TODAY I’m very pleased to write to confirm one of the announcements I made in the Dedication and Prayer last Sunday – that of the availability of Ms Diana Koh to help me in the pastoral duty of providing counselling to our members and friends.
Diana is currently employed as a Senior Counsellor in the Family Service Centre in Pasir Ris and is experienced in, and handling of mostly marital, mental health and relationship issues. We are thankful that Diana is offering her expertise to us on a voluntary and on an on-call basis.
Diana holds a Masters Degree in Social Science (Counselling) from Edith Cowan University and a Graduate Diploma in Social Work from NUS.
She will work together with me to provide whatever counselling care is required when the need arises. Because pastoral counselling is the responsibility of the pastor, I will stay actively involved in the whole process.
If you wish to consult her, please contact me and I will make the necessary arrangements for us to meet privately and confidentially.
The bible reveals counselling to be a duty of the ministry. Jesus reveals it in the pattern of His ministry at the start of His mission on earth. Matthew 4:23 and 9:35 say that He went about “teaching”, “preaching the gospel of the kingdom”, and “healing all manner of sickness”.
The verb “healing” comes from the Greek therapeuo? from which we get the English word therapy, and it means “to serve, do service, to heal, cure, restore to health”. Hence, it includes the idea of curing and healing for the spirit, mind and soul – what we can broadly call biblical counselling.
Counselling is therefore a duty and pastoral care belonging to the shepherds of Christ’s Church.
The apostle Paul indicated that counselling is the responsibility of a servant of God when he, writing to young Timothy, encourages him to “give attendance … to exhortation” (1 Tim 4:13).
“Exhortation” means coming alongside to provide “encouragement, consolation, solace which affords comfort and refreshment” (Thayer).
Therefore, I look forward to working with Diana to enhance the church’s ability to provide you with pastoral care in this area of biblical counselling.
Pastor Robert Chew