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’re posting (and then making available as an ongoing resource) interviews with churches, para-church groups, and individuals committed to biblical counseling.
Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Biblical Counseling for Women
This week we highlight the joint ministries of Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Biblical Counseling for Women out of Kansas City, Missouri. To learn more about their biblical counseling equipping ministries, we interviewed their co-founder, Julie Ganschow.
BCC: “Julie, please tell our readers about your biblical counseling ministry’s mission and vision.”
JG: “Reigning Grace Counseling Center exists for the purpose of counseling and restoring Christians, evangelizing the lost, and training both individuals and churches in the practice of biblical counseling. We offer an opportunity for those who struggle with sinful and addictive behaviors to find help, healing, and hope in Jesus Christ. We minister to those who may or may not recognize that the solution to their problems is in the power of Jesus Christ.
Biblical Counseling for Women and Reigning Grace Counseling Center are dedicated to promoting the sufficiency of the Scriptures and the ministry of the Holy Spirit as enough for solving the problems of life. Rather than using man’s methods and worldly wisdom, we believe that change in the thoughts, beliefs, and desires of the heart is what brings about changes in one’s life. This means we are not a licensed counseling agency, nor are we psychologically or medically trained therapists. We offer ‘pastoral’ counseling intended to bring life change through heart change.”
BCC: What is the history of your biblical counseling ministry? Tell us your story.”
JG: “The bc4women blog has been the gateway through which most people have come to know me (Julie), but there is much more than meets the eye! In addition to the blog, I am co-founder of Reigning Grace Counseling Center and founder of a ministry devoted specifically to women, Biblical Counseling for Women. Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Biblical Counseling for Women both began in my home state of Wisconsin in June of 2005 and were transplanted to Kansas City, Missouri when we relocated here in May of 2009. We became a Missouri non-profit last year and are waiting for our final approval as a 501c3 organization. We are a unique ministry in that we operate both in and out of the church. The Lord really directed our steps in finding a solid church that had a vision for a biblical counseling ministry. RGCC is currently overseen by the Board of Elders of Faith Community Church. I am on staff at Faith as a Biblical Counselor/Discipler and do quite a bit of the counseling for women at the Pastor’s request. We also teach our Track Training Program in the church, and recently had about twenty people graduate with Certificates in Biblical Discipleship. They will be incorporated into our church ministry and will meet with men and women for specific and targeted Bible Studies. We also have an outreach arm into the community. We accept counselees from outside the church that are referred by other pastors, former counselees, and our websites. The primary method of ministry of Biblical Counseling for Women is through the daily blog. Five times a week a new post goes online on a specific issue relating to women and counseling.”
BCC: “How do you pursue being a church of biblical counseling where sufficiency of Scripture, progressive sanctification, one-another ministry, etc. saturate your congregation?”
JG: “We are very blessed in that our pastor and elders have had a vision for all of these ministry obligations and taken them seriously. Our counseling and discipleship material dovetails very well with our pastor’s sermons, and Faith Community is not a church that simply has a counseling ministry; it is a counseling ministry. There has to be that hand-in-glove cooperation so that soul care is seamless and people are not getting conflicting messages from the pulpit or the biblical counselor/discipler.”
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?”
JG: “The leadership of the church must be fully committed to the sufficiency of Scripture and be willing to invest the time in developing the members of the congregation to serve in lay-counseling and discipleship roles. They must also be given opportunity to serve once trained! It is discouraging for folks to spend their time learning and growing and even seeking certification from an approved agency and then never be asked to minister to another person in the church.”
BCC: “Share a little bit about your staff—who works with you and in what roles?”
JG: “My husband Larry is a credentialed substance abuse counselor and works with those having addiction issues. He is in process of IABC [International Association of Biblical Counselors] certification and is eligible for NANC [National Association of Nouthetic Counselors] certification. Our son Stephen has Bachelors in Biblical Counseling and ministers to male counselees and with me (Julie) in counseling couples. He has a particular emphasis on ministering to the homeless population and also to equipping other young married and soon to be married men in the role of a godly husband and leadership in the home. Stephen is NANC certified and in process of IABC certification. I (Julie) counsel all the women and work with Stephen and Larry in couples counseling. I am NANC and IABC certified.”
BCC: “What types of resources (books, pamphlets, audio/video, book reviews, articles, journals, blogs) can people find through your ministry?”
JG: “We have the books, workbooks and booklets our staff has written available on both websites. We also have several free downloads of helpful resources on the websites that we use in our counseling ministries. Many of my (Julie) conference workshops are available at Sermon Audio. Our ministry has recorded several of our conferences and FOCIS [Find Out Christ Is Sufficient] groups. The DVDs are currently available to purchase and we hope to have all of this available on the server very soon for downloading. We also recently got our own server and will make available our Track Training Program for Distance Learning! We are in the recording and editing stages of this project, and are very excited to make this material available to people all around the world.”
BCC: “What upcoming conferences, seminars, classes, and other training opportunities do you have in the next year? Which ones do you repeat each year as annual events?”
JG: “In August 2011, Larry and Julie will be headed to Denver for the IABC National Bible Conference. Julie will be teaching a few workshops. In September, 2011, we will continue our Track Training Program on Monday nights here in Kansas City. This is a two-year program that is intended to prepare our students for certification with the IABC. We offer what we call FOCIS (Find Out Christ Is Sufficient) two times each year (spring and fall). These FOCIS groups are day-long seminars on one specific topic. We don’t have our date for fall’s FOCIS yet, but it will be on the website when we do. Information about all of our events can be found on the RGCC website.”
BCC: “What is your succinct definition of biblical counseling?”
JG: “Biblical counseling is intensive, targeted discipleship that reaches the heart level of the problem where true and lasting change takes place. I want my counselees to understand that living their lives to glorify God is the most important thing—not feeling better.”
BCC: “What counsel would you give churches just starting to think about launching a biblical counseling equipping ministry in their church?”
JG: “The leadership has to be fully committed to this course of action. Once they are on board, you have to educate the congregation about what biblical counseling is and is not. Communication is vital! I would also suggest Faith Baptist Counseling Ministries’ course on this topic.
BCC: “Julie, how can people be praying for you and your ministry?”
JG: “We are all part-time and bi-vocational at this time but I (Julie) need to be free of other non-ministry related obligations for much of the work to get done. Once that happens, it will allow us to proceed with other writing and recording projects. Pray for our ministry’s financial needs to be met so we can continue to serve the Lord’s people. We would love to have an office out of which to operate RGCC.”
BCC: “Julie, how can people connect with you and contact you?”
JG: “People can connect with us through email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. They can visit our websites at www.r-g-c-c-.org and www.biblicalcounselingforwomen.org. They can write us at 9754 N Lewis Ave., Kansas City, MO 64157, and they can call us at 816-694-1677.”
BCC: “Julie, thank you for helping our readers to learn more about biblical counseling and the ministry of equipping that you provide.”