Changing the world, by God’s grace, one person or one family at a time. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
Note: Dr. Bob Roane is not accepting counseling appointments via the internet and most of his current counseling flows out of teaching in churches and other places. Some of our handouts used in counseling are available under the Resources section of this website.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him....We have this hope in Christ as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure....Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Acts 10:38; Hebrews 6:19, 13:8)
Note: This was originally written for prayer partners and supporters.
Many individuals in Greater Houston are unreached, untaught, and/or uncared for by churches. Sadly, many professing Christians are unconnected to Christ-following churches, claiming to love Jesus, but not His church. They trust and obey Jesus in some ways, but have lost faith in the church as an organization. That’s now a widespread problem in America. Sometimes churches neglect or abuse people, failing to care for Christ’s sheep.
We aim to assist, not compete with, Christ's churches, serving and imitating Jesus the Chief, Good, and Great Shepherd. He calls each of His believers by name and knows all about us personally.1 Psalm 23 begins, "The Lord is my shepherd," telling us that Christ provides personal care for each of His believers.2 Paul names thirty-three people in Romans chapter 16 because he has a personal bond with them and loves them deeply. Jesus willingly chases after individual believers who stray.3 Christ is the unique God-man, Lord, Savior, Mediator, and Paraclete and we need Him so much!
As your missionary here in Houston, I aim to follow Jesus’ model of ministry. I aim to bring Christ to people and them to Christ for an ongoing relationship of discipleship. Thank you for helping me reach out to unsaved, unchurched, uncommitted, untaught, unwanted, and unloved people who fall through the cracks and need Bible-based pastoral counseling.
I’m An Imperfect Counselor
God brought me to faith in Jesus in 1976 and to pastoral work while in seminary in 1980. After years of walking with Christ as His disciple and servant, I am still only a sinner saved by God’s grace, seeking to follow and serve Jesus my Master, stumbling along the way. I confess with the Apostle Paul, “Here is a trustworthy saying: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”4 I still have far to go, but I am grateful that the Holy Spirit is still growing me in the Christ-like qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As I minister to and with others, I never pretend to have arrived, but say with C. S. Lewis, “Think of me as a fellow patient in the same hospital who, having been admitted earlier, can give some advice.” By showing love, concern, openness, transparency, concrete acts of kindness, interest, and involvement, as well as being a "self-revealer" (sharing my own struggles and victories, joys and sorrows, fears and failures), I seek to understand each person and tailor ministry to their needs.
Despite the increasing number of therapists in Houston, many Christian and non-Christian people lack access to counseling. Many still turn to pastors for help with personal, marital, and family matters, as well as faith issues. Many need free counseling and I am happy to provide this.
Many individuals in Greater Houston are untaught and/or uncared for by churches. Sadly, many professing Christians are unconnected to Christ-following churches, claiming to love Jesus, but not His church. They trust and obey Christ in ways, but have lost faith in the church as an organization. That’s widespread now in America. Sometimes churches neglect or abuse people, failing to care for Christ’s sheep.
Words of Hope aims to assist Christ's churches, serving and imitating Jesus the Chief Shepherd1, the Good Shepherd2, and the Great Shepherd3, who calls each of His believers by name and knows all about us personally.4 Psalm 23 begins: "The Lord is MY shepherd," telling us that Christ provides personal care for each of His believers.5 Paul names thirty-three people in Romans chapter 16 because he has a close bond with them. Jesus willingly chases after a single believer who strays.6 As your missionary here in Houston, this is what I aim to do too. Thank you for helping me reach out to unsaved, unchurched, uncommitted, untaught, unwanted, and unloved people who fall through the cracks and need Bible-based counseling.
God brought me to Jesus in 1976. After years of walking with Christ as His disciple and servant, I am grateful for growth He has given me in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. At the same time, I confess with Paul; “Here is a trust-worthy saying: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”7 As I minister to and with others, I never pretend to have arrived, but say with C. S. Lewis: “Think of me as a fellow patient in the same hospital who, having been admitted earlier, can give some advice.” By showing love, concern, openness, transparency, specific acts of kindness, interest, and involvement, as well as being a "self-revealer" (sharing my own struggles and victories, joys and sorrows, fears and failures), I seek to understand each person and tailor ministry to their needs.
Despite the increasing number of therapists in Houston, many people lack access to counseling. As a result many still turn to pastors for help with personal, marital, and family matters, as well as faith issues. Many need free counseling. We are happy to provide this.
