88: Church Life Counseling


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What You'll Discover in this Episode:


Law and Grace in Counseling: Church Life


Colossians 3 is a beautiful snapshot, spiritually speaking, of what life together in the church is to be. How it ought to be and can be as we allow the Lord to live among us.

We cannot grow without the body of Christ. Because of God in our hearts, when we gather together, we are like family with the same father. We can have mercy, kindness, humility just because God is within us.


In this episode, we continue the discussion about Church Life and the importance of body life or "one-anothering" in biblical counseling; how important it is to have one minister to the other and the other to the one as God has designed it in church life.


Join us in the discussion below. Share your experience with the community!

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  • David Bowman says:

    Another great podcast episode! I have to admit that my experiences within church life have not seldom been as Colossians 3:12-17 prescribe. This by no means renders the Scriptures obsolete, but it does highlight our responsibility as the “elect of God” to “put on” and “let” God rule. Perhaps I am not alone in my impatience to get right into the “putting on” process without acknowledging the holiness and love of God that has granted me adoption into the family of believers. This is so important because the tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing, and forgiving one to another must be in the manner in which we received from Christ. It is not striving to be family, it is the reality that we are family, with the same Father.

    This kind of bond is maintained through the agape love of God. When we stop walking in love with God, we will not walk in love towards our brethren. The importance of love within the church is to allow for God’s counsel to be available to the entire body, from the foyer to the pew and even online. Our individual times in the Word also play a role in making us ready to share with our fellow brothers and sisters. When the word has a rich dwelling in us, we will be able to encourage, teach, and admonish others to the glory of Christ and edifying of His body.

    • harry innerst says:

      Right on David. The importance of the love and fellowship received in the local assembly, coupled with the insight from personal reading and studying the Word of God cannot can not be over estimated. His Word is a “lamp unto our feet”.

    • Luis Hernandez says:

      David Bowman, that’s a good way of looking at it not striving to be a church family but actually acknowledging that we are brothers in Christ with one father. i agree we must have the richness of Gods word in our heart before we can admonish, encourage, or teach one another

    • Angelica Lorenzo says:

      “Love within the church is, Allowing God’s counsel to be available to the entire body, from the foyer. pew and online”, very well said David! I agree with you – church family loving one another-ing has to happen first within the body of Christ. When it does become a solid reality in every church life scenario, where wounded hearts seek refuge and finds it, I don’t doubt the gospel message will spread enough quickly and progress to ‘make disciples of all nations.’ Church life is meant to be the embodiment of Christ’s finished work.

    • MichelleR says:

      Thank you David for your honesty and transparency. I believe most us have experience the not so lovingsid of the church community and it can be very hurtful and frustrating. And to come back from that pain can be a difficult journey. Luckily we have a Savior who will always love us and point us to right people that will be loving and kind to us. “Let us” always be the Colossians 3 church when others aren’t. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

  • harry innerst says:

    My Pastor of forty years ago use to tell us that his experience was that those who regularly attended his preaching and teaching services spent a whole lot less time in his counseling office. He was a great Bible teacher taught every time he was in the pulpit. I never forgot that truth. It impressed on me the importance of the solid teaching, and personal reading of God’s Word. Even to this day if I encounter someone who is struggling with sin I always encourage them to get faithful in their attendance at every teaching service. It becomes evident that if someone is not faithful in attendance for the regular teaching of the Word of God, they will be less apt to listen to what I’ve got to say. There have been many times that I still needed to have a word of counsel from a brother, but their is no substitute for creating a teachable spirit like the constant exposure to the Word of God. This is church life at it’s best.

    • David Bowman says:

      Harry, that is a great point regarding one’s teachable attitude. It is lofty to believe that we can help people with their issues outside of their obedience to the Word and regular exposure to it. When we regularly attend church and maintain a diet of Scripture, we are less apt to reject the truth. Instead, the truth will convict us inwardly and bring us to a place of godly sorrow and repentance. Church life is a vital component to life change in the believer and no amount of counseling can replace that.

      • Audra Downs says:

        This is so true David. I have a family member who largely has removed himself from fellowship and the longer he is out, the less he cares about the family of God or the truth of God’s Word. You could say he is dying on the Vine so-to-speak. We really do need that fellowship of love, encouragement and conviction to keep us healthy with one another and with our Father.

