Promoting PErsonal Change, Centered on the PErson of Christ through the PErsonal Ministry of the Word
Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

Anxiety: How God Cares for Stressed People—CCEF Regional Conference

Anxiety--How God Cares for Stressed People—CCEF Regional Conference

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. On weekends, we often highlight upcoming biblical counseling training events—like this weekend’s post highlighting a CCEF regional training conference: Anxiety: How God Cares for Stressed People.

Anxiety Connections

We are stressed, anxious, and preoccupied people. We have too much to do, and too little time and ability to do it all. When something is important to us—money, loved ones, responsibilities, possessions, success, reputation—we realize that we cannot control what happens. All those things are at risk. An undercurrent of stress becomes our daily companion. Perhaps underlying feelings of anxiousness even turn into panic attacks. And other dominating experiences in life such as anger, depression, escapism, and fear of others all have connections to anxiety.

Join us for a Friday evening and Saturday morning in which we will consider how God moves toward us in our anxious ways.

David Powlison, M.Div., Ph.D. In addition to serving as CCEF’s Executive Director, David is a faculty member at CCEF as well as the Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an M.Div. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. David has been counseling for over thirty years. He has written numerous articles on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books include Speaking Truth in LoveSeeing with New EyesPower Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare, and The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context. David has taught across the United States and in Korea, India, Brazil, Europe, and Sri Lanka.

Ed Welch is a faculty member at CCEF and holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Neuro-Psychology specialty from the University of Utah as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over 30 years and has written many books and articles on biblical counseling including When People are Big and God is SmallAddictions: a Banquet in the GraveBlame it on the Brain?DepressionRunning Scared, and Shame, Interrupted.  He and his wife, Sheri, have two married daughters and four grandchildren. In his spare time Ed enjoys hanging out with his wife and extended family, and playing his guitar. Areas of interest/experience: depression and addictions.

Register here and learn more here.

Topics: Anxiety, Conference, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , ,

Friday’s 5 to Live By

Friday's 5 To Live By

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top five biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living.

5 Benefits of Faithful Preaching

Biblical counselors believe in the power of the personal ministry of the Word—counseling, and in the power of the pulpit ministry of the Word—preaching. That’s why we recommend David Mathis’ post at Desiring God: Five Benefits of Faithful Preaching.

On Guard

Tim Challies reviews Deepak Reju’s new book, On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church. Listen to his high praise:

“If I could mandate that at least one leader from every church had to read a single book, I don’t think there are too many I would choose ahead of On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church.”

Read Tim’s entire review at On Guard.

Ferguson: The Color of Truth

Hosea Baxter, Professor of Urban Leadership at Crossroads Bible College, asks:

“Do we really want racial healing as it relates to our social divide?”

Read his answer at Ferguson: The Color of Truth.

Describe a Typical Counseling Session

So is there such a thing as a “typical” counseling session? Ed Welch of CCEF addresses that question in his post, Describe a Typical Counseling Session.

Is Glorifying God a Hate Crime Now?

In light of the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Russell Moore asks, Is Glorifying God a Hate Crime Now?

Join the Conversation

Which post impacted you the most? Why? What blog posts have you enjoyed this week that you want to share with others?

Topics: Five To Live By, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , ,

Equipping the Church for One-Another Ministry: The IBCD Story

Equipping the Church for One-Another Ministry--The IBCD Story

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. Throughout January, we’re helping you to learn about vital biblical counseling ministries—like today’s post from Jim Newheiser and Craig Marshall of the Institution for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD).

An Exciting Year

2014 proved to be an incredibly exciting year at IBCD with the release of our new Observation videos and the completion of our Care & Discipleship training. The enthusiastic response from the biblical counseling community to these materials thrills us. Our hope is that these efforts will serve to build up the body of Christ so that more local churches and individual believers will be equipped to help one another through life’s problems with the Word of God.

Over the years we have seen hundreds of people wanting godly help in crisis and feeling clueless about where to turn. We hear continually from pastors and church members who wish they had the resources to get more training or to train others. While live trainings and counseling observation are an ideal way to do this, we have become burdened to craft a way for people to receive training regardless of their geographic location, scheduling or financial constraints.

