BCC Staff Note: You’re reading the second in a BCC Grace & Truth blog series on Biblical Counseling in Canada. Each post will be by a biblical counselor in Canada, and either focus on the state and future of BC in Canada, or highlight an important theme that Canadian biblical counselors and all biblical counselors need to ponder.
Connection Is Vital
God has called us to be united, to know that we are part of something bigger than just ourselves. Because I believe that to be true when I recently read an article on the BCC blog about whether it is good or necessary to be part of the biblical counseling movement I would answer that it is vital.
It is vital to our credibility, vital to accountability, vital to our ongoing training, and vital to unity amongst us all.
That became evident to me again when recently I spoke to a group of parents who belong to a homeschool parent group. They asked me to speak to them on the subject of God’s sovereignty as it relates to our trials and our children’s troubles.
When the talk was finished several couples (who have read much material from authors who are part of the biblical counseling movement) came up to me and said how I reminded them of things they have read and/or heard from them. What they had read was confirmed again.
That was amazing (not surprising) on two fronts.
- That night affirmed and encouraged me. I am in Canada and miles from others who do and think like I do and to know that across miles and across borders I am connected to something big and amazing is most affirming.
- For them it was affirming that something they had read and applied to their lives, or that they had heard from a time at a conference (most likely in the US) was being declared by someone in their own community. It gave me credibility with them.
Connection gives accountability. Although I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder or calling me to see how things are going, I do have like-minded people in this movement that answer questions, challenge me both in my counseling and in my biblical interpretation. They come in blog posts, books, emails, and phone calls.
It is iron sharpening iron. When I first began counseling more than 19 years ago I felt very isolated, but as things have progressed and more people have become involved in different areas of this arena and technology has advanced it makes it so much easier to feel part of something bigger than just my corner of southern Ontario.
Being part of the biblical counseling family brings ongoing training. Training can come by way of phone conferences, webinars, correspondence courses, or attending a conference in person. Books are always being written that help to sharpen us especially since the medical world continues to move forward with the disease model, and our world condones sin and the subtleties of that have filtered into the church making the Good News of the Gospel weak.
Being part of something bigger than myself brings unity amongst all who call themselves biblical counselors. I live in an area where that term gets tossed around with other counseling groups quite easily. As someone seeking help it must be very confusing. How do you choose? When you read brochures and look at websites it all seems biblical, but is it?
That is a huge reason why I like to be connected to something bigger than myself. For example: If you went to the Paul Tripp weekend in Oakville in March where he taught on “What Did You Expect” (for my American friends that is near Toronto Ontario) and you see me you will hear the same things.
Updated in My Area
Although I am seeing a shift in pastors who are more and more embracing biblical counseling and soul care for their churches, there are still very many who do not see the need to use the tools that God has given to the church as a means of helping people deal with their struggles. For some reason it only makes sense to me that a shepherd would also align himself with this family and be part of something bigger that would connect him to others who are like-minded, and then connect himself with others who can help with soul care. What a resource they are missing out on!
On a personal note, just last month a church connected with me who sees the need for having a biblical counselor, (an under shepherd, a soul-care provider, a discipler) on board to walk with people one on one; administering of the Word to individuals, as well as bringing some teaching. What a privilege. A colleague is in the process of being that person for two of her local churches. Details are being ironed out. Another man is in the process of training with Rick Thomas of the Counseling Solutions group so he can be the biblical counselor at his church and in his area, all because his pastor saw the need.
God is on the move.
It’s exciting, on one hand, because I get to meet amazing biblical people from all across the globe and feel the connection, that sense of belonging. And yet there is such sadness when I talk with pastors who don’t see the need for administering the Word (one-on-one) in their local church, but are comfortable sending them elsewhere. It is equally sad when I meet counselees for the first time and see where they have been sent for help, or hear what kind of counsel they have received.
I am grateful to be connected. I am enjoying seeing the Facebook page for Biblical Counselling in Canada growing and I hope that all those on that page will invest the time to align themselves with something bigger for your sake, for the sake of those you give counsel to, and for God’s sake.
The yellow pages is not where to look for help. Thank you BCC, ACBC, ABC, IBCD, CCEF, Rick Thomas (both of them), Faith Lafayette, Bob Smith, Bill Goode, and others who have personally invested in me! I am privileged to be part of this amazing family. We are pursuing excellence as Randy Patten formerly of NANC (now ACBC) has said. Excellence in biblical counseling.
Join the Conversation
Why is being connected to the larger biblical counseling world important to you?