Biblical Counseling Training 2015 Attendee Feedback – Part 4

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.


Cross-and-BIble2-300x200Like 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.
  1. When we are desperate, we are driven to cry out to God in prayer.
  2. 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]
  3. 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.

Biblical Counseling Training 2015 Attendee Feedback Part 3

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 of Elizabeth R.
Elizabeth R. is a small group member, women’s ministry leader, and my wife. This was her third experience at the Faith Baptