Consent to Counsel
& Authorization to Request/Release Information
It is both our privilege and goal to help you toward Christ-likeness during this time in your life.
Our Goal | Our goal in providing biblical counseling is to help you meet the challenges of life in a way that will please and honor the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:31), and allow you to fully enjoy His love for you and His plans for your life (John 15:11).
Biblical Basis | We believe that the Bible provides thorough guidance and instruction for faith and a life that is pleasing to God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3ff) Therefore, our biblical counseling is based upon scriptural principles rather than those of secular psychology or psychiatry. In order to support this conviction, we ask that all of those we counsel to be regular attendees to our Sunday morning worship services while you are in counseling. Although some of the pastoral or lay counselors of Oak Grove Church may be trained or licensed in other fields, such as medicine, psychology, or psychiatry, they will not practice in that capacity but only as biblical discipleship counselors under the authority of the Elders of Oak Grove Church.
Not Professional Advice | If you have significant legal, financial, medical or other technical questions you should seek advice from an independent professional. Our ministry staff and lay counselors will be happy to cooperate with such advisors and help you to consider their counsel in light of relevant scriptural principles. Our pastors and discipleship counselors do not give professional advice.
As we do not practice as licensed professionals, we do not make diagnoses, nor do we submit insurance claims. There is no charge for biblical counseling.
Communication and Community | At Oak Grove Church we desire to grow in caring for those in our flock who are hurting. It is imperative to our mission and your long-term care that we stay in consistent and regular communication with the leadership of Oak Grove Church (elders, pastoral staff, and biblical counseling leadership) and/or the person you have designated/chosen/agreed to as your advocate. This form gives us permission to discuss what we deem to be the necessary information regarding your situation with the appropriate and concerned parties in accordance with the confidentiality guidelines explained below. Please read the following information carefully.
Confidentiality | Confidentiality is an important aspect of the discipleship counseling process and we will carefully guard the information you entrust to us. There are situations, however, when it may be necessary for us to share certain information with others beside your advocate or those mentioned above in the Communication and Community section:  When there is a clear indication to harm him/herself or someone else;  When there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of abuse against a minor child, elderly person, or dependent adult;  If we are subpoenaed or court ordered to disclose information;  In discussions with the elders, pastoral staff or biblical counseling leadership of Oak Grove Church, previous counselor(s) and/or your advocate for the sole purpose of gaining information for your care or to help in follow up and after care;  When a counselor is uncertain of how to address a particular problem and needs to seek advice and wisdom from another Oak Grove Church elder, pastoral staff, or biblical counseling leader;  When a person persistently refuses to renounce a particular sin and it becomes necessary to seek the assistance of others in the church to encourage repentance and reconciliation. (Proverbs 15:22; 24:11, Matthew 18:15-20)
In all of these situations, we will make every effort to be sensitive to your situation. Please be assured that our counselors strongly prefer not to disclose any of this personal information to others. We will strive to help you resolve the difficult situations you are experiencing as discretely as possible.
Financial Responsibility for Materials | Part of the weekly biblical counseling homework assignments will usually require the purchase of materials that correspond to the discipleship. Those materials are yours to keep. The actual biblical counseling is free of charge as a ministry of Oak Grove Church.
Resolution of Conflicts (Arbitration) | On rare occasions, a conflict may develop between a counselor and a counselee. In order to make sure that any such conflicts are resolved in a Biblical manner, we require all of our counselees to agree that any dispute that arises with a counselor or with Oak Grove Church staff as a result of counseling will be settled by mediation under the leadership of Oak Grove Church. The undersigned hereby expressly waives any right to maintain a civil action/suit against Oak Grove Church by virtue of the counseling services provided, or any action related thereto. We will make every effort to resolve conflict in a manner according to the principles of scripture. (I Cor. 6-7)
Release of Liability & Covenant Not to Sue | The undersigned do now remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge Oak Grove Christian Church and their officers, directors, agents, employees, independent contractors, counselors, volunteers, successors and assigns and other persons or any other party involved in or related to biblical counseling services from all actions, causes of action, suits, damages, judgments, executions, claims and demands whatsoever in law or in equity, which the undersigned may ever had, now have or may have in the future, or which any personal representative, successor, heir or assign of the undersigned in the future can, shall or may have, for any reason or cause whatsoever, including but not limited to any and all claims, causes of action, suits, controversies or demands arising out of or relating in any fashion whatsoever to the undersigned participation in biblical counseling or any action pursuant to biblical counseling, whether caused by negligence or otherwise.
The undersigned covenants not to sue or otherwise assert a claim of any nature whatsoever against Oak Grove Christian Church its counselors, officers, directors, volunteers, or employees arising out of or in any way related to the undersigned's involvement in Biblical counseling. By signing this Consent to Counsel you agree to hold Oak Grove Church harmless in any and all matters associated with the biblical advice you have received.
Conclusion & Signature | Having clarified the principles and policies of our discipleship counseling ministry, we welcome the opportunity to minister to you in the name of Christ and to be used by Him as He helps you to grow in spiritual maturity and prepares you for usefulness in His body. If you have any questions about these guidelines or conditions, please speak with our pastor or a discipleship counselor.
Having read the foregoing information and conditions fully and completely, my signature below indicates that I understand all the material presented and fully agree to comply.
Feb. 2020 update