Weekend Resource: New Issue of the Journal of Biblical Counseling, 29:1

April 25, 2015

A Word from Your BCC Team: On weekends, we like to use our BCC “megaphone” to make you aware of great resources in the biblical counseling world. Today, we re-post Dr. David Powlison’s introductory words about the newest issue of the Journal of Biblical Counseling: 29:1, produced by CCEF. You can also read the original post here.

Resources for Personal Ministry

The new issue of the Journal of Biblical Counseling offers articles with topics that cover a wide range of important issues for personal ministry. One theme to notice throughout is various ways in which God’s sovereign purposes become evident. God gently turns the disappointment of unmet desires into confidence in his loving providence over our lives. Though sin is destructive, God intervenes constructively, and he teaches us to do the same. Where there is pain and heartache, the Lord offers comfort, hope, and purpose. The reality of God’s sovereignty frees us to trust him and empowers us to love and serve others to the best of our ability.

The first article is about singleness. Many single brothers and sisters in the church long for the companionship and friendship of marriage. In “Struggling through Singleness,” Jayne Clark offers her hard-won wisdom on what it looks like to wrestle well with the Lord about the desire for marriage. Along the way, Clark clears up the meaning of the familiar phrase “the gift of singleness” and why marriage is not the answer to loneliness.

Our next article addresses a serious problem that plagues relationships—a sense of entitlement. In “Entitlement: When Expectations Go Toxic,” Darby Strickland shows how a person’s self-centered desires can become adamant, rigid demands that destroy love. She identifies the key beliefs of an entitled person, provides a biblical framework for understanding the problem, and offers counseling strategies to help bring the entitled person to a renewed relationship with Christ.

Where Darby Strickland tackles one specific pattern of stubborn sinfulness, Ed Welch helps us with the general principles in “How to Talk with Someone about Sin.” God uses ordinary people, Welch says, to do most of the heavy lifting in his kingdom. Though we tend to avoid talking with others about their sin, we know God has called us to encourage one another by speaking the truth in love. Welch prepares us to move towards fellow sinners graciously, examining ourselves, learning to see the good in others, and acknowledging hard circumstances. He then gets specific about how to engage with people directly and winsomely.

In “Ten Questions to Ask before Starting a Counseling Ministry in Your Church,” David Powlison offers some guiding questions for church leaders to consider when discussing a possible counseling ministry. Rather than a “how to” guide, these questions will help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your context. Each question is followed by a short discussion.

Read the rest of Dr. Powlison’s introduction here.

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