CDC in the Community: Ventura, California

At the Ventura County Rescue Mission all of the staff are going through Care and Discipleship training. The Mission offers a wide variety of programs to serve the needs of the poor and homeless in their community including counseling services for over 100 men and women assigned to their alcohol and drug recovery program. Director John Saltee, a graduate of Westminster Seminary California, says that already in the 8 weeks since they began the training he has seen a positive impact. “We are more unified, praying for each other more,” he observes. “Now all the counselors are using their Bibles…pointing to God and His wisdom….”  He and other leaders have a vision to take Care and Discipleship to similar rescue missions in their region.

CDC in the Classroom: Berlin, Germany

Students in the second year of the Biblical Counseling program at Europaiches Bibel Trainings Centrum are now able to watch Care and Discipleship Observation videos in their “Beobachtung und Analyse” (Observation and Analysis) class. Each observation video is first transcribed in English and then translated into German. The EBTC audio-visual team then adds subtitles to the video. “For many of the students, this is the first time they have seen pastoral care of this quality in action,” says missionary Nick Kalena. “The Observation videos provide a much-needed, high quality resource here in Germany for demonstrating to believers how to biblically care for one another. They are kindling for the counseling movement that is just starting to ignite here.”

CDC in the Church: Minden, Nevada

“Going through the CDC curriculum was a clear choice for our church,” says pastor Jason Ching of Grace Community Church. A few months ago the leadership of Grace Community began offering Levels 1 and 2 of Care & Discipleship Training during Sunday School. They have seen an enthusiastic response with an average of 50 attendees per class. “Being able to give biblical counsel is an indispensable part of the spiritual war we are fighting,” says Ching. “As Jim Newheiser says, ‘We’re all counselors; the question is whether we’re good counselors or bad ones.’ So many brothers and sisters desperately need God’s Word to restore them, to convict them, to build them up, and to give them hope. Yet so many Christians are unequipped for this ongoing work. The need is grave and the potential gains are wondrously profound.”

What Exactly Does the Training Consist of?

Care & Discipleship training is laid out in a three-part course which can be viewed on DVD, streamed or downloaded from the website, or even listened to for free as MP3 audios. Level 1 is a great introduction to biblical counseling involving 15 hours of instruction examining the basics of biblical counseling, principles of change, peacemaking, trials, anger, depression, worry, and temptation. The next 15 hours in Level 2 cover key topics such as marriage and family, parenting challenges, divorce and remarriage, and biblical decision-making. This level also further explores the interplay of body and soul in relation to medicine and mental disorders.

The course culminates in Level 3 with the recently-released Observation videos. Ten hours of video follow the development of four different counseling cases with three different counselors. Through these videos viewers get to see the concepts they have been learning applied to individual counseling scenarios.

How Do You Use It?

We have crafted materials for each level so that this training can easily be used in any group setting.  Levels 1 & 2 are available on DVD, audio, and Vimeo with student handbooks to go along with each session. The Leader Guide makes it easy to take a class or small-group through the material with suggested discussion breaks and discussion questions and answers. Level 3 Observation videos are available on DVD and Vimeo and have their own handbook designed to simulate the live observation process an observer would have in our counseling center.

Observation can serve as a stand-alone component or be integrated into the Level 1 & 2 materials as suggested in our Teaching Guide. Individuals are welcome to work through the training on their own as well, but the interaction afforded by a group setting is ideal.

How Long Does It Take?

The total instruction time for the course is 40 hours and can be adapted to suit the needs of any group or individual. Some people opt to work very quickly through the material in a few intensive weekend or week-long training sessions. In our Teaching Guide we have laid out a suggested plan to cover all the material over four, sixteen-week classes, assuming each class is an hour in length. For example, a small-group or Sunday school could commit to meeting for 16 weeks and cover a quarter of the lectures as well as one of the cases from Observation.  The next class could begin immediately after that, but it allows for breaks to accommodate scheduling as well as entry and exit points for newcomers or people interested in certain segments of the training.

What is CDC Certification?

CDC Certification is an optional component individuals may pursue to enhance their training. It involves a few additional steps including listening to electives, taking a short exam after Levels 1 & 2, interviewing with church leadership, reading and responding to key counseling texts, and writing a reflection to Observation.  It can also be useful to those interested in ACBC Certification as it breaks the process into smaller steps. Those who complete Levels 1-3 will find themselves well prepared to continue the final steps required for ACBC Certification.

