As part of our BCC vision, we want to point you to the best of the best in robust, relational biblical counseling. Each week we’ll be posting (and then making available as an ongoing resource) interviews with churches, para-church groups, and individuals committed to biblical counseling.
Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries
This week we highlight Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries of Faith Baptist Church in Lafayette, Indiana. To learn more about their biblical counseling ministry, we interviewed Rob Green, Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries.
BCC: “Tell our readers about your biblical counseling ministry mission and vision.”
FBCM: “Our ministry has three basic facets. First, we desire to train as many people as possible in doing biblical counseling. We do this through an 11-week Monday training program that incorporates teaching with observation of live sessions. This facet of our mission is also accomplished through our biblical counseling conferences. We host one each year in February and we also do regional conferences. Second, we want to offer free counseling to those in our community who need it. Through the years, many have been won to Christ and many more have been radically changed due to the Lord’s work in their lives. Third, we seek to produce quality resources that will help others in their counseling ministries.”
BCC: “What is the history of your biblical counseling ministry—tell us your story?”
FBCM: “Pastor Bill Goode (the former senior pastor, now with the Lord) and Dr. Bob Smith began Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries in 1977. After receiving training from John Bettler, they began offering counseling services to those in the Lafayette community. From the very beginning, they desired to train others in counseling. As a result, they designed a counseling training program modeled after the way Jay Adams and John Bettler had trained them. In time, pastors and other lay leaders from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan began coming for this training, which involved a set of lecture material and also observation of live counseling sessions. In 1985, FBCM hosted its first conference [on biblical counseling] called the “Missionary Conference.” The name came from the fact that Pastor Goode and Dr. Smith had been asked on several occasions to fly to the foreign fields and help missionaries in need of counseling. As that load grew, Pastor Goode and Dr. Smith believed it was a better use of their time to bring the missionaries to a central location—hence the “missionary conference.” The Lord has continued to bless the ministry. Today, the counseling ministry offers about 2,500 hours of free counseling to those in our community, roughly 2,000 people attend our training conferences each year, and the ministry continues to create resources that will encourage and equip God’s people to live to bring glory and honor to King Jesus.”
BCC: “How do you pursue being a church of biblical counseling (where sufficiency of Scripture, progressive sanctification, one-another ministry, etc. saturate your congregation)?”
FBCM: “We seek to be a church of biblical counseling by (1) teaching these core doctrines in our small groups, our Sunday services, our Adult Bible Fellowships, and even in our children’s ministries; (2) celebrating the work of God in people’s lives through public testimonies and sessions of praise; (3) encouraging all our people to be counselors either formally or informally; and (4) removing the stigma attached to counseling—we are all in need of counseling.”
BCC: “How do you pursue being a church with biblical counseling (where you further equip those who sense a special calling and commitment to formal biblical counseling training/ministry)?”
FBCM: “God has allowed many in our church to have significant influence, and thus, proper stewardship means determining the best ways to be a blessing to cause of Christ. Thus, our training programs and conferences, our Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program, the ongoing development of quality resources, and our involvement in larger organizations such as the Biblical Counseling Coalition assist toward this goal.”
BCC: “What is your succinct definition of biblical counseling?”
FBCM: “Biblical counseling is the process where the Bible, God’s Word, is related individually to a person or persons who are struggling under the weight of personal sin and/or the difficulties with suffering, so that he or she might genuinely change in the inner person to be pleasing to God.”
BCC: “How has your biblical counseling ministry impacted your church and community?”
FBCM: “Our counseling ministry is part and parcel with who we are as a church. Our church is a counseling ministry because progressive sanctification and the sufficiency of Scripture permeate everything we do. Since the Lord has blessed the ministry in such rich ways, the community has taken notice. The court system, the community service organizations, and other churches have been willing to give biblical counseling, and our ministry, a place at the table for helping those in need.”
BCC: “What counsel would you give churches just starting to think about launching a biblical counseling equipping ministry in their church?”
FBCM: “Every other year, we offer a training conference to help churches start counseling ministries. In that conference, we encourage people not to make the system too complicated. Equip a few persons to begin the ministry and then start. Many who see the ministry here fail to remember that the ministry looked very different in 1977. Even today, people have come to Christ and been discipled in a school classroom just as effectively as some of the nice offices available on campus.”
BCC: “Tell our readers about any resources (books, pamphlets, audio/video, book reviews, articles, journals, blogs) or seminars/conferences that you offer (either upcoming or annually).”
FBCM: “There are a number of written resources produced. For example, Pastor Steve Viars wrote a book dealing with the past, Amy Baker wrote a book on friendships, over a dozen counseling booklets have been produced on topics like Forgiveness, Communication, Cutting, ADHD, and there other home grown resources available at our bookstore. In addition, our counseling ministry has a blog dedicated to providing help to counselees and counselors alike. We have a number of training conferences including our Monday program (available to those within 3 hours or so of Lafayette), our annual Biblical Counseling Training Conference, our regional conferences, and our conference on starting a counseling ministry conference. For more information on these training opportunities please see our website.”
BCC: “How can people be praying for your biblical counseling ministry?”
FBCM: “We would appreciate prayer:
- That we would steward all the opportunities that God has given in a way that helps other churches and brings glory to God.
- That many would be won to Christ and those who know Jesus would be discipled to be more faithful.
- That our financial commitments would be met so we can continue to expand and reach out to others.”
BCC: “How can people learn more about and contact you?”
FBCM: “People can contact us at: Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, 5526 State Road 26 E., Lafayette, IN 47905, www.fbcmlafayette.org, 765-448-1555.”
BCC: “Pastor Rob, thanks so much. It has been great getting to know even more about your cutting-edge biblical counseling ministry.”