    • Angelica Lorenzo says:

      How true Harry, what you said hits home. I’ve observed a family member’s decline from being on fire for God – in ministry and regular church attendance to zero church life, no attendance and no ministry, ironically, – diligently having regular therapy sessions. For now, she’s stuck at just being a ‘believer’, no longer an avid follower of Christ. I don’t stop admonishing and reminding her though, invite her to church, but, like you said, if ‘someone is not faithful in regular teaching of God’s word, they’ll be less apt to listen to what I say.’
      This scenario is common in every church. The reason why I’m blessed to be in this class, learning what we need and should be doing, equipping us as we go about our Father’s business.

    • Rachel Neglia says:

      Yes, I’ve experienced this so many times as well. People want to skip the fundamentals, probably in part because a lifetime of sanctification and submission to God’s Word is not the self affirming quick fix we so often want. It’s a good reminder for me, in counselling situations, to encourage people towards healthy church attendance, even if it seems irrelevant to their issue.

  • Luis Hernandez says:

    hearing about the ways that the church can really flourish is a wonderful picture. How it can start by making Jesus the center of the conversation. Sharing the goodness and mercy of his ways. this can be a learning experience of His infamous wisdom and an example to duplicate. Simply by sharing about God can bring encouragement to others and it can really reflect the peace of God in our lives. We have the peace, the Hope, and faith people are searching for lets remind our self of that perfect love of Jesus Christ. Its been really a miracle how my thoughts are reflected in the next chapter or in the next podcast. i been pondering in the simplicity but very effective way of discipleship. This whole journey has been amazing chapter by chapter Gods revelation opening my eyes to His ways has been a blessing. I just pray that i can be effective and finish what he has started in my life. Sharing Gods foundational truth can be shared boldly in our church. And like Jenny put it we must me intentional and not just give practical advise because we are in a hurry. All we have to do is let Gods love work in our life because He is everything to us. I thank God for Pastor Jeff and his wife Jenny.

  • Audra Downs says:

    Whenever I read through these verses in Colossians, the verb or action in “put on” love with one another really impacts me. Loving each other within the Body of Christ isn’t about feelings but it is intentional. As I often tell my kids, the bible doesn’t qualify that we are to love only nice people but we are called to actively love one another. I was challenged by Jenny’s statement about willingness. Am I willing to love everyone within my fellowship? The answer is yes but this comes from the fruits of the Holy Spirit working within me. As I consume the Word of God daily and meditate on what I am absorbing, the Holy Spirit works in me and the outflow of this is the love that I am to put on for others. This is truly miraculous because selfless love does not exist apart from God. John 15:5 Jesus said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

    I also enjoyed the term “sandpaper Christians” which I had not heard before. It reminded me of the proverb about iron sharpening iron. It is often painful and uncomfortable but to see God work when I am willing grows my faith and encourages me to keep loving those around me.

    This course has been a blessing and also challenging. I enjoyed these podcasts and reading everyone’s posts these past 8 weeks. You all encouraged me very much.

    • MichelleR says:

      Hi Audra, I agree with you 100%! It is very difficult to love difficult people. How can you love a porcupine? Very carefully. 🙂 sometimes we have to be discerning, careful, but loving towards those who are difficult to love. But, just like you stated through the leading of the Holy Spirit we can do it and do it well. I also agree you about being encouraged from everyone’s comments. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed Christmas!

  • Angelica Lorenzo says:

    Just yesterday in church service, our Pastor told us that his friend from Berkeley Research shared a statistical data, in essence, ‘those who cope best in this trying times are – those who go to church ‘regularly.’ They have the healthiness in mind, followed with their physical condition, to deflect repercussions and the effects of the pandemic, social and economic challenges.’ In my understanding, the research is saying, the Church thrive in crisis because they have encouragement and support both from each other and the Source of Life. The world can’t help but notice how the church of Christ are coping with the challenges believers and unbelievers alike are facing. We, who are actual participants of a local church’s one to another-ing, know this is not new information. As followers of Christ, we know loving one to another is at the forefront of our mission to reach the world. – It begins among us, His children. As Pastor and Jenny has laid it out plainly, it has to be intentional. How we live the ‘one to another’ example among us who know the One, the only answer to everything in life, will prove His reality and His love to those who don’t know Him – yet.

