The Power of the Gospel: The Baylight Counseling Story

January 14, 2015

The Power of the Gospel--The Baylight Counseling Story
Joshua Waulk

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Joshua Waulk

The Power of the Gospel--The Baylight Counseling Story

A Message from Your BCC Team: At the Biblical Counseling Coalition, we love using our “megaphone” to fulfill our BCC mission: to advance the ministry of the biblical counseling movement. Each day this week our megaphone will help you learn more about a vital biblical counseling ministry—like today’s post from Joshua Waulk of Baylight Counseling.

Christ-Centered Hope and Healing

Baylight Counseling is a new and developing, donor-supported biblical counseling ministry located in Clearwater, Florida. Founded in May 2013, the mission of Baylight is to provide clinically-informed, biblical soul care for Christ-centered hope and healing.

The vision involves growing partnerships with local churches that serve as a referral base for the ministry, and eventually providing training in biblical counseling for the building up of one-another ministry in local congregations. As the Founder and Executive Director, my passion is to help people make the connection between the power of the Gospel for life-transformation and the life-dominating issues they face.

Discovering My Calling

The concept of starting a counseling ministry began several years prior to my selecting the MABC program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). As a career police officer, I spent many hours working with couples in troubled marriages, and evaluating suicidal persons for involuntary commitment to a mental health facility. With the encouragement of family and friends, I retired from law enforcement after seventeen years, and began my seminary education to pursue vocational ministry. It was at SEBTS that I met Dr. Robert Jones, Dr. Sam Williams, and Brad Hambrick. These men introduced me to biblical counseling. I knew right away that I had discovered my ministry calling.

After completing a significant number of program hours, and with the help of some key people, I began laying the administrative foundation for what would become Baylight Counseling. One of the hurdles for me was that in many ways, biblical counseling had not yet penetrated the Tampa Bay area as a well-known or well-understood counseling option. For this reason, I had few, if any local resources to turn to for help.

Fortunately, when it came time to complete mentored internships, God provided me with connections to men like Dr. Ron Allchin of the Biblical Counseling Center in Chicago. Dr. Allchin was instrumental in helping me complete my MABC internship requirements, and provided me with tremendous insight with counseling cases I began taking on as a graduate level intern. As I enter the spring semester at SEBTS in 2015, I’m just twelve credit hours shy of graduation and will soon enter the final phase of ACBC certification.

Celebrating What God Has Accomplished

Here at the end of 2014, I’m celebrating what God has accomplished through this counseling ministry start-up. Several local churches and pastors were intrigued by the vision I shared with them at the beginning. Their investment of trust in Baylight helped make it possible for this ministry to provide over 300 counseling hours this year alone, and all of that while I served a local church in a part-time pastoral role. Within those hours, we saw hurting marriages helped, abuse victims comforted, and parents of struggling teens encouraged.

As we enter 2015, I’m looking forward to seeing counseling hours increase as I devote myself fully to the ministry, and as more couples and individuals seek the biblical counsel they need and rightly desire. Hardly a day or week goes by now that I do not hear from a new person seeking assistance at Baylight Counseling.

It’s truly an honor to serve within the biblical counseling movement and to be associated with the people who lead the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Many people have and continue to contribute materially to the development of this ministry and my own growth as a biblical counselor. It’s my prayer that God would continue to bless their efforts and sacrifice so that believers and non-believers alike would hear the Good News in the context of their sin and suffering and how it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe.

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How is the power of the gospel at work in your life and ministry?