How Do I Start?

Access the CDC materials on our website here to get started right away. You can also watch an introductory video, read FAQs, view a complete list of products, and purchase training materials from the CDC Store.

Topics: Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , ,

An Ally for the Church: One-Eighty Counseling and Education

An Ally for the Church--One-Eighty Counseling and Education

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. Throughout January, we’re helping you to learn about vital biblical counseling ministries—like today’s post from Dr. Stuart Scott of One-Eighty Counseling and Education.

Biblical Care for God’s People

Early on in my pastoral ministry, I was taught to refer suffering people in my congregation to psychologically-trained professionals. And that’s what I did. And that’s what other pastors in my area did as well. But I was finding that our people in our churches were not getting lasting help and change…until I was introduced to biblical counseling.

A recent study found that 81% of pastors surveyed in Reformed and evangelical churches do not have regular discipleship or effective programs to teach their people how to deepen their Christian formation. While there is preaching from the pulpit and perhaps community through small groups, that’s 81% of churches in which biblical help and hope for spiritual growth through discipleship and counseling is not readily available within the church.

In 2 Peter 1, God says He has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Himself, which He has revealed to us in His Word. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul teaches that God Himself breathed out Scripture and that it is profitable for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete and equipped for every good work.

As Christians, we affirm these truths. But at the same time, 81% of evangelical churches are not equipped to put these truths into practice—to show their people how God’s Word applies to their problems and suffering. The result is a Bible-believing people who must find help from unbiblical philosophies.

This is tragic.

But thankfully, it’s also avoidable. That’s where One-Eighty Counseling and Education steps in.

Biblical Soul Care in the Body of Christ

One-Eighty Counseling and Education is a ministry that I, and a small group of like-minded, faithful friends, founded in 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky, to serve the local church’s desire to provide biblical soul-care to its people. Our mission is:

To provide Scripture-based discipleship counseling training through seminars, counseling services, and practical, life-changing resources.

Through these services, we ally with the local church, helping to strengthen the whole body through training God’s people how His Word applies to practical life issues to bring hope and help to His people.

Ephesians 4:11 and following says that God gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry. As a young pastor, I was not equipped to counsel people in my church, and if I wasn’t equipped, I couldn’t equip others. I have spent the last 25 years working to help equip others, in churches and in schools, to counsel from God’s Word. One-Eighty Counseling and Education is the latest (and very exciting) iteration of that work.

In our inaugural year as a ministry, One-Eighty impacted 39 churches across 4 states and Canada, training 130 individuals and helping 20 people complete their Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) exams to become ACBC-certified biblical counselors. By the close of 2014, we have taught nearly 170 people from 50 churches across 4 states and Canada the ability to better minister to others from God’s Word through our biannual trainings. We built a team of 6 ACBC-certified (or in process) biblical counselors who are ministering to our city through counseling and also providing observation opportunities to equip counselors-in-training.

By God’s grace, we are working hard to help equip His church with the life-changing power and resources He has given us in His Word. But by God’s grace and with your help, we want to do much more.

Engaging with Us in Ministry

We continue to receive interest from other churches about coming to help them get trained. There are a few ways you can engage alongside us in meeting this need. One is through financial support. We have a great vision to train more individuals and reach more churches in the next 5 years. Your financial support is essential in helping us realize it. You can support our ministry here.

We would also love to invite you to attend our training. There’s still time (until February 1, 2015) to register for our spring biblical discipleship counseling training in Louisville, hosted by Highview Baptist Church. We would love to serve you by helping you learn how to counsel yourself and others from the Scriptures. Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested.

Lastly, please pray for us. We deeply desire that this ministry be one that God is in and is working through. So we would ask you to pray with us that God would use One-Eighty mightily to strengthen His churches.

Learn more about us at One-Eighty Counseling and Education.

Topics: Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , ,

The Gospel for Everyday Life: The RPM Ministry Story

The Gospel for Everyday Life--The RPM Ministry Story

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. Throughout January, we’re helping you to learn about vital biblical counseling ministries—like today’s post from Dr. Bob Kellemen of RPM Ministries. Founded by Dr. Kellemen, RPM Ministries exists to equip pastors, lay people, educators, students, and biblical counselors to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth through Christ-centered, church-based, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed biblical counseling. RPM is an acrostic for Resurrection Power Multipliers, based on Paul’s prayer in Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.” As believers in Christ, we have within us the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:15-23).

