Council of Counselors: Fallen Pastors / Abusive Husbands / Hurting Counselors / Subtle Gossip / Emotional Intelligence

This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

Restoring Pastors to Ministry After Affairs? Possible or Impossible? by Phil Monroe

Now, none of these reasons are enough to always say no to return to pulpits after sexual infidelity. While a return may not be probable, it can be possible. Every situation is unique. That said, unless the disgraced pastor has evidenced many of the signs of repentance (taking full ownership, accepting consequences, giving up control over recovery process/submitting to the work of therapy, seeking accountability, pursuing utter transparency, and not placing demands to return to the position) for a long season, it is doubtful that a return to leadership is right. Frankly, one of the best signs of repentance is not being so worried about reputation and not seeking a return to a previous level of ministry.

  • For a book that addresses ministry-based infidelity and restoration in a holistic, redemptive context see the “What I’m Reading” section below.

4 Questions for Abusive Husbands by Leslie Vernick

When working with husbands who have been abusive, you will find that most all of them have a stubborn blindness to what they are doing that is destructive to their wife. Their habit patterns are to blame and to accuse rather than take the time to reflect upon their own attitudes and behaviors. When they are asked the question, “Why did you behave that way?” their answer is always externally referenced rather than internally referenced.

As A Psychiatrist, I Thought I’d Be Immune To Postpartum Depression. I Was Wrong. by Michelle Woo

I am a psychiatrist who treats mental health issues during pregnancy and the postpartum period. I had thought that this would somehow make me immune to postpartum depression, as though I could have seen it coming from a mile away and warded it off. But I was wrong. Quite frankly, I never thought it would happen to me.

Six Questions to Diagnose Subtle Gossip by Paula Marsteller

It’s easy to think our intentions are good. I thought that originally, too. But maybe we should distrust our intentions a bit more than we do. Even if our base intentions are good, we should always be on guard of having mixed motives. Love can often attach itself with the sinful desire to know other people’s stuff, to be “in the know,” or to feel puffed up that our lives aren’t so messy.

18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People by Travis Bradberry

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results. Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it difficult to measure and to know what to do to improve it if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book, but unfortunately, most such tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

What I’m Reading

restoring the fallenRestoring the Fallen: A Team Approach to Caring, Confronting & Reconciling by  Earl D. Wilson, Sandy Wilson, Paul Friesen, Virginia Friesen , Larry Paulson , & Nancy Paulson. When brothers and sisters in Christ fall into sin, how should the church respond? Very often, Christians stumble in their attempt to address this issue. Either they ignore the wrongdoing or they banish the wrongdoer. The authors of this groundbreaking book advocate another way: the spiritual care team. A spiritual care team is a small group of mature Christians who voluntarily commit themselves to support and guide another through the process of repentance and restoration. This community-based and community-oriented approach emphasizes the importance of acknowledging sin, making repentance complete and reestablishing personal spiritual discipline. Restoring the Fallen offers practical guidance on how to form a spiritual care team, as well as how to support the spouse and family of the one working through the process of restoration, how professional helpers and the whole church body might contribute to restoration, and how to provide ongoing care after the main work of the spiritual care team is complete. It is an essential book for pastors, counselors and church leaders.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

prayer-counselors

On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.