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Once A Week
A Counseling Newsletter for Pastors and Ministry Leaders
Pastors and Ministry Leaders,
Thank you for your faithful witness in Myrtle Beach to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. My name is Aaron Hann and I am the founder of Surfside Christian Counseling. I am writing to introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) our newsletter for pastors and church ministry leaders.
The format is simple: in our weekly newsletter you will find a brief reflection related to counseling, scripture and ministry, a relevant quotation, and a question for your consideration. I hope you find it helpful as you minister to people in your church and community.
The landing page on our website extends this invitation: “Do you find yourself adrift at sea, assailed by storms, or about to sink into the deep? At Surfside Christian Counseling we will get into the lifeboat with you – where Jesus already is – and lead you back to shore.”
This calls to mind the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat when his disciples were fearing for their lives. As Christian counselors, we work from a conviction that Jesus is always present in peoples’ distress. Like the disciples, we are all prone to doubt whether he is really with us or whether he really cares: “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). Unlike the disciples, though, Jesus is not physically present in our storms. That is, not directly. He IS present through the Holy Spirit, of course, but his presence is also mediated by the members of his body. Professional Christian counseling is a powerful extension of Christ’s body to those in need. Our training, experience, and calling enables us to swim out to the boat, climb in, and endure the wind, rain, rocking, thunder, and waves that the person has been facing alone. Sadly, it often takes many, many weeks of bailing water and bracing crashing waves with people before they really feel and accept our presence with them. But it is our joy and privilege to do that work. One reason, among many, is getting to see people become more aware of Jesus’ presence and reawaken their hope in him.
A Quote From Augustine of Hippo
“Toil passes, and rest will come; but rest only through toil. The ship passes, and you arrive home; but home only by means of the ship. We are sailing the high seas, after all, if we take account of the surges and storms of this world. The reason, I am convinced, that we are not drowned is that we are being carried on the wood of the cross.”
Do you believe in the power of presence? How can you embody the nearness of our Triune God for those who are suffering?
Praying for and laboring with you,