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

The BCC Weekend Interview Series: Grace in the Mountains Biblical Counseling Center

Weekend Interview

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, educational institutions, and individuals committed to biblical counseling.

Grace in the Mountains Biblical Counseling Center

This week we highlight the ministry of Grace in the Mountains Biblical Counseling Center, which is a ministry of Grace Presbyterian Church. To learn more about their biblical counseling ministry, we interviewed Pastor Ken Jones.

BCC: “Pastor Jones, please tell our readers about yourself.”

 

KJ: “GMBC is a ministry of Grace Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Franklin, North Carolina. I have been pastor here since 2003. Prior to coming to Grace, I pastored an EPC church in Northern Virginia where I also worked as a Lieutenant in the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department. In that capacity, I ministered to a number of families who were impacted by the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. I’ve written a book about the theological implications of that tragedy. I earned my Doctor of Ministry degree in Counseling at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama, under Dr. Howard Eyrich.”

BCC: “Tell our readers about your ministry’s mission and vision.”

KJ: “Our aim is to support the public ministry of the Word (preaching, teaching) through providing the private ministry of the Word (counseling) in an effective, balanced, and winsome fashion that compassionately builds others up in Christ. Our main audience is to counsel anyone who is in a crisis situation and is willing to consider that the Christ of the Bible is the One who brings truth and grace. We are also about the ministry of coaching Christians to achieve their level best for Christ by focusing in on their exciting call from God to make a Spirit-inspired difference.”

BCC: “What is the history of your ministry/organization? Tell us your story.”

KJ: “The Holy Spirit convicted my heart concerning the importance of counseling while I was studying Malachi 2:6-7. The Hebrew word baqash (they will seek) implies that people will diligently demand from a priest authentic insight from God’s Word for their issues. Two ideas impressed me here: 1) When things are going right according to the Lord’s prescriptions, God’s people will be coming to the religious leaders for answers, yet I lamented that often in our modern age the last person sought for professional-level counsel is the pastor; and 2) Even if the people came, would our modern cadre of pastors really be equipped to render the best, competent, Christ-centered care available, which I answered in the negative since many pastors are abundantly trained in the public ministry of the Word (homiletics, 2 Timothy 4:2), but possess scant equipping in the private ministry of the Word (biblical counseling, 1 Timothy 4:12). Therefore, I set a course for myself to complete a Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling from Birmingham Theological Seminary in order to better train in the art of Scripture-derived counseling. The wisdom of such an undertaking was proved right by the results, because now due to the doctorate, I receive referrals from hospice, ministries, pastors, medical personnel, and even the public school system. Most importantly, Adams is right that biblical counseling is “problem evangelism.” Since 2008, under the oversight of our church’s elders, Grace in the Mountains Biblical Counseling Center has provided many hours of pro bono biblical counseling to our community (90 percent served were not able to afford counseling; 50 percent were involved in exigent situations at first contact; 30 percent were unchurched, with most not knowing Jesus). I discovered that biblical counseling is a proactive, innovative, missional ministry that follows the Great Commission (both the evangelism and discipleship aspects of this command) by giving hurting hearts hope in the matchless name of Jesus, all the while, proving the sufficiency of God’s Word and demonstrating the competency of His ministers to engage in peoples’ real problems with redemptive solutions that bring forth remarkable results.”

BCC: “What is your succinct definition of biblical counseling?”

KJ: “Biblical Counseling is fundamentally a spiritual activity, under the supervision of the church leadership that applies the Word of God as a ministry tailored specifically to the individuals involved in order to better help them understand their identity and resources in Christ as proclaimed in the gospel. It is a Christ-centered (Colossians 1:17), Bible-based (2 Timothy 3: 16-17), ministry-focused (Galatians 6:9-10) approach to counseling under the guidance of the local church (Ephesians 3:21) that seeks to ethically follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and the practices of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) for God’s glory, the good of others, and for the spread of His gospel of grace.”

BCC: “Share about those who work with you and in what roles.”

KJ: “We have recently added three gifted biblical counselors to our ministry who are professionals in their own right. Even so, they have each been further equipped through training at our church in the requisite knowledge of biblical counseling. We work as a team serving others in Christ’s name and seeking to recruit other professionals within the community to the biblical counseling approach to ministry.”

BCC: “What are the types of resources that people can find at your site/through your ministry?”

KJ: “On my blog I have written, informed by my years in law enforcement, on a Bible-derived description of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Posttraumatic Growth Development (PTGD) as it is Presented in the Life of the Apostle Paul. Other topics of interest include: Christian Life Coaching’s Place in the Local Church; Why Reading Problems Should Matter to the Local Church; Serving Victims of Terrorism with a Gospel-centered Theodicy; Should Our Church Start A Biblical Counseling Ministry: Issues of Viability and Liability.

BCC: “How can people be praying for you and your ministry?”

KJ: “My desire is to add a robust Biblical Coaching aspect to our counseling ministry in the near future. Prayers for wisdom and insight on how to best do this would be welcomed.”

BCC: “How can people connect with and contact you?”

KJ: “We can be reached at grace@dnet.net. You can learn more about our ministry at http://graceepc-franklinnc.com/Missions_and_Outreach.html. My blog is at http://reformedbiblicalcoaching.wordpress.com/.”

BCC: “Thanks, Ken, for helping our readers to learn more about your ministry.”

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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.