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BCC Interview: Capitol Hill Baptist Church

May 8, 2011

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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.

Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s Biblical Counseling Ministry

This week we highlight Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Many of our readers will be familiar with CHBC due to the writing and speaking ministry of their Sr. Pastor, Mark Dever, and through their para-church ministry 9Marks.

To learn more about CHBC’s biblical counseling ministry, we interviewed Pastor Deepak Reju, Associate Pastor for Biblical Counseling and Families. We encourage you to learn more about their ministry first-hand at their counseling page.

BCC: “Tell our readers about your biblical counseling ministry mission and vision.”

CHBC: Our mission is to faithfully care for the members of our local church. Our vision is to help believers live gospel-transformed lives by submitting fully to God’s Word. At CHBC, we have worked hard to foster a culture of discipleship, where members naturally care for other members through word, prayer and good deeds. In a fallen world, we expect things to go wrong, and to that end, we often need help from others to sort things out. While every Christian has a responsibility to live in a loving and caring way towards others, our church recognizes that there are some who are especially gifted to help with life’s most difficult problems.”

BCC: “What is the history of your biblical counseling ministry—tell us your story?”

CHBC: “It started with Paul Tripp handing our Senior Pastor, Mark Dever, a copy of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands when they were keynote speakers at a conference together.  Our pastor read the book on the flight home, and told us when he got back, ‘If this is representative of the good work that biblical counselors do, then we need to find out more.’ Since then, we have developed a strong partnership with the biblical counseling movement; we contribute to biblical counseling causes; we teach biblical counseling in our church; and we use the wealth of biblical counseling resources in our day-to-day ministries.”

BCC: “How do you pursue a church of biblical counseling (where sufficiency of Scripture, progressive sanctification, one-another ministry, etc. saturate your congregation)?”

CHBC: “Because we are a church who takes seriously the need to build our lives on the Word of God, we pursue God’s Word with great fervency. And, the natural extension of that is teaching our members how the Word applies to their lives and how to live it out faithfully. That is, in a short phrase, what biblical counseling is—teaching our members to live faithfully by the Word of God as their authoritative and all-sufficient guide.

BCC: “How do you pursue a church with biblical counseling (where you further equip those who sense a special calling and commitment to formal biblical counseling training/ministry)?”

CBHC: “While we provide opportunities for anyone in the congregation to learn biblical counseling, we take a special interest in those who want to be more formally trained by offering specialized classes on typical problems in the Christian life.”

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

CHBC: “We believe Scripture provides hope for even the darkest of human sin and suffering.  So our goal is to erect from the Bible a model and method to wisely help people with their problems. As biblical counselors, we seek to build strong relationships and help people to apply the gospel in ways that are meaningful and direction-giving. Our counseling is shaped by a Christ-centered view of human life as found in the Christian Scriptures, which takes seriously the physical, social, and developmental nature of our difficulties. We believe that people can be healed, strengthened, and built up as they grow in their understanding of the gospel and in their relationship with Christ. However, this doesn’t happen apart from our personal dependence on Him and seeking of His help.”

BCC: “How has your biblical counseling ministry impacted your church and community?”

CHBC: “We are early on in the training, equipping, and investing of our members, but what I think we are starting to see is members are no longer scared when they see friends struggling with some of the really hard things in the Christian life. They are willing to step into the messy stuff and invest (Mark 10:43-45).”

BCC: “What counsel would you give churches just starting to think about launching a biblical counseling equipping ministry in their church?”

CHBC: “Read. Pray. Talk to other churches who have already started one. Give away good biblical counseling books. Help the leadership understand the value of biblical counseling.”

BCC: “Tell us about any resources (books, pamphlets, audio/video, book reviews, articles, journals, blogs) or seminars/conferences that you offer (either upcoming or annually).”

CHBC: “There are several resources including:

  • We teach an annual Sunday school class and bi-annual seminars on biblical discipleship as a basic but often neglected part of the Christian life.
  • We teach annual Sunday school classes on biblical counseling, dating, marriage and parenting.
  • We provide biblical counseling training for anyone in the congregation who wants to learn.
  • For those with a greater interest in biblical counseling, we provide a monthly case conference and an observation/skills training class.
  • We provide an intensive marriage workshop annually.
  • Many of the other church related resources that we have developed can be found at www.9marks.org.”

BCC: “How can people be praying for your biblical counseling ministry?”

CHBC: “Pray that we would be faithful to shepherd and care for those entrusted to us in this local body of believers.”

BCC: “How can people learn more about and contact you?”

CHBC: “People can connect with us at: Capitol Hill Baptist Church, 525 A Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, [email protected], 202-543-6111, http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/we-equip/adults/counseling/.”

BCC: “Thank you, Pastor Reju. It has been great getting to know your ministry. Thank you for helping our BCC readers to learn more about your local church-based biblical counseling ministry.”