Moving Forward for Christ: The Growth of Biblical Counselling in Canada

April 20, 2015

Betty-Anne Van Rees

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Betty-Anne Van Rees

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A Word from Your BCC Team: You’re reading the fifth of a multipart BCC Grace & Truth blog miniseries on International Biblical Counseling. Today’s post is by Betty-Anne Van Rees on Moving Forward for Christ: The Growth of Biblical Counselling in Canada. You can read Part One by Kyle Johnston: Biblical Counselling in South Africa,  Part Two by Steve Midgley: 5 Concerns and Responses about Biblical Counselling in the UK, Part Three by Sacha Alexandre Mendes: News from Your Relatives in Brazil, and Part Four by Michael Leister: Tracing God’s Story of Biblical Counseling in Germany and Switzerland.

God’s Foundational Work

Sometimes the work God is doing is imperceptible. However, John recorded our Lord challenging His challengers by boldly declaring, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” He was declaring with bold clarity that God is always at work—even on the Sabbath. Because we know He is truth, we know this is truth.

For an extended period of time, God has been moving individuals within His church in Canada to know with confidence that His communication to us in His Word, both Incarnate and inspired, is sufficient to revive souls, make the simple wise, bring joy to hearts, and light to eyes (Psalm 19).

Many have believed this to be true though much of their Christian community has placed their hope elsewhere. This has been God at work adding His strength to struggling sinners, one life at a time. Though this movement has been almost imperceptible at a national level, it has been highly perceptible at a personal level. When God sustains and redirects a life, those closest to that person know He is at work.

In most recent years, those isolated individuals and small ministries have been discovering each other: a pregnancy and family support centre here, a counselling centre there, and scattered across the country—very sparsely, men and women who have sought training from a distance to serve their local churches in lay roles by walking with those God calls them to share life with.

Equipping in Biblical Counselling

Almost all Canadians who have biblical counselling training have received it from biblical counselling equipping centres in the US by travelling to those centres or studying through distance education. Additionally, ACBC has been invited to Canada for some “On the Road” training, and CCEF representatives come in for weekend conferences, but these are rare occasions.

Heritage Bible College and Seminary offered the first academic course in biblical counselling in English-speaking Canada this past summer with very high reviews. The same course will be offered in modular format this coming summer at the Ottawa campus of the college and seminary. (It’s important to note that French Canada has progressed far more quickly in this area, currently offering a whole degree in biblical counseling with the aid of CCEF.)

The Biblical Counseling Coalition has been of great assistance in the past couple of years in facilitating Canadian networking. Because of this, we have been more successful in promoting events more widely with a growing opportunity for a greater number of people to attend these events.

Launching a Biblical Counseling Coalition in Canada

This month the final details have come together in the formation of a launch team that will consider how we might work together more intentionally for the promotion of biblical sufficiency in soul care in Canada. The members are denominationally, vocationally, and geographically diverse with the intent of representing the Canadian church as widely as possible.

Once we have agreed on a doctrinal statement, we’ll begin to look at how an organization of this kind might best serve the Canadian church. We would be more than grateful for your prayer as we begin to take steps forward. God IS always at work and He has boldly declared that He will build His church.

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How do you see God at work in biblical counseling in your sphere of influence?

One thought on “Moving Forward for Christ: The Growth of Biblical Counselling in Canada

  1. Thanks for writing this Betty Anne! It is exciting to see the Biblical Counseling movement gaining momentum here in Canada. At Word of Life Bible Institute, summer and winter camp, and more… we are seeing the Word transform the lives of Canadian youth in mighty ways-equipping them to live goldy lives in a perverse world (Phil. 2:12-16) for His glory and praise!

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