I’d like to take a survey of the most common counseling issues pastors are facing in their daily lives. Would you write in the comments the problems you are most frequently encountering and then I’ll try to set up a Top 10 survey with the answers. One of the reasons behind the question is my concern to ensure that seminaries are preparing men adequately for the problems they will come across most.

The basic question is: If you had your seminary training all over again, what issues would you like to have the greatest focus? It could be more modern problems like anorexia, abuse, etc.;  the more “regular” issues like bereavement, pain, depression, fear, etc.; or the deeper, longer challenges like unbelief, doubt, discontent, temptation, chastisement, etc.

If you’re not a pastor, why not answer it along these lines: If you had the opportunity to have your future pastor trained to counsel in certain subjects, what would you choose?

Thanks so much for your contributions and interaction.

  • Bob Wiegers

    I am not a pastor yet, but I would say: porn/lust/sexual temptations

  • http://tbc-muncie.org Tim

    As a pastor committed to counseling, the two most common issues I face are: #1 porn addiction among men; and #2 marriages where the couples just can’t seem to get along, solve their problems, love one another, etc. However, if you’re asking which issue do I wish I had received more training in addressing, it would be helping tender consciences attain assurance of salvation.

  • http://www.christianhomeandfamily.com Carey

    In 20+ years of counseling experience in the church as a Pastor I don’t even have to think about this one very hard. It’s the need for Christ-centered marriages – and Christ-honoring health in the home that they provide. In my world it’s been all too common that those counseling don’t even have this in their own homes, so how can they help others move in that direction? Of course, any successes in this realm are by the grace of God alone, but example and experience matter, a lot.

  • Les

    I have major depression. I’ve never met a pastor who wasn’t able to/refused to address the depression as a medical problem. Unfortunately I’ve never met a pastor who asked, “What sins beset you in the midst of your depression?” or “Is there a particular sin that may make this depression worse or cause it?” Depressed Christians are shortchanged on this issue. We still need to grow in grace and be conformed to Christ’s image yet I get the feeling pastors don’t think we can take that message. Sometimes I wonder if pastors understand grace.

  • Tom

    I’m not a pastor but I’d agree with Bob (above) porn/lust/sexual temptation.

  • Nate Shinn

    Marriage & family issues

  • http://www.gracecommunity-pca.org Kyle Oliphint

    Marriage/Family issues far and away number 1 in my experience.

  • http://Www.reformationcommunity.org Jeremy Lyerla

    In my pastoral experience it’s been getting men to be the spiritual leader of their family. I believe most other problems flow from this in one way or another. Whether marriage issues, parenting and even church issues.

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  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Thanks so much for your input. Really appreciate it.