Gospel Amnesia

The modern biblical counseling movement has always emphasized passages like 2 Peter 1:3.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

In the subsequent verses (2 Peter 1:4-9), Peter explains why we sometimes fail to live out the new person we already are in Christ—because we have gospel amnesia. “But whoever does not have them [Christlike character qualities] is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

What Difference Does the Gospel Make?

Peter reminds us that we must understand how to apply the gospel to everyday life. In light of Peter’s exhortation, RPM Ministries exists to help people to answer the question:

“What difference does the gospel make as we face suffering and fight against sin?”

In addressing that question, biblical counselors often ponder two vitally important follow-up questions:

  • “How do we find peace with God?”
  • “How do people change?”

However, theologically and practically, we must ask those questions differently, like this:

  • “How does Christ bring us peace with God?”
  • “How does Christ change people?”

The Bible answers those questions with four words that encompass our complete salvation—justification, reconciliation, regeneration, and redemption. Please do not let those big theological words intimidate you. These big words carry big meaning that reveal the bigness of our God and the greatness of our salvation.

Our New Nurture and Our New Nature

The heartbeat of RPM Ministries is to help Christians to live out our new nurture—justification and reconciliation.

By new nurture we’re highlighting the change in our relationship with God that takes place because of Christ’s gospel of grace. It emphasizes who we are to Christ and answers the question, “How does Christ bring us peace with God?”

The second heartbeat of RPM Ministries is to help Christians to live out our new nature—our new creation in Christ.

By new nature we’re emphasizing the truth that a real change took place in who we are when we are made new through Christ. It highlights who we are in Christ and addresses the question, “How does Christ change people?”

Changing Lives with Christ’s Changeless Gospel Truth

Through speaking, writing, and consulting, RPM Ministries seeks to help us to learn together how to apply the gospel truths of justification, reconciliation, regeneration, and redemption to our lives and ministries. RPM Ministries seeks to answer the question:

“What would it look like to build an approach to one-another ministry based solely upon the gospel of Christ’s grace?”

My latest writing project through RPM Ministries is a two-book Equipping Biblical Counselors series with Zondervan:

  • Gospel Conversations: How to Care Like Christ (releases September 2015, learn more here).

We’ve all heard of brilliant surgeons with horrific bedside manners. We’ve likely known some scholarly people whose relational skills could use a little development. On the other hand, many people know what it’s like to care deeply, but do not know what to do after the hug. Perhaps we’ve experienced friends who can cry with us but seem unsure how to offer much additional help.

God calls us to love well and wisely. That’s why, in biblical counseling, we must weave together truth and love—comprehensive biblical wisdom and compassionate Christlike care.

That’s the design of the Equipping Biblical Counselors’ Series. In Gospel-Centered Counseling and Gospel Conversations, I unite Paul’s ministry theme of Scripture and soul in 1 Thessalonians 2:8. “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our own lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”

My prayer for this two-book series follows Paul’s wisdom and relationship prayer in Philippians 1:9-11. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.”

Equipping in biblical counseling is not either/or: either be a brilliant but uncaring soul physician, or be a loving but unwise spiritual friend. God calls us to be wise and loving biblical counselors. Gospel-Centered Counseling and Gospel Conversations offer you a comprehensive and compassionate approach to one-another ministry.

God’s Healing for Life’s Losses

The gospel applies not only to our sin, but also to our suffering. On Saturday, January 31, 2015, I’ll be at Uniontown Bible Church in Union Bridge, Maryland (outside of Baltimore), presenting a 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. seminar on God’s Healing for Life’s Losses. This interactive seminar walks participants through a gospel-centered journey through grief to growth by grace.

For more information on the seminar visit here. To register visit here.

To learn more about gospel-centered biblical counseling, visit RPM Ministries.

Topics: Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care | Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Principles to Consider if You Are Planning to Move: Advice to a Mobile Society

2 Principles to Consider if You Are Planning to Move Advice to a Mobile Society

A church member or friend comes to me and says, “I’ve got a job offer in another town,” or “I’m ready to do more education and have applied to a few different schools around the country,” or “We’re shopping for a home.” Not surprising for a mobile society.

