Side by Side [eBook]
Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love
Practical Guidance for Loving Others Well
Everyone needs help from time to time, especially in the midst of painful circumstances and difficult trials. In this short book, a highly respected biblical counselor and successful author offers practical guidance for all Christians—pastors and laypeople alike—who want to develop their “helping skills” when it comes to walking alongside hurting people.
Written out of the conviction that friends are the best helpers, this accessible introduction to biblical counseling will equip believers to share their burdens with one another through gentle words of wisdom and kind acts of love. This book is written for those eager to see God use ordinary relationships and conversations between ordinary Christians to work extraordinary miracles in the lives of his people.
Edward T. Welch (PhD, University of Utah) is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. He has been counseling for more than 30 years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His books include When People Are Big and God Is Small, Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away From Addiction, and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. He blogs regularly at CCEF.org.
“The task of counseling is the task of loving others well. This book will help you to know what the love of Christ looks like, how to extend it to others, and how to accept it from others as you live in relationship together.”
—Heath Lambert, Executive Director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, The Biblical Counseling Movement after Adams
“There are two things that Welch’s book does very well. It demonstrates that no one gives grace better than a person who is convinced he needs it himself and that God makes his invisible grace visible by sending ordinary people to give extraordinary grace to people who need it. Welch not only reminds us all of our call to friendship ministry but also unpacks for us what it looks like. Every Christian should read this book!”
—Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries; author, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage
“Welch builds a vision of a Christian community that moves beyond platitudes and empty promises to deep, scriptural, Christlike relationships. You will find this book to be a helpful primer on how to ask for and provide help in the midst of an age of separation.”
—Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, counselor; speaker; author, Found in Him
“Finally! I’ve been wanting a book that helps normal, everyday Christians know how to help friends who are struggling. Ed Welch has given us this in his short, well-written, biblically sound, and Christ-exalting book. I’m planning to buy a bunch of copies and give it out to our church members.”
—Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; author, The Pastor and Counseling
“Ed Welch calls us back to the biblical model of one-another care with user-friendly wisdom that neither overcomplicates nor oversimplifies what it means to be a biblical encourager. I highly recommend Side by Side for every believer, every small group, and every church committed to being equipped to encourage one another in Christ.”
—Robert W. Kellemen, Vice President, Institutional Development; Chair, Biblical Counseling Department, Crossroads Bible College; author, Gospel-Centered Counseling
“Side by Side is a simple, insightful and practical guide to walking with people through times of trouble. This book will help churches to become communities of honesty and healing. You should read it—others will benefit, and so will you.”
—Ian Smith, Principal, Christ College, Sydney
“Side by Side is a very practical and thoroughly biblical guide meant as much for the average church member as for pastors and caregivers. Ed demolishes the myth that counseling can be done only by the professionally qualified. I wish this book had been written long ago.”
—John K. John, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Trust of India
“This book of practical spirituality will produce many more helpless Christians, but also many more helpful Christians. It made me feel both more needy and more needed. A rare double blessing!”
—David P. Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“Side by Side is an expertly executed physical-therapy treatment for the disabled body of Christ. With biblical precision and practical compassion, Welch assists the attentive and teachable to work spiritual muscles left unused by many. Finally, someone has offered the people of God a ministry tool for mutual burden bearing and spiritual body building.
—Joseph V. Novenson, Pastor, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
“Ed Welch skillfully provokes and counsels Christians on how to relate better with others by recognizing they are needy and needed. He puts his arms around church members who want to be more than spectators, around friends who want to grow in wise love for one another, and around parents who want to be more effective with their children. I wish I could have read this book as a young person—life would have been much richer both for others and for me.”
—Bruce K. Waltke, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Regent College
“We are needy people who share the same nature with many others in need of help. God’s grace does not make us self-sufficient but enables us to help others. Welch develops this principle beautifully in this book. Side by Side is not only a book for individual profit, but one to be used as an instrument for the growth of the church and the equipping of God’s people.”
—Valdeci Santos, Vice-President and Professor of Biblical Counseling and Missions, Andrew Jumper Graduate Center, Brazil
“Side by Side is a practical book about us needing others and others needing us. It pushes us to go further in our relationships and offers concrete ways to do that. It is a book about being companions and allies in Christian living. It is a book, finally, about being good Christian friends. I’d love every member of our church to read it—we would be a stronger community as a result.”
—Steve Midgley, Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; Senior Minister, Christ Church, Cambridge
“Side by Side simply made my ministry approach and the necessary in-reach method more pertinent to successful personal outreach and up-close-and-personal discipleship.”
—Dallas H. Wilson, Jr., Vicar, St. John’s Chapel, Charleston, South Carolina