to sit in the pew expecting only to be ministered to. You will be moved to something far greater and more exciting. His stimulating exercises will challenge you to examine yourself in the light of a rich theology of relational ministry. His scriptural suggestions for doing the work of a spiritual friend will equip you to relate to others, perhaps in a way you never thought possible. Today’s Church needs to be reminded of these insights, packaged by Dr. Kellemen in vivid examples, relevant application questions, and a thorough reflection on the Scriptures.”

-Dr. Jeff Forrey, Chairman, Department of Biblical Counseling, Trinity Theological Seminary

“Dr. Kellemen skillfully relates compelling life narratives that keep the reader flipping pages to get to the end of the story. He offers a grace-filled approach to teaching the ministry and art of helping relationships. Spiritual Friends is brimming with biblical wisdom framed within the call to relationship. What a pleasure it has been to read such an excellent book. I will use Spiritual Friends for our Counseling Skills classes and for teaching lay counseling seminars.”

-Dr. Tammy Schultz, Department Chairperson MA in Counseling, Grace College

“For the past thirty-five years as a pastor, I’ve experienced the incredible way in which God can use ‘spiritual friends’ in healing hurts inside the Church. Dr. Kellemen’s statement, ‘shared sorrow is endurable sorrow’ is a powerful truth that Spiritual Friends helps Christians understand and practice. This ability and sensitivity is vitally needed in the Church today. Spiritual Friends will be essential in equipping believers to serve as listeners, helpers, and healers of hurting people in the Body of Christ.”

-Dr. Darrell Farney, U.S. Director, Evangelism Explosion Central Region

“The Soul Physician’s series by Dr. Kellemen provides a solid theoretical and practical foundation for Christian counseling. With both seminary and counselor training, Bob is uniquely qualified for this undertaking which is highly evident in his writing. A biblical framework for understanding discipleship, mentoring, and counseling permeates the series. Blending the theoretical with the practical, I believe readers will find Spiritual Friends beneficial, both for professional counseling and personal ministry.

-Dr. Michael Firmin, Chair Department of Psychology, Cedarville University

“We have all experienced, either directly or indirectly, the ‘dark night of the soul’ and felt the deep longing for a genuine spiritual friendship. Dr. Kellemen has uniquely captured in this book the essence of such spiritual friendship. He has deftly balanced content-a strong biblical base and extensive counseling research-with practicality by utilizing numerous worksheets designed to help the readers understand themselves and their spiritual journey along with how to develop themselves in the art of spiritual friendship. This is a must volume for everyone who is serious about developing and being a spiritual friend to those who are experiencing their own ‘dark night of the soul.'”

-Dr. Ray Naugle, Vice President and Dean, Lancaster Bible College Graduate School

“A fresh, foundational work on the biblical theology and methodology of counseling has been a great need in the field of Christian counseling. While others have made worthy initial attempts citing isolated passages of Scripture, The Soul Physician’s Library begins with the Bible and builds biblically thereon. Dr. Kellemen’s work is the first and only to take people directly from the content of Scripture to the needs of real people where they hurt and need help. Spiritual Friends provides hands-on, practical direction for implementing biblical counseling-it will prove to be an invaluable tool equipping believers to relate God’s truth to human relationships.”

-Professor Gregory Stephens, Assistant to the Academic Dean, Temple Baptist Seminary

“Spiritual Friends is an in-depth systematic theology of what it means to ‘bear one another’s burdens’ and help others be conformed to the image Christ. Dr. Kellemen has meditated deeply on how to compassionately and graciously live incarnationally. My mind was challenged, my relationships skills sharpened, and my soul refreshed.

-Dr. Ernie Baker, Senior Pastor, Harvest Baptist Church, Blacksburg, VA, NANC Certified

“With keen biblical insight coupled with a heart of grace, Dr. Kellemen has provided the twenty-first century church with a vital how to manual on the art of soul care and spiritual direction. Spiritual Friends has personally revolutionized my thinking and approach to helping hurting people find hope and healing. I will return to it repeatedly as I help guide people to maturity in Christ. Spiritual Friends is a must read for anyone involved in the ministry of helping people.”

-Pastor Jeff Hudson, Director of Maturity, Christian Fellowship Church of Evansville, IN

“As a secularly-trained Marriage and Family Therapist, Soul Physicians provided me the biblical base and scriptural structure to employ my skills in a Christ-centered manner. As an AAMFT clinical supervisor, Spiritual Friends offers me a practical, hands-on resource in helping equip lay and professional counselors for a soul care ministry. Regardless of your therapeutic orientation or psychology/theology framework, Dr. Kellemen’s work demonstrates effective methods for applying foundational concepts in the service of Christian counseling.”

-Dr. Gerald Teague, LCMFT, Assistant Dean (Retired), University of Maryland

“Spiritual Friends is an insightful and thought-provoking book that will equip anyone with the desire to help others to take biblical truth and relate it relevantly and powerfully to the lives of hurting and hardened people. This ready-to-use resource, part “Workbook” and part “How to” manual, will most definitely provide you with the relational competencies necessary to practice genuine biblical counseling. Dr. Kellemen’s experience as a pastor, teacher, professor, and spiritual friend results in one of the most well balanced works available today on the subject of pastoral counseling. His transparent, practical, and engaging style of writing will help you to build stronger, richer and more Christlike communities.”

