I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another (Rom 15:14).
All Christians struggle with sin and the effect it has on our lives and our relationships. Whenever believers are unable to overcome sinful attitudes or behaviors through personal efforts, God calls them to seek assistance from other believers and, when needed, from church leaders who have the responsibility of providing pastoral counseling and oversight (cf. Rom 15:14; Gal 6:1-2; 2 Tim 4:1-2; Heb 13:17; Jas 5:16). Therefore, this church encourages and enjoins its people to seek counsel from and confess sins to each other and to our leaders.
We believe that the Bible provides thorough guidance and instruction for faith and life (2 Tim 3:16-17). Therefore, our counseling is based on scriptural principles rather than those of secular psychology or psychiatry. Unless they specifically state otherwise, none of those who counsel in this church are trained or licensed as psychotherapists or mental health professionals, nor should they be expected to follow the methods of such specialists.
We expect all counselors to treat counselees with respect and courtesy and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or impurity during counseling (Eph 5:3). We also expect counselees to promptly report to the church leadership any conduct that fails to meet this standard.
To prevent counselors from being placed in situations that might compromise their testimony or fitness for ministry, we, the members and adherents of this church, agree to the following:
- We will be willing to seek counsel with at least two counselors when meeting with the opposite gender or if requested by either the counselor or counselee. This requirement is set in place to protect both parties from unwarranted accusation and any appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22).
- In cases where confidential information is shared in a counseling context, we will not try to compel the involved counselor(s) to testify in any legal proceeding or otherwise divulge the confidential information in a way that will be used for selfish or personal gains (Prov 11:13, 25:9).
In the course of counseling, if illegal behaviors are discovered, the leaders of this church have a God-given obligation to report these behaviors to the proper authorities, as the state of Utah law stipulates (Rom. 13:1). The counselee will be informed prior to our contacting the proper authorities.
There are occasions when our leaders do not have sufficient time to meet with every person who asks for counseling. At such times, we expect our leaders to give first priority to people who have formally joined the church (Gal 6:10), and to serve non-members by referring them to another source of godly counsel.