    • harry innerst says:

      You are so right, Angelica. I an hearing reports suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse all on the increase since covin started. This is the result of so many people putting their faith in this world’s system, and when it changes or slips away they fall to pieces. We need to look at everything through the eyes of eternity. This will bring a peace that passes understanding. We need to speak loudly through our testimony to a hurting world.

    • David Bowman says:

      Angelica, I agree that both the world and the Church need to see our love in action. The statistical data you shared is encouraging, especially in a year where we have been challenged to live from afar in many instances. Those who are actively engaged in a local church body will encounter the vast resources therein. Those who are on the outskirts hopefully will see our good works and desire to fully participate in the life of that particular fellowship. Nevertheless, the onus is on the children of God to lead in this area of loving service.

    • Rachel Neglia says:

      Oh wow thanks so much for sharing this Angelica! God created us for fellowship, and we often take our church life and community for granted. But we are so blessed to be part of a body who is called to love, to comfort, encourage, admonish one another. It’s not always perfect, but with Christ as Head, we’re positioning ourselves exactly where we’re meant to be to be used and to be ministered to.

      • Angelica Lorenzo says:

        Thanks Pastor, Jenny and classmates for these eight wonderful weeks! I hope we can connect again next class. Be blessed and be a blessing as you all have been to me! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Audra Downs says:

      You are so right Angelica! We simply need each other. It is vital to the Body of Christ and our church fellowships that we stay connected to one-another.
      Merry Christmas to you also!
      Audra

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Another great pod cast, on the importance of church life. I definitely can relate to how the more you open up your heart to God the more you want to be around other Christians, and talk about the Word and just love on others. At church is where you can find people who hold you accountable they pray for you and with you. We learn to love one another because of the love that God gives is. In going to church and hearing the Word and talking to others about what God does for us, and talking about scripture, and seeing what God does for others and through others we start walking more of the Spirit and less of our fleshly ways and we get the peace of God we need to let God use us, even though sometimes we go into rough waters. The peace of God that we have will keep us from not giving into our fear of new people, or those who are mean. We learn to love one another just by being around others who show us the same thing.

    • MichelleR says:

      Thank you for your words. It is always so wonderful to be around the Body of Christ and be able to receive love, encouragement, and accountability when needed. That is one of my favorite things about church as well. Thanks again for sharing. Have a blessed Christmas!

  • Ericka Tapia says:

    Church life is extremely important. It’s amazing how God works in and through the lives of the willing. A person hungry and on fire for God can be so contagious to another that maybe doesn’t exactly feel the same way. Love is contagious, when someone demonstrates and portrays that sincere love for God it sparks curiosity as to why, it did for me. I wondered if all that love was simple appreciation, obligation or a fanatic. As the woman in the church began to pour their heart out and speak of the things God did and was doing in their life, I began to notice the big and small miracles happening in my own life on a daily. I was actually noticing all the answered prayers and loving him more and more for the love that he had always poured into my life, but that I only then began to notice. And when the love of God flows through you, as Jenni said, it really does bring peace to others. My mother is a prime example of a person that has the love of God flow through her. To whoever she speaks to and encourages, they feel that love and express the peace they feel. We should never underestimate the power of the word spoken to a brother or sister, God’s word will never come back empty. We never know the impact that we can make in someone’s life by a word spoken, a kind act, or a loving caring attitude.

  • MichelleR says:

    Absolutely loved this podcast this week. During this time, it has made it challenging and difficult to be part of the body of Christ. But, Colossians 3 makes very clear that we are to always be involved and part of a church community. I especially appreciate about the”let” of the verse. To “let” is a willingness to honor God and minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It reveals our hearts and maturity in our walk with the Lord. Yes, it may take some creativity and initiative but its worth it. Thank you Pastor Jeff and Jenny for wise and challenging words. Merry Chrsitmas!

  • Rachel Neglia says:

    I loved what Jennie shared about just slowing down on a Sunday morning and being ready to be the first to share a verse or encouraging word. That’s certainly one way we can let the Word of Christ dwell richly in us in all wisdom. And as we share, it opens the door for others to share what God has been showing them. Sometimes it can be slightly awkward to be the first to turn a conversation to spiritual things, there’s that fear that people will think I’m fake or hyper spiritual or something. Such a lie! I’m always so so grateful anytime a brother or sister shares God’s Word with me, and it shows how important it is that we fellowship and “one another” together. My challenge is to come prepared, to be in the Word and to ask God to speak to me so I can be in a position to bless others.

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