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The Role of the Supervisor in Counseling

by Joel Comiskey

Summer 2012

One myth in the cell church is that cell groups fulfill all the needs. A slight variation to that myth is that the cell leader–as opposed to the cell group–is responsible to fulfill all the counseling needs, pastoral duties, relational interaction, evangelism, and administrative functions. Allow me to state two reasons why this is false:

First, cell ministry highlights the priesthood of all believers. Great cell leaders activate the members to participate, use their gifts, and mature as future leaders. Second, the cell church emphasizes supervision or coaching. That is, every leader in the cell church has a coach. Coaching ensures that the cell leader doesn’t have to figure it out alone–there is always someone to help out.

Supervision/coaching applies to counseling, the theme of this month’s blog. EGR people (Extra Grace Required) will always be in the cell group. Particular EGRers need counseling because of problems in childhood, satanic bondage, or physical problems. Other EGR people are rebellious, arrogant, and unsubmissive.

The good news is that the cell leader or leadership team doesn’t need to solve every problem. Nor should the leader feel that the group needs to resolve every issue. The supervisory care structure exists as a support system to counsel the leader on how to resolve the issue, talk directly to the EGR person, or rearrange the group members. Perhaps Jay is overcome with fear which results in nightmares and physical problems. Jay shares these concerns in the group. The group listens, prays, and ministers to Jay. However, Jay continues to bring up the same problems week after week and the leader feels helpless to counsel Jay. In this case, the leader should ask the supervisor to intervene and talk directly to Jay. And if the supervisor can’t help, he will take the case to the next coaching level (although in many churches, the supervisor will be the senior pastor, who can talk directly to Jay).

I’m dealing with a group right now who has an EGR person. The leader feels inadequate to cope with this person. Since I am supervising/ coaching this group, I need to intervene, which will take a huge load off the LIFE group leader.

What about you? How does your cell church deal with EGR people, and more specifically, EGR people who have counseling needs?

Joel

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