In the 21st century, people often move for jobs, or education, or buying a new home. Long gone are the days when a person stays in the same town and maybe even takes over the family business. The average American is said to move as many as 11 or 12 times in their lifetime, most of which comes before their mid-forties.

I’d like to suggest two principles for someone who is thinking about moving.

1. If you are considering moving, make sure there is a good church in your new location before you make the final decision to move.

If your participation in a local church is one of the key sources for your spiritual growth (Ephesians 3:10; 4:11-13; Hebrews 10:24-25), why would you take a risk and go someplace without knowing first if there would be a good church near you?

Don’t make your decision to move based solely on criteria like:

  • This new job will be good for your career.
  • Education will give you better job prospects in the future.
  • You’re dissatisfied with your current job so you need to move on to somewhere else.
  • You’ve outgrown your current house, so you want to move to a bigger one.
  • You want a bigger home just because you can afford it.
  • You are about to start having kids and want to move closer to your family.
  • You would rather live in a city or the country or where the pace of life is different.

Here is what’s troubling to me—folks are usually not making church a first priority in their decision to move. Either they haven’t thought about what church they would go to in their new location, or they just assume there will be a good church near them no matter where they move (after all, this is America, where a church can be found on every street corner, right?).

What you shouldn’t do is pick a new career or apply for an education opportunity or buy a new home and have absolutely no consideration of where you are going to go to church.

To do that is to make your spiritual life secondary to your career, educational choices, or home purchase; and that is just flat out dangerous.

As best you can, build your life around a church where you are prospering spiritually—not around your job or your educational training or a new home. You don’t want your work or educational choices or home purchase to jeopardize your spiritual growth.

2. Consider, at some point in your life, committing to a church long-term.

If you’ve found a church where you are growing spiritually, then you’ve found a good thing. Why give it up?

If you stay in your church over the long-term, you have the benefit of:

  • Getting to know the leadership of the church much better and allowing them to get to know you.
  • Getting to know the local community better (which will help your evangelism).
  • Sitting consistently under preaching that is benefiting you spiritually.
  • Building a kind of depth to relationships, which you achieve over 10 or 20 (or even 30) years that you don’t get if you move every five years.
  • Being known by others who have had the chance to see your needs, challenges, and sin patterns over time, which in turn enables them to speak meaningfully into your life and care for you in a way that those you just met couldn’t.
  • Earning trust among leaders in the church so that you might be entrusted with various responsibilities.
  • Earning trust among leaders and others generally that you might be able to speak into their lives in significant ways.
  • Having the opportunity to minister to the children of others as they grow from infancy to adolescence to adulthood, and having the ability to help form in those children’s minds a model of godly adulthood.
  • Building greater unity within the church by growing up with the church.
  • Providing a kind of stability in the church by staying and giving an example of commitment through thick and thin.
  • Being sanctified through being at the same church during different seasons
    • In life—single; married; with kids; retired;
    • Personally—when thriving and when struggling;
    • In relation to the church—contentment, discontentment.
  • When you stay, you get to witness and in turn grasp long-term spiritual growth—what it is like for God to make people more like Himself over decades.

I know this might sound far-fetched, but at some point, it is okay to say “no” to new job possibilities or education or a bigger home because you don’t want to give up your church. I’ve known folks who did that, even in their 20s or 30s.

I have a friend who has turned down promotions because he knows the next level of responsibility will make it hard to stay involved in his church or cause him to have to move to another part of the country. I’ve known college students who picked a school in their own community because they loved their church, or have said “no” to good schools because they couldn’t find a good church in the same town. I know another guy who said “no” to a great job possibility because it would have caused him to move away to another town and (again) he didn’t want to move away from a church in which he was growing spiritually. I’ve known folks who stuck with the same home, even though they could afford a bigger one, so that they could live near their church and be invested in the same community that their church resides in.

Because the local church is the way in which God plans to make His “manifold wisdom” known to the world (Ephesians 3:10) and because a local church is a key to your spiritual growth, you should consider committing to a church long-term.

Join the Conversation

During your last move, did you factor church into your decision? If you did not, can you do that in your next move? What would it take for you to stay long-term in the church you are currently in?

