The Power of Referral

Guide to a Counselor


A community of women is a powerful witness and support when women struggle. But what’s best when a woman needs guidance beyond what her peers, a mentor, or even her Bible study teacher can offer?  In this post created in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin elaborates on the need for some women to seek professional counseling when they struggle.  

Jen Wilkin blogs and teaches the Bible regularly. She is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds and None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing).  



Jen shared that sometimes when she teaches the Bible, women become aware of a certain sin or struggle they didn’t know they had. When they email her, she feels called to help them in the best way possible.   

What is it about Scripture that brings to light the various sins and sufferings in our lives?
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What do you believe are some common struggles women in particular go through?
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Jen said that though she does feel called to help the women under her care in Bible study, she also knows she is not always qualified to help the women as much as they need. Has this ever been your experience? When have you ever realized someone’s need for guidance or counsel was beyond what you were able or qualified to give? How did that make you feel? How did you respond?
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Jen talked about the two different roles of teaching and counseling. What do you think is the difference between the two? Do you agree with Jen that women shouldn’t feel obligated to be experts in both? Why or why not?
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Jen said for a long time she felt that since God had gifted her to teach the Bible, she had all she needed to help and counsel women. Over time, though, she realized that wasn’t the case.   

What wisdom do you believe the Bible offers? What wisdom is there in relying on resources outside of Scripture study?
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Jen said that she’s learned to rely on the body of Christ in order to best help and serve women she knows who are hurting. Are you comfortable asking for help outside of your own expertise when it’s needed? Why or why not?
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What unique gifts and graces do counselors have that you or other church leaders lack?
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In what ways can you begin to partner with new people or organizations in order to better serve the women in your care?
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It’s a beautiful thing when Christians serve confidently in the gifts they’ve been given and then rely on others to serve in the ways they’ve been gifted. Imagine the potential if we all relied on each other to help the hurting. Not only would leaders be giving their best for God’s purposes, but those who suffer would also find healing and help in the best ways possible.   


You can find more on counseling women from Jen in the course Women Helping Women


To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.