There is a story of two ladies fighting over an orange. One lady wanted the juice for her recipe. The other needed the zest for a different recipe. Until they talked they didn’t realize they could both have the orange. Usually this story is told to teach win-win conflict resolution principles, but here I want to point out that Summit’s counseling EQUIP seminars are a lot like the orange – they have many uses and you need to know what they are.

If you do not see the various uses of these seminars, then the opportunity for these events to impact in your life and your circle of influence will be truncated. I want to talk about three uses of these seminars and give a few examples of each.

1. To care for a given area of life struggle with gospel-centered hope. The “audience” of each seminar is the one struggling more than the care giver. Each seminar is designed to take you on a journey from rightly assessing and understanding the struggle to the solutions and hope found only in God. At each seminar you will leave with…

  • … an overview of how to approach the subject matter,
  • … the tools necessary to review and implement what you’ve learned,
  • … materials that can be utilized to the relational resources of your small group, and
  • … an awareness of the formal counseling ministries hosted or launched by Summit.

2. To equip our people to care for others with gospel centered hope. A plumb line of Summit counseling is that “we don’t do events; we create resources.” Every seminar is designed to facilitate the one another care of God’s people (Gal 6:2). In order to achieve this goal we make sure that every seminar…

  •  … is video recorded so that lay people do not have to be the “lead teacher” in the helping relationship,
  • … has a mentoring manual to guide important questions, and
  • … has assessments to let mentors know when more formal or experienced care is needed.

We believe this design gives the dual advantage of empowering God’s people to care for one another while also offering the confidence that comes with additional levels of care when needed. Because of this design, the “real relationships” (friendships, co-workers, small groups) can be maintained and work in cooperation with the more experienced levels of care. This is vital for the longevity of change.

Note: We want these seminars to enhance the quality of every local outreach effort of The Summit Church. A common fear of ministry is, “What if someone asks…?” The goal of the counseling ministry is to ease this fear so that our people are more free to get to know those who are hurting and love them in the name of Jesus.

3. To serve as a front door ministry of our church. People are in search of answers to life’s struggles. We believe a robust seminar ministry designed to operate within real relationships will be an incredibly effective way of taking the gospel to the heart issues of people all over our city.

People seek help from friends and family members before seeking professionals.Counseling (broadly defined as seeking to offer hope and direction through relationship) happens all the time. We talk with friends over the phone, crying children in their rooms, spouses in the kitchen, fellow church members at small group, and have endless conversations with ourselves. We listen to struggles, seek to understand, offer perspective, give advice, and follow up later.

We want the counseling EQUIP seminars to facilitate more of these interactions and allow these conversations to more naturally lead from the depths of life struggles to the hope of the gospel. Here are ways that you place yourself in a position to be used by God in this way.

  • Attend each seminar so that you have a framework for how life struggles connect with the gospel.
  • Get to know your friends well enough that they will confide their struggles to you.
  • Invite friends to the seminars with you or use the video resources (great testimony video).
  • Post flyers and posters in your work place (waiting room, point of sale, or break room). To be added to our mailing list for free posters and flyers e-mail your name, address, and number of desired poster/flyers to Bridgehaven Counseling Associates.