Topics: BCC Exclusive, Christian Living, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , ,

New Advanced Theology Track

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. This weekend we do so by alerting you to some exciting and important news just released by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

New Year, New Advanced Track

Starting in the Spring of 2015, ACBC will begin offering an Advanced Theology Track at our regional training events. This track will equip counselors to better understand how theology relates to counseling.

For those interested in ACBC certification, the new Advanced Theology Track will cover all of the material that is needed for completing the theology exam. This unique track will serve as an excellent resource for those involved in phase two of certification.

The Advanced Theology Track will be offered at the following 2015 regional training events:

Click here to learn more about the New Advanced Track

Topics: Education, Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , ,

Friday’s 5 to Live By

Friday's 5 To Live By

Each Friday our BCC staff links you to the top five biblical counseling and Christian living blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living.

Should We Leave Our Children Inheritances?

Randy Alcorn takes up an interesting topic—one that many of us may assume we know the biblical answer to—Should We Leave Our Children Inheritances? In part Alcorn writes:

I’ve heard countless inheritance horror stories over the years. Study the lives of people who have inherited significant wealth and you’ll find that in the vast majority of cases, it’s made them more unhappy, greedy, and cynical. Who needs to work hard when you’ve got all that money? Money funds new temptations, including addictions. Giving money to a careless spender is throwing gasoline on a fire. And nothing divides siblings more quickly than a large inheritance. Leaving more to God’s kingdom and less to financially independent children is not just an act of love toward God, but toward them.

Andrew Carnegie said, ‘The almighty dollar bequeathed to a child is an almighty curse. No man has the right to handicap his son with such a burden as great wealth.’ Cornelius Vanderbilt said, ‘Inherited wealth is as certain death to ambition as cocaine is to morality.’ Henry Ford stated, ‘Fortunes tend to self-destruction by destroying those who inherit them.’

More important, God says, ‘An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end’ (Proverbs 20:21, NIV). Wise parents can leave enough to their children and grandchildren to be helpful without leaving them so much as to hurt them.”

Read the rest here.

Assessing the State of Your Church

Trevin Wax provides excellent, practical, biblical, heart-centered, gospel-focused counsel for Assessing the State of Your Church.

Our Desperate Need to Live Through Christ

We all want to be like Christ. We all desire to grow by grace in our sanctification. Where is God’s power for our growth? Dr. Bob Kellemen addresses this vital question in Our Desperate Need to Live Through Christ.

What Is Practical Atheism?

R.C. Sproul asks and answers the question, What Is Practical Atheism?

What God Can Do in Five Seconds

John Piper addresses What God Can Do in Five Seconds.

Join the Conversation

Which post impacted you the most? Why? What blog posts have you enjoyed this week that you want to share with others?

Topics: Five To Live By, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , , , , , ,

Gospel-Centered Discipleship: Ministry Update

Gospel-Centered Discipleship--Ministry Update

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. We also enjoy using our megaphone to advance the ministry of like-minded ministries—like today’s post from Brandon Smith with some important news from the ministry of Gospel-Centered Discipleship. You can also read today’s post, which we are re-posting with permission, at the GCD site here.

Gospel-Centered Discipleship exists to publish resources that help make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus. In their own words: “You may have noticed that there are a lot of resources available for theological education, church planting, and missional church, but not for discipleship. We noticed too, so we started GCD to address the need for reliable resources on a whole range of discipleship issues.” To learn more about Gospel-Centered Discipleship, visit their About Us Page.

(Re)Introducing the Gospel-Centered Discipleship’s New Executive Director, Brad Watson

When I (Brandon Smith) took the helm at Gospel-Centered Discipleship in 2013, I saw great potential in the ministry’s ability to continue its already stellar reputation for resourcing churches to make, mature, and multiply disciples. Since then, our site traffic has continued to improve, GCD Books has grown exponentially, and our staff has expanded.

Further, the Director role at GCD expanded to Executive Director, shifting from managing articles and social media to vision-casting, fundraising, and oversight of our incredibly talented staff. We also created a more official Board to advise the Executive Director. Needless to say, we are thankful for all God has done over the past two years.

I took over as Director for Brad Watson in 2013, and he’s been a faithful member of the Board ever since. In Board meetings, he always seems to find a way to offer the most practical, gospel-driven solution to our biggest concerns about the ministry. After extensive prayer and considering several candidates, we believe that God kept Brad around for a reason. When looking at the qualifications for Executive Director, the Board decided that it was clear: Brad needs to retake the helm. He is one of the most God-honoring, visionary leaders that I know, and we are overjoyed to have him back in the day-to-day of GCD!