What I call “Pastoral Counseling” is really shorthand for four overlapping areas of ministry:
|1. Pastoral Care||2. Shepherding||3. Biblical Counseling||4. Spiritual Formation|
The best counseling depends on God the Holy Spirit and is based on His Scriptures. It involves leading people to the Lord for salvation and tending to their welfare by watching over, nurturing, and guiding them. The goal is to promote the spiritual growth and maturity of individuals and families. After assessing people’s condition, we do whatever is needful to help them to greater spritual health and Christ-likeness, one step at a time, one issue at a time. This ranges from home and hospital visitation to more formal counseling. Often I deal with individuals while teaching in churches, prisons, schools, and other places. Pastoral care includes:
|accepting & loving
acts & deeds of mercy
bearing burdens & befriending
|evangelizing, comforting & encouraging
listening, mentoring & praying
Pastoral care looks after the personal and social well-being of people, teaching them to think and live like Christians and supporting them in this process.
Think about and put into practice whatever is true, noble, right, pure,
lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)
The best counseling imitates Jesus the Chief Shepherd and is a loving way of caring for people, not controlling or intimidating them. This involves protecting, feeding with Bible-based spiritual nourishment, shielding, refreshing, restoring, guiding, and leading by example to help people pursue Christ-like holiness. Scripture says: “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”5 This is how the Lord did and still does minister to people from His throne in heaven and by His Spirit here on earth.
The hymn by Frances J. “Fanny” Crosby (1820-1915) reminds us to:
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep over the erring ones, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, mighty to save.
Christ is the Wonderful Counselor
No human counselor can fix people’s problems, only the Lord can. And with Him all things are possible. We can help people to know and follow God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) so that they don’t have to face their problems alone and can receive His salvation and help. We are here to help people see that they are loved by God and important to Him. Whatever they have or lack, wherever they are, they can make it through anything through Christ who strengthens us. Jesus gives us Himself to trust and follow. He our only hope!
3. Biblical Counseling goes back to Bible times, but was re-emphasized by Jay Adams in Competent to Counsel (1970). Individuals and families are trained, coached, and mentored in living by God's truth. Romans 15:14 says Christians, “...are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and competent to counsel one another."8 Biblical Counsel has three components: Speaking the truth in love; out of deep concern; to help people make godly changes.
3A. Speaking the truth in love means we advise from the Scriptures. We focus our guidance on the Bible’s timeless truth, believing that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so we be thoroughly prepared to do good things.”9 We eagerly bring the Lord’s comfort in Christ, but can never compromise God’s truth to make people feel comfortable in their sins.
3B. Concern means counseling is done with a warm, family way, helping one another become more like Jesus. “We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.....We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.”10
3C. Change means we seek to help people grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, to become more like Him–loving God and neighbors. Jesus is our Savior and our Standard. God is able to change us as the Holy Spirit powerfully works in us with His Bible. Helping us to put off ungodly beliefs and behaviors and to put on Christ-like ones.
Here are some areas that we deal with:
|Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction
Assurance of Salvation
Conflict and Dispute Resolution
Equipping for Service
Facing Death with Hope
Freedom from Guilt
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Job and Career Advice
Loving Difficult People
Marriage, Family & Relationship issues
Reconciliation and Peace-making
Responsibility and Boundary Issues
Stewardship (Time, Talent, Treasure)
4. Spiritual Formation is a newer term for an aspect of pastoral ministry that goes back to Bible times. Christian Spiritual Formation is a life-long process as a believer desires to become more like Christ in attitude and action, belief and behavior, character and conduct, words and deeds. This is possible only by the empowering presence of God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this is also called “discipleship” or “coaching.” Paul writes:
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us,
to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.11
Spiritual theology, direction, and formation deal with living the Christian life instead of just thinking and talking about it. The counseling movement is often heavily psychologized and problem-centered. Spiritual direction doesn't always begin with a problem, but deals more with spiritual health, wellness, and growth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Some biblical references to Spiritual Formation:
The LORD who created and formed you says: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.12
Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brothers.13
We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.14
He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.15
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.16
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and people.17
1 1 Peter 5:4
2 John 10:14
3 Hebrews 13:20
4 John 10:3,27
5 See also Acts 20:28
6 Luke 15:4
7 1 Timothy 1:15
8 Charles B. Williams translation
|9 2 Timothy 3:16,17
10 1 Thessalonians 2:7f.
11 Ephesians 3:20,21
12 Isaiah 43:1
13 Romans 8:29
14 2 Corinthians 3:18
15 Ephesians 4:11-13, The Message
16 Romans 12:2
17 Luke 2:52