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Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

The BCC Weekend Interview Series: Steve Viars on the BCC’s Mission and Vision

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.

Steve ViarsThis weekend’s interview is unique as we’re interviewing Pastor Steve Viars, the President of the BCC BOD, so that you can learn more about the vision and ministry of the Biblical
Counseling Coalition
.

BCC: “Steve, thanks for taking the time to help our readers to better understand what the BCC is all about. You were part of the initial envisioning process for the BCC. Could you tell us the story of what promoted the vision of the BCC?”

SV: “The BCC was born out of both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity was a growing interest in biblical counseling, literally around the world. People, churches, schools and other Christian organizations were more open to discussing the place God’s Word has in helping people who are hurting. The challenge was that the movement was fairly fractured in the sense that while the Lord was blessing many individual people and ministries, there was very little attempt to connect our efforts in a way that produced synergy and promoted best practices.”

BCC: “In basic terms, what is the vision of the BCC? Why does it exist? Why is it needed?”

SV: “The BCC is all about relationships and resources. We believe that by working together we can accomplish more. We also believe that our organizations should relate to one another in a way that is consistent with the unity and harmony we advocate in the lives of our counselees. We are already finding that being proactive in relationship-building results in philosophical and methodological cross-pollination. We respect that fact that none of us have arrived and we therefore need one another. It’s progressive sanctification at a ministerial level. The result of these enhanced relationships is the promotion and production of cutting edge resources and best practices.”

BCC: “How is the BCC different from other biblical counseling organizations such as NANC, CCEF, ABC, and FBCM?”

SV: “The BCC exists to promote excellent BC. In other words, we want to be a megaphone for the men and women who are serving God with excellence in this field of ministry. So using the organizations you mentioned, we want to promote CCEF conferences and resources because we recognize that some people may have heard of biblical counseling but not CCEF. If that is the case, we want to introduce them to CCEF and point them to their wonderful website and training opportunities. Regarding NANC, we want to encourage people to consider pursuing NANC certification or certification with one of the other fine biblical counseling certifying groups if that meets their ministry goals at this particular time. Like my point with CCEF, some people might know about biblical counseling but not be aware that there are marvelous certifying opportunities available. In that case we want to acquaint people with that opportunity and encourage them to visit the organization’s website.”

BCC: “How does the BCC seek to enhance and help other biblical counseling organizations?”

SV: “One of the challenges that men and women who have been trained in BC have historically faced is the perception that they now have to declare allegiance to one BC group or the other. Many of our groups have not always worked as hard as we should have at understanding one another’s positions and taking time to get to know one another personally. That has created a fair amount of confusion and even discord in the troops of those who are trying to use BC in their local churches. The BCC is working hard to build more unity in the movement. We believe that in so doing, other BC organizations will be able to spend more time holding a trowel and less time holding a sword. By working together we can accomplish more.”

BCC: “How does the BCC seek to enhance and expand biblical counseling in the local church?”

SV: “The men and women involved at the leadership level of the BCC at this current point in our development represent a broad cross-section of evangelical ministry. Many serve directly in their local churches by providing BC services to people in and outside their church families. This allows the emphasis to not only be robust theologically but also intensely practical. Men and women who are being trained in BC in their local churches can look to the BCC for leadership and know that the principles they are hearing have been tested in the crucible of real-life ministry.”

BCC: “Why should someone visit the BCC’s Grace & Truth blog and website? Who should visit?”

SV: “We have tried to design the BCC website to have something for everyone: people in need of care, care-givers, and equippers of care-givers. Professors and teachers will enjoy the blogs and book reviews. Practitioners (pastors and counselors) will appreciate the information about upcoming conferences and training events and the insightful blog posts and robust reviews. People seeking counsel will learn more about the tone and content of biblical counseling and find excellent resources for their daily lives. The website is receiving a significant amount of traffic which speaks to the importance of what we are attempting to do together.”

BCC: “Is the BCC ‘just a website,’ or is there more to it than that?”

SV: “The BCC is all about relationships and people first. We are using the website to share the fruit of our joyful interaction with one another. One example of that is our annual BCC Board of Directors and Council Board retreat. We meet together for three days for relationship building and iron-sharpening-iron connections. Another example is our BCC ‘Think Tank’ where leaders in biblical counseling connect via email and phone calls to interact about in-depth theological issues related to biblical counseling theory and practice.”

BCC: “What is your vision for the BCC in a year, five years, ten years, and beyond?”

SV: “My hope and prayer is that the biblical counseling movement is more influential in culture and local churches to the glory of God because we consciously tried to work together. We would like to see biblical counseling principles of equipping the saints for ministry, of progressive sanctification, and of the sufficiency of Scripture saturate congregations. Our desire is not simply churches with biblical counseling, but churches of biblical counseling.”

BCC: “What else would you want our readers to know about the BCC?”

SV: “Please pray for us as we continue to move forward as a group of men and women who love Christ, the Scriptures, and the world of people in which God has placed us to serve Him.”

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  • Mandy Hoffman

    I would love for someone to do a comparison post on the various BC certification processes available.  All I know about is the NANC process.

    • http://www.rpmministries.org Bob Kellemen

      Excellent idea, Mandy. In fact, I’ll look into our doing a series of posts from various biblical counseling organizations about their certification, and then one summary post. Thanks. Bob

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.