-Pastor Milton Johnson, Associate Pastor, Chantilly Bible Church of Chantilly, VA

“Spiritual Friends is an extremely helpful resource for all Christians who are serious about Christian community. It will be a welcome addition to the toolbox of professional counselors who desire a practical biblical approach to counseling, pastors seeking to encourage and equip their people in their relationships, and any believer who desires to be a better spiritual friend. I appreciate Dr. Kellemen’s insightful and practical examples, clear biblical principles, and challenging and thought-provoking application exercises. Spiritual Friends is an ideal methodological, skills-training follow-up to Dr. Kellemen’s earlier work, Soul Physicians. I highly recommend this resource for all those interested in soul care, spiritual direction, and spiritual friendship.”

-Pastor Ron Lee, Senior Pastor, Evangelical Free Church of Burlington, Colorado

“Where Soul Physicians centers on theology, Spiritual Friends focuses on the application of that theology. Drawing from his academic training, counseling, pastoring, and seminary teaching, Dr. Kellemen continues to bring Ezra 7:10 to life. After reading Spiritual Friends, we are left with the same challenge-to prepare our hearts to seek God’s Word, to do it, and to teach it to our people. With this work, a new generation of soul physicians and spiritual friends will be ready to carry on God’s work.”

-Pastor Dennis Caudle, Senior Pastor, Davie Baptist Church of Advance, NC

“Those who are called by God to give spiritual direction to others, take note! In Spiritual Friends, Dr. Kellemen has given both present and aspiring soul practitioners-pastors, counselors, and disciple-makers at any level-a manual of ministry principles designed to clarify the biblical process of soul healing and spiritual edification. Based on sound theology, biblical models, and spiritual authenticity, Spiritual Friends unfolds for the reader a comprehensive but clear process for helping others overcome the obstacles to their discipleship.”

-Dr. Ken Quick, Author, Healing the Heart of Your Church

“Spiritual Friends is more than a counseling manual, it’s an interactive guide that draws you into the life issues of real people, and challenges you to reflect on your own spiritual journey. Thoroughly biblical and drawing on the insights from Church history and contemporary authors, Dr. Kellemen shares an exciting framework from which you can build relational bridges to others and provide godly counsel for dealing with life’s suffering and sin.”

-Dr. Miles (Skip) Lewis, Director MA in Ministry, Lancaster Bible College Graduate School

“For the past quarter-century, Bob has been thinking deeply about spiritual health and the realities of living in a depraved, painful world while longing for a better place. As a pastor, friend, and professor; Bob has applied his teaching by involving himself deeply in the lives of others. I have gained much by having Bob involved in my life over the last two decades, and would encourage anyone desiring to impact others in an eternal way to spend time with my friend in his new volume, Spiritual Friends. Enjoy and grow as you read this thoroughly biblical and life applicable volume.”

-Rev. Gary Coiro, Church Services Consultant, Berkey Brendel Sheline

“This Christ-Centered book is for us-those of us called to help others grow closer to our Lord and Savior. It pulls me out of a self-centered comfort zone, equips me to counsel and disciple others, and helps me be more Christlike. I bought Soul Physicians for leaders at my church and school. I’m buying Spiritual Friends for them, for me, and for others who want to help people as Christ would.”

-Dr. R. Mark Beadle, Elementary Principal, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

“Whatever your role in the Body of Christ, Spiritual Friends is for you! Discover the life-changing principles and truths of God’s Word and how they relate to our relationships. Your ministry will deepen when people begin to love and care for one another, share joy and pain, and cheer each other on to become the people God created them to be. You can embrace life with courage when you learn and master the art of spiritual friendship. If you long for this kind of relationship among your church family, then Spiritual Friends is for you.”

-Therese McKenzie, Teacher, Lanham Christian School

“For the past three years I have been practicing and testing Spiritual Friends in my ministry. Based on my experience and research, the model introduced in this book is the most balanced and practical one in the field. As Dr. Kellemen guides you step-by-step through spiritual friendship, I believe you and your spiritual friends will experience a life-changing process in your spiritual journey. Therefore, I strongly recommend this book to any serious believer who would like to realize the Greatest Commandment in their personal walk with Christ who is our greatest Spiritual Friend.

-Pastor Isaac Huang, Chantilly Bible Church Chinese Congregation

“Spiritual Friends is a fresh, dynamic, practical, and comprehensive guide for pastors, Christian counselors, students, lay people, and everyone interested in soul care. Written with the heart of a pastor and the biblical insight of a theologian, Dr. Kellemen provides a model to experience hope, healing, and joy in the soul’s quest for God. Next to the Bible, Spiritual Friends is the most valued and trusted literary tool in my daily ministry.”

-Rev. Curtis Sumpter, Jr., Pastoral Counselor, Montrose Baptist Church

“Spiritual Friends takes us on an individual spiritual journey of healing for ourselves and then leads us to a place where we are equipped to help others heal. Whether you are a professional counselor, pastor, or church member, Spiritual Friends benefits you in a twofold way: you understand yourself better in God’s eyes, and you become a better spiritual friend to others according to God’s design.”

-Bob Rooney, Professional Counselor, Centre Pointe Christian Counseling

It used to be a terrible burden for me to listen to another person’s story. I wanted to share my friend’s pain, yet found that the burden was too heavy. Spiritual Friends has provided me with a tool to enter my friend’s soul-world. Better yet, it helps me to help my friends to embrace God and experience Christ’s comfort. Spiritual Friends also shapes the character of the counselor. Through it, I am better equipped to be the person God design me to be.”

-Angela Fu, Pastor’s Wife

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