Counsel is one of the seven gifts given to Christians by the Holy Spirit. It perfects prudence and helps Christians intuitively and correctly judge what should be done in different situations. If you have the gift of counsel from the Holy Spirit and have also earned educational qualifications in counselling, you can combine your faith with your career by starting a Christian counselling ministry that helps others benefit spiritually and psychologically from your guidance.
Decide what counselling services you can provide and who can benefit from them. Take into consideration your qualifications, talents and experience. Are you able to give marriage counselling, spiritual counselling or crisis counselling? What age groups, socioeconomic levels and religions are you qualified to help? Write a thorough description of the ministry you will provide based on this information.
Decide where to open your ministry. Find a location that has many people who can benefit from your services. Look for an affordable building, or make arrangements with a local church to use their premises. Set up your office and get a telephone number so people can reach you.
Apply for legal recognition from your state. Register your ministry's name, apply for non-profit status and apply for a tax identification number.
Set regular office hours. Whether your ministry is available full time, for a couple of hours a day or just once a week, you need a consistent schedule on which people can rely.
Promote your ministry. Place an advertisement in the parish bulletin. Ask your pastor to announce it from the pulpit. Make a brochure advertising your ministry and leave it in local stores, schools and community centres. Set appointments and begin your counselling sessions.
Involve other people in your ministry as it grows. Begin by asking people you have helped to get involved. Not everyone can give counselling but they can all pray or do charitable deeds to help others who are worse off than themselves. As more people hear about your ministry and come for Christian guidance, find additional counsellors so you can attend to everyone who needs help.