Between February 8th and 13th, 2015, eight members of Missio Dei Fellowship, besides me (P. Bruce Roeder), attended the biblical counseling training conference in Lafayette, IN at Faith Baptist Church.
For some of the people this was a first time experience and for others their second or third time. All are either members of our small group ministry or leaders of one of the groups. Our goal is to train as many people as possible in our small group ministry in the basics of biblical counseling.
I’ve asked those who attended to write some of their thoughts regarding the training. I told them that if lengthy enough I would publish to my Counseling is Discipleship blog that Missio Dei Fellowship publishes.
Below are the thoughts Sherri S., a second time attender of the training at Faith Baptist Church. Sherri will be pursuing certification with the ACBC.
Like last year, I was reminded that anything God shows me must first be diligently applied to my own life, before I can ever hope to be helpful to another struggling person. This year’s conference brought a renewed passion to be fervent in prayer for all things, not just a difficult trial.
Every session I attended this year was helpful. The two that went hand-in-hand for me were:
“Desperate parents make the best parents,” and “Prayer: Tapping into the Real Power for Change”
I began to see how similar biblical parenting is to biblical counseling. The premise is the same: We are called to be faithful to teach God’s Word to our children (and our counsels), and call them to walk in His Ways. Yet, if God doesn’t move, there will be no power or change. We were reminded that:
- It is our human and sinful nature to try to boil everything down to just a few principles. We want some kind of system or check-list that will put us in control and allow us to operate without God.
- In parenting (and counseling) your weakness will not keep you from effectiveness if you believe the Gospel. Your delusion of strength will.
- Fervent prayer is evidence of my desire for real change, (in myself, my children, and my counsels) and also shows my awareness that prayer is the means to receive the grace and power for change.
- When we are desperate, we are driven to cry out to God in prayer.
- It is good to pray for specific traits or characteristics [i.e. to be willing to stand alone, for sin to be found out quickly, to make the Bible the authority in life, to be humble and teachable, to hunger and thirst for righteousness and holiness]
- It is good to pray about specific sins and weaknesses [i.e. pride, stubbornness, unteachable spirit, deceitfulness/exaggeration, laziness, living for pleasure/money]
God doesn’t waste our trials. He uses them not only to refine us, but often to move us from the place of “prayer”…… to fervent prayer. We need to pray and pursue a passion for Christ, which is the missing ingredient in our fight against sin.