If you watched any of the “March Madness” college basketball, you are familiar with this advertising line, “What’s in your wallet?” For us today, let’s change that line slightly to, “What’s in your training?” Let’s talk together about some plans for instruction.
As for Grace Fellowship Church in Florence, Kentucky, we are grateful for the privilege of offering Counseling and Discipleship Training again this coming fall. This Training is a robust time of practical instruction about how to live life in a way pleasing to God and, therefore, good for us. From start to finish, it is based on principles from the Scriptures. So as to tailor for personal learning, participants can choose from 3 Tracks of instruction.
3 Tracks to Choose From
Track 1, “Fundamentals of Biblical Counseling,” provides foundational training needed for a believer’s own personal growth and ability to counsel others biblically. How to deal with trials, suffering, guilt, repentance, forgiveness, anger, worry, fear, sexual sin, and depression are just some of the topics covered.
Our Pastor, Brad Bigney, teaches a lion’s share of these 30 hours of instruction. So as not to impose on the Monday through Friday workweek, this training extends over 3 weekends spaced a month apart: one weekend in September, then one in October, and the final weekend in November. Extending the training over 3 months also minimizes mental overload. Additionally, this instruction fulfills the Basic Training Course requirement for Counseling Certification through the Association of Biblical Counselors, ACBC.
Track 2, “Family Life and Parenting,” provides hope and help for biblical living through deep family messes including those compounded by unrepentant adult children. For example, one teaching is entitled “Parenting is More than a Formula” and another is “You Never Stop Being a Parent: Dealing with Our Adult Children.” This training takes place for just the one weekend in September that Track 1 is being held.
Track 3, “The Theology of Biblical Counseling,” covers the many theological topics and truths that impact Biblical Counseling. Those considering becoming ACBC Certified Counselors will benefit significantly since the content covers the theology portion of the ACBC Exam. This training is for just one weekend in October, which is the same weekend that Track 1 is being held.
This training is of great value to us as a church. First, we encourage all our people of Grace Fellowship to take Track 1. This gives them tremendous insight into the hope and help that God provides in His Word for us to live lives pleasing to Him. Second, the material in Track 2 changes every year. Each year there is something new for participants to digest and apply to their lives and ministry. This is especially helpful for our Small Group Leaders and Counselors who are asked to attend this Track each year as a major component of their ongoing equipping. Third, hosting this training is a way our church can serve the greater kingdom of God. Actually, more people attend this training from other churches than from our own. To our surprise and delight, attendees usually come from at least 8 nearby states.
“What’s in Your Plan?”
All this about the counseling training at our church is not about us singing, “how great we art,” but to encourage all of us to think about, “What’s in your training plan?” How about you and your church? Are you getting the on-going training you need this year to continue to grow in Christlikeness and to help others do the same?
At present, there are a number of churches and organizations that offer this kind of training, such as ACBC, ABC, CCEF, Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana, and many others. As a church leader, are you taking your people with you to training? Even as a small church plant meeting in a school, more than 40 of our people were taken for many years to this kind of training. What a blessing that training was for our small congregation in having our servants thoroughly equipped “for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12).
Join the Conversation
So, “what’s in your training plan” this year?