“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Who comfort us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4, NIV). Christian Counsellors like ICAN, NBA and NMA are professionals, who have been operating independently without an umbrella body that regulate it. Christians Counsellors are not just professionals but also caregivers, who carry out divine mandate of comforting, encouraging, counselling and helping those in distress and the needy.
God according to the Scripture cited above is the Father of counselling-care giving. Our motive and mission as Christian Counsellors is based on the demonstrated care, comfort that God gives to us. Our experience from the care and comfort that God gives, we are motivated to comfort and counsel others. Christian counseling is not just professional; it is a ministry with spiritual distinction. It is not just routine and formal psychological and psychiatric process of giving care, counseling but spirituotherapy. Hence it is spiritual therapy guided by the Spirit of God ministering health, healing and impacting life to counsellees. The Christian believer is full of goodness, knowledge and “competent to counsel” (Rom. 15:14). This competence to counsel must not be abused. For there are many abuses already in the body of Christ. The Bible predicts that there will be abuses in the ministry of counseling and other manifestations of the Christian ministry. The Bible enjoins us: “Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1Cor. 14:40). Not only should a Christian possess knowledge of counselling but, “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control” (2.Pet. 1:5-6, NIV).
It is because Christian counselling is distinctive and care must be taken in carrying out the ministry of counseling. Wrong advice and approaches can endanger the wellbeing of the counselee as well ruin the integrity of the ministry. Hence Apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthian chapter 14 giving instruction that the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet.. The abuses in the ministry of counseling are so much and rampart. There are cases of abuse in which pastors/ministers command people to see them for counselling prayers or something evil will happen. There are cases where male ministers will invite counselee for closed door counseling. Some of these have ended up in sin and public ridicule to the Christian ministry. We have cases were single counsel singles. Cases abound were counsellors trying to minister deliverance shout and yell. During counselling, some use Bible or broom stick to beat the counsellee in an attempt to force out demon. The abuse is so much that we do not respect the privacy of our counselee, that some pastors/prophets will use what counselee told in private in public ministry in form of testimony to back up their sermons. Some go to the extent of getting counselee to undress and show their nakedness. Just to get testimony of their feats of deliverance and miracles. Bizarre instances are occasions that television evangelists/pastors show cases this nude aspect of their ministering of half naked counselee in the full glare of the public.
Some have counsel people to eat excreta, drink contaminated water. Some ask counsellee to go to cemetery to pray or get some substance to be used in ministering to them. Some have used their wrong prophetic teachings and ministration to break marriages and put whole families in demonic bondage. Why all these abuses? What is wrong? Is it that Christian counsellors are not competent enough? No! The problem is lack of training in the rudiments of the profession as well no controlling body to ensure proper professional practice and decorum. Hence, the coming into being of African Association of Christian Counsellors patterned after American Association Christian Counsellors is timely and welcome development. We need a regulatory body that will ensure order and discipline in the ministry of Christina counselling. African Association of Christian Counsellors is a registered non profit oriented professional Christian counselling, development organisation which came into existence in January 2006 through God’s servant Dr. Obadiah Green O. Alawode with a team of other professional counsellors in Africa. AACC is dedicated to being a biblically based, Christ-centred Holy Spirit dependent organisation which empowers ministries of the professional persons that handles counseling session to discover, develop and maximise their efficiency in counselling which is a ministry that is highly sensitive but equally highly rewarding.
Their mission is to establish relationships, educate, equip and serve people, helpers/caregivers every where to help carry out a ministry of caring according to Ephesians 4:12-15, Gal. 6 2. To develop relationships with theological and psychological schools and their educational institutions and agencies for enrichment of Biblical counseling. AACC issues a certificate of membership to qualified counselors. Membership is accepted after successful completion of the basic certificate course, completion of membership form and subscription to the Association’s code of conduct. Advance certificate course which provides specialisation in core areas of counselling such as marriage, children/youth, crisis and supportive, finance, substance dependency, clinic, etc is also available. AACC realise that todays’ generations are hurting, troubled and deeply searching for hope and looking increasingly to God for answers. The Christian ministry of counseling is a respectable and rewarding ministry. With AACC, an umbrella body to regulate, control and enforce discipline, our ministries will change lives and better society. Let us get involved.