161 East Harper Avenue, Maryville, TN  865-984-0116

Consent to Counsel

Grace Community Church

Our goal as biblical counselors is to assist people in responding to and working through challenges in a manner which pleases and honors the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that meeting life’s challenges biblically allows one to bring God greatest glory by being conformed to the image of Christ and finding full satisfaction in Him.

We believe that God’s inspired Word, the Bible, provides guidance and instruction for both faith and life in all of its facets. Therefore, our counseling is based on scriptural principles rather than those of secular psychology or psychiatry. The counselors of this ministry are not licensed as psychotherapists or mental health professionals. However, the counselors are trained, or being trained, in knowing how to apply God’s Word to life’s challenges.

In the process of Biblical counseling there are often times when there is a need for significant advice with regards to legal, medical, financial or other technical areas. In those cases you will be encouraged to seek independent professional counsel. Our counselors will be happy to cooperate with such advisors and help you to consider their counsel in the light of relevant scriptural principles.

Confidentiality is an important aspect of the counseling process and we will carefully guard the information you entrust to us. However, there are four situations when it may be necessary for us to share certain information with others:

1) When a counselor is uncertain how to address a particular problem and needs to seek advice from another counselor
2) When a counselee attends another church and it is necessary to talk with his or her pastor or Elders
3) When there is a clear indication that someone may be harmed unless others intervene
4) When a person persistently refuses to renounce a particular sin and it becomes necessary to seek assistance of others in the church to encourage repentance and reconciliation

Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Proverbs 15:22
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

Please be assured that our counselors strongly prefer not to disclose personal information to others, and they will make every effort to help you find ways to resolve a problem as privately as possible.

On rare occasions a conflict may develop between a counselor and a counselee. In order to make sure that any such conflicts will be resolved in a biblically faithful manner, we require all of our counselees to agree that any dispute that arises with a counselor or with the church as a result of counseling, will be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker® Ministries (complete text of the Rules is available at www.Peacemaker.net). Judgment upon arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. The parties understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising out of this agreement and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision.

Having clarified the principles and policies of our counseling ministry, we welcome the opportunity to minister to you in the name of Christ and to be used by Him as He helps you to grow in spiritual maturity and prepares you for usefulness in His body. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Craig Hanson (counseling@gracemaryville.org).

If these guidelines are acceptable to you, please sign below.

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