First, a wise pastor (or friend, elder, small group leader, mentor, etc.) has many advantages over the secular paradigm of the office-bound counselor. In your own church you know people. You have seen them in action. Perhaps you know their parents and friends. You see how they treat their kids. You know how they handle themselves in a group. You have “back-story,” and aren’t limited to hearing only one side of the story. You know what kind of Christian nurture they are receiving week to week—and counseling can build on that. In addition to a wider knowledge base, you relate at multiple levels. You can invite people to your home, and invite yourself into their home. You can initiate the relationship, and express your concern. In contrast, office-bound counseling is structurally passive, always only on the receiving end of inquiry or referral. There is an active, outreaching quality to counseling ministry when we conceptualize it in the church.