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BCC Interview: graceXchange Counseling

August 28, 2011

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This week we highlight graceXchange Counseling. To learn more about their biblical counseling ministry, we interviewed Founder/Counselor Rev. Shawn Doud.

BCC: “Rev Doud, please tell our readers about your ministry’s mission and vision.”

GXC: “The mission of graceXchange counseling is to bring the grace of Christ to people so that they see a new path towards change. Grace is often seen as merely a comfort. Grace confronts us with God’s plan for ‘new creation,’ teaching us to say no to ungodliness and yes to Christ’s plan for repentance and renewal, zealous for good works (Titus 2.11-13). We also seek to restore the Church’s call and ability to care for its people and their struggles with the Gospel. We seek to restore to counseling the depth of insight into the human condition and hope that Scripture has always brought.”

Our primary audience is Christians who are struggling to connect their devotional knowledge of God into power and hope for change/sanctification. We also want to help their pastors and their churches gain a heart and vision for biblical counseling. This approach seeks to ‘in-source’ counseling for their people, incorporating people with struggles in the discipleship and care program of their church, rather than outsourcing to counseling centers/psychologists.”

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

GXC: “I began this ministry in 2010 when I came to a crossroads in my own ministry. There were weeks when I felt like the choices were: preach a great sermon or care for and counsel people well. I was Senior Pastor in a small church and had my hands in everything. People who loved me gave me helpful feedback regarding the blessings in their life of my ‘one-on-ones’ and counseling with them (compared to my preaching). Mark Driscoll’s concept of preaching as ‘air war’ and counseling/discipleship as ‘ground war’ resonated with me. I sensed God calling me to help the church regain its ‘ground war,’ bringing the Gospel down to earth and the toughest, hope-resistant parts of life (depression, anxiety, marital strife).”

I resigned my pastorate, moved close to my wife’s family in the San Francisco Bay Area, took tentmaking jobs, and completed my CCEF training. I began networking with pastors who were either unsatisfied with their counseling referral relationships or were eager to have biblical counseling ministry grow in their churches. I have ‘contract’ counseling relationships with several churches, and an emphasis in encouragement and counseling pastors and their wives is developing. There is a real hunger for biblical counseling and biblical churches are seeking to restore their effectiveness in helping hurting people with more than platitudes or referrals to nominally Christian counseling centers. My methodology of counseling for churches at churches seeks to ‘in-source’ counseling, so that people see their ‘issues’ as belonging to their sanctification, and biblical counseling as part of their church’s pastoral care.”

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

GXC: “Biblical counseling is applying God’s assessment of who we are, where we are broken, and how Christ brings the grace of repentance to all areas of our thinking, believing, and doing.  Biblical counseling is short term, pastoral, problem-attentive discipleship.”

BCC: “Share a little bit about your team—who works with you and in what roles?”

GXC: “I am assembling a board to become a non-profit 501 c 3. Right now we are focusing on building partnerships and becoming trusted partners with pastors who want to avoid burnout and ‘becoming a statistic.’”

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

GXC: “I post several blogs a week applying the Gospel to an area of counseling or addressing issues in pop culture. PowerPoints will be increasingly available as I continue to give seminars.”

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?”

GXC: “I am available to do training for small group leaders and elders. I recently gave a presentation on the topic of Shame in Marriage. The PowerPoint/keynote is available on the ministry website.”

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

GXC: “Please pray for increased counseling load as well as a growing number of partnerships with local churches. I currently have to maintain several part-time jobs to provide for our family.  I would love to be counseling full time as well as providing for my family!”

BCC: “How can people connect with you?”

GXC: “People can learn more about our ministry and contact us via: graceXchange counseling, Rev. Shawn Doud, Founder/Counselor, Hayward, CA, www.gracexchange.me, [email protected], 510-516-0305.”

BCC: Shawn, thanks for sharing with our readers.”

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