Connecting Counseling to Disciple-Making

“Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (CSB)

In the beginning part of February, we had 14 individuals who participated virtually in the Biblical Counseling Training Conference from Lafayette, Indiana. These trainees spent 40+ hours learning what it means to connect Biblical principles to real life. As Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is applicable in all its fullness to transform lives and help us become more like Him because it is the very word of God.
Often when we think of counseling, we think of leaving the hardships and people’s problems to the professionals.

We think that the Bible has nothing to say about some of the struggles and issues that we go through in our day and age. Yet, without the Scriptures, we leave out a huge and important part of our growth and healing. Secular counseling will leave out the spiritual part and, in doing so, leave out the ultimate hope that can be found in Christ.

One big takeaway from the group was that biblical counseling didn't merely have to do with having someone come into an office and sit at a desk in a formal setting. They found that biblical counseling had so much to do with disciple-making. This means more than just words and encouragement (as important as this is), but offering our very lives for the process of transformation and growth. There are some things that only God can do. Being a biblical counselor and disciple maker helps one understand how important it is to be transformed by the Gospel, to bring that hope into the discussion, and then model it with the counselee or disciple. This takes great dependence on God through His Spirit, a solid understanding of the Scriptures, and time. It takes skill to bring the Scriptures to light to help others see things as He sees them. It also takes much prayer.

This process may sound like a lot of work, yet God has called all believers to make disciples. As believers, we are all growing and becoming more like Christ. God wants us to bring others along to see the true hope of the Gospel and to be set free from the barriers and idols that keep us back from the true worship of Him. In this process, we are challenged to learn and grow ourselves. God desires us to continue to move toward Him and mature. We cannot stay in the same place spiritually and not bear fruit. We all need to ask the question of ourselves, “What is my next step in growing and becoming more like Christ? How can I use what He has given me to help others grow in Him and know about Him?”

I am excited about having 14 more people who are more equipped to counsel and disciple others than they were a month ago. There is an excitement to continue to learn and grow. I know the others are willing to serve, and we are looking to expand the opportunity to help both those in the church and community to encourage and bring biblical truth to whatever the situation. At Chisholm Baptist, we not only want to help you through the struggles of life but to equip you to serve others with God’s Word which stands forever.
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Mark Anderson