Last week I enjoyed teaching and learning at the 2012 NANC Biblical Counseling Conference.
Whenever attending and speaking at biblical counseling conferences, my only “concern” is that it’s difficult in a lecture format to communicate the relational nature of biblical counseling.
Biblical counseling is the personal ministry of the Word. Remember that entire phrase:
When we lecture about counseling, our hearers might mistakenly think that biblical counseling is lecturing. It’s not.
The Personal Ministry of the Word
Consider how the Apostle Paul describes the deeply personal, relational way he shared the Word in 1 Thessalonians 2.
“But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (2:7-8).
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (2:11-12).
“But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again” (2:17-18).
Scripture and Soul
The personal ministry of the Word is not some didactic lecture. Biblical counseling for Paul is not some academic exercise.
- Gentle like a mother caring for her little children.
- We loved you so much.
- We were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God (the Word) but our lives as well (personal).
- You had become dear to us.
- As a father with his own children.
- Encouraging, comforting, urging.
- Brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time in person, not in thought, out of intense longing we made every effort to see you.
- For we wanted to come to you, certainly I did, again and again.
When Paul tells us to speak the truth in love, he’s simply encouraging us to do what he did. He ministered God’s truth in intense, intimate love.
Paul’s biblical counseling is Scripture and soul.
Truth and love.
The personal ministry of the Word.
Join the Conversation
How can we “teach” biblical counseling so that we experience the relational intensity of the personal ministry of the Word?