In case you don’t know him, Brad serves as a pastor of Bread & Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon, and is co-author with Jonathan Dodson of Raised? and Called Together. His greatest passion is to encourage and equip leaders for the mission of making disciples, and this is evident if you spend any time with him. His love for Jesus feeds into his love for the Church, which feeds into his love for making disciples, which feeds into his love for GCD.

Please pray for Brad and for GCD as he begins as Executive Director of GCD this week, and as I (Brandon Smith) step into my new role as a Board member. Thank you for your love and support of GCD.

Join the Conversation (Added by the BCC Staff)

How has the ministry of Gospel-Centered Discipleship impacted your life and ministry?

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The Power of the Gospel: The Baylight Counseling Story

The Power of the Gospel--The Baylight Counseling Story

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. Each day this week our megaphone will help you learn more about a vital biblical counseling ministry—like today’s post from Joshua Waulk of Baylight Counseling.

Christ-Centered Hope and Healing

Baylight Counseling is a new and developing, donor-supported biblical counseling ministry located in Clearwater, Florida. Founded in May 2013, the mission of Baylight is to provide clinically-informed, biblical soul care for Christ-centered hope and healing.

The vision involves growing partnerships with local churches that serve as a referral base for the ministry, and eventually providing training in biblical counseling for the building up of one-another ministry in local congregations. As the Founder and Executive Director, my passion is to help people make the connection between the power of the Gospel for life-transformation and the life-dominating issues they face.

Discovering My Calling

The concept of starting a counseling ministry began several years prior to my selecting the MABC program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). As a career police officer, I spent many hours working with couples in troubled marriages, and evaluating suicidal persons for involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. With the encouragement of family and friends, I retired from law enforcement after seventeen years, and began my seminary education to pursue vocational ministry. It was at SEBTS that I met Dr. Robert Jones, Dr. Sam Williams, and Brad Hambrick. These men introduced me to biblical counseling. I knew right away that I had discovered my ministry calling.

After completing a significant number of program hours, and with the help of some key people, I began laying the administrative foundation for what would become Baylight Counseling. One of the hurdles for me was that in many ways, biblical counseling had not yet penetrated the Tampa Bay area as a well-known or well-understood counseling option. For this reason, I had few, if any local resources to turn to for help.

Fortunately, when it came time to complete mentored internships, God provided me with connections to men like Dr. Ron Allchin of the Biblical Counseling Center in Chicago. Dr. Allchin was instrumental in helping me complete my MABC internship requirements, and provided me with tremendous insight with counseling cases I began taking on as a graduate level intern. As I enter the spring semester at SEBTS in 2015, I’m just twelve credit hours shy of graduation and will soon enter the final phase of ACBC certification.

Celebrating What God Has Accomplished

Here at the end of 2014, I’m celebrating what God has accomplished through this counseling ministry start-up. Several local churches and pastors were intrigued by the vision I shared with them at the beginning. Their investment of trust in Baylight helped make it possible for this ministry to provide over 300 counseling hours this year alone, and all of that while I served a local church in a part-time pastoral role. Within those hours, we saw hurting marriages helped, abuse victims comforted, and parents of struggling teens encouraged.

As we enter 2015, I’m looking forward to seeing counseling hours increase as I devote myself fully to the ministry, and as more couples and individuals seek the biblical counsel they need and rightly desire. Hardly a day or week goes by now that I do not hear from a new person seeking assistance at Baylight Counseling.

It’s truly an honor to serve within the biblical counseling movement and to be associated with the people who lead the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Many people have and continue to contribute materially to the development of this ministry and my own growth as a biblical counselor. It’s my prayer that God would continue to bless their efforts and sacrifice so that believers and non-believers alike would hear the Good News in the context of their sin and suffering and how it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe.

Join the Conversation

How is the power of the gospel at work in your life and ministry?

Topics: Megaphone Post, People in Need of Care, People Who Offer Care, People Who Train Caregivers | Tags: , ,

About the BCC

The BCC exists to strengthen churches, para-church organizations, and educational institutions by promoting excellence and unity in biblical counseling as a means to accomplish compassionate outreach and effective discipleship.