How to Become a Trusted Counselor

Appreciated the post over on today about being a sought after counselor. Thought Dennis had some good insight and thoughts, here’s a clip of his thoughts, head there for the rest:

– Longevity in ministry is gold. Stick it out and you’ll be the go-to person eventually. Even if you don’t have your own teenagers, there’s a great amount of relational wisdom to be gained by spending a few years working with students. Your beliefs will be solidified or revolutionized by what you encounter. When you go to counsel a student, you’ll come from the perspective of observational or hands-on experience rather than tentative theory.

– Sharing your story lends credibility. When I talk to students about their issues, I relate something from my own life that shows I understand what they’re going through. I’m careful not to dominate the conversation with my stories, I just share enough to relate and build trust. The key is to not only share a couple of facts, but the emotions that I felt when I went through what I share. Doing this during a regular conversation builds the trust needed to become their go-to person for counseling when they’re ready to open up on a deeper level.


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Josh Griffin
Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at!