We are always looking for practical tools to help pastors care for their flocks. Gospel Conversations: How To Care Like Christ by Bob Kellemen (Foreword by Brian Croft) is one of the most practical guides I have every seen on how to do counseling and train others to do it. I gladly wrote the foreword for it.
Here is a portion of that foreword:
The truths of the gospel must permeate the deeper places of the heart in a raw and honest way. Otherwise, those truths become a mental exercise that stay on the surface of the soul and only bring an illusion of change without true healing.
This is especially true with the ministry of soul care. To treat the deep brokenness of the soul with heady theories and spirited debates is like a heart surgeon thinking a successful heart transplant has been accomplished by merely trimming a scab off one’s chest. The soul must be reached to do effective soul care. Since the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that gives us hope, healing, and life to our souls, the gospel must infiltrate the soul for true lasting healing to come in the midst of the layers of pain, scars, and hurt that each of us lug around in the crevasses of our souls. This cannot be done without a knowledgeable guide who is also a skillful practitioner—someone who has a strong grasp on the saving power of the gospel yet knows the interworking of the soul to know how to reach its depths with that gospel and help others do the same in a real, authentic way.
The book you hold in your hand uniquely does both. Bob Kelleman is over-qualified to teach and lecture on all facets of biblical counseling, evidenced not just in the myriads of letters at the end of his name, but in the respect and reputation he has earned among his academic colleagues and fellow biblical counselors. But more importantly, Bob has a unique gift to take
the truths of the gospel he knows so well, and skillfully move them to the heart and help others do the same. Gospel Conversations: How to Care Like Christ is one of the finest demonstrations of that skillful movement I have ever read. It is a practical, well-balanced, and an incredibly useful tool that will press others to be real, raw, and honest in the safety of Christian community, which is essential to get to those deeper places in our souls.