The apostle Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God (2 Cor. 2:14-17)."


Putting this protocol into place-utilizing the PDI form, probing "red flags," documenting your sessions, employing the practice of team counseling, adhering to local laws, acting with common sense, maintaining a commitment to biblical counsel, and taking encouragement from God's sovereignty-will enable you to counsel more effectively in those difficult cases. You will be at peace in your ministry knowing that you are fulfilling your responsibility before God and others.


In this way, you will "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth (2: Tim. 2:15)," for the good of others and the glory of God.


Dr. Paul J. Dean is an adjunct professor at Erskine Theological Seminary and serves as the Director of Supervised Ministry at the Greenville, SC extension of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is actively involved in the field of biblical counseling having co-founded the Southern Baptist Association of Biblical Counselors.