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. Throughout January and February, we’re helping you to learn about vital biblical counseling ministries—like today’s post from Kyle Johnston of the Pastoral Care ministry at Jubilee Community Church in Cape Town, South Africa.
The vision of the Pastoral Care ministry at Jubilee Community Church is to restore lives through Gospel-centred caring and equipping. We know that Christ-honouring renewal must be based on Christ’s grace and truth, and only occurs through the Spirit’s empowering. However, even though change is God’s work, God uses people as instruments in His hands—and so we run a variety of caring and equipping programs at Jubilee.
What follows is a review and thanksgiving for 2014 and a preview and prayer request for 2015.
Reflecting on 2014
2014 was a fruitful year for Jubilee Community Church generally, and the Pastoral Care ministry was no exception. Below are just a few highlights from 2014 that we are grateful for:
- We were able to run Redemption Groups twice, with some delightful and inspiring testimonies emerging from them.
- We also continued to run our in-house Pastoral Care Training module—this is an opportunity for any Jubilee leader or emerging leader to receive some basic training in how to care for others with the Gospel. We were able to take this basic Pastoral Care training to other churches in Cape Town and Durban, to a theological training course in Khayelitsha, and we also had folk from other churches attending training we ran at Jubilee Centre. It really is a joy and privilege to equip others for effective biblical living!
- We took several folk through more rigorous Biblical Counselling training with IBCD’s online education, and this gave us a number of evenings together in which we were able to discuss important theological and counselling-related topics from a distinctly South African perspective.
- My colleagues and I were able to meet with many folk for the purpose of one-to-one counselling. In 2014, there were many opportunities to connect God’s truth to the details of people’s lives, and there were many heartening stories of individuals experiencing growth and grace in the midst of suffering and sin.
Lord, we thank You for all You did amongst us in 2014. We acknowledge that all the ministry fruit we saw in 2014 was due to Your lavish grace. Thank You for the gift of Your Word and Spirit, thank You for the lives that experienced Christ-centred renewal, and thank You for enabling us to serve You!
Priorities for 2015
2015 promises to be a busy (and hopefully fruitful) year! We’ll continue to run Redemption Groups, offer individual and family counselling, and oversee Biblical Counselling training. In addition to this, we’re particularly excited about:
- Developing new training material for all of Jubilee’s small group leaders. The hope of this training is that it will enrich the theological, missional, and pastoral clarity of our small groups.
- Promote our Pastoral Care training to all of Jubilee’s members—our goal is to help every member care for others with the Gospel. Every mature Christian should learn how to wisely speak the truth in love, and so we aim to help all our members grow in conversational wisdom.
These initiatives enable us to develop strong “Gospel congruency” throughout Jubilee Community Church. To paraphrase Tim Lane: the same grace-oriented model of change should permeate all of church life, and everyone should play an active role in inter-personal ministry. The leaders shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the entire weight of care, and brothers and sisters in Christ will no longer feel unable to help. That pastoral vision expresses something of our hope for Jubilee Community Church in 2015.
- Tim Lane Conference – October 2015. We’ll be hosting Dr. Tim Lane for a conference in October 2015 in which he will be addressing both church leaders as well as those with a special interest in counselling. This will be a highlight of our year, and potentially a catalytic conference for many South African pastors and counsellors. We’re still finalizing some details for the conference and will share those as soon as they are settled.
- Finally, on a wider level, Dr. Wayne Mack is directing the formation of ACBC-Africa. The goal of ACBC-Africa would be to set a high standard for Biblical Counselling training in Southern Africa, enabling certified Biblical Counselling to be available to more persons. This is very exciting, and your prayers for Dr. Mack and the ACBC-Africa steering committee would be greatly appreciated. Dr. Wayne Mack is a faithful servant of God and has done an absolutely tremendous job in bringing Biblical Counselling to South Africa.
- Wisdom! To paraphrase the apostle Paul, please ask God to give us complete knowledge of His will, and to give us spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then, the way we live will always honour and please the Lord, and our lives will produce every kind of good fruit. Please pray that God would give us wisdom that would result in good fruit.
- Equipping others: Please especially pray that God would, by His grace, enable us to continue equipping others. In 2015 we desire to equip many ordinary Christians for wise living, but through the Tim Lane Conference we also hope to equip many leaders and churches. For this to happen we must rely on God prayerfully, whilst working diligently. Please join us in praying that God would work through His Word in 2015!
As always, anyone is welcome to email me at [email protected] if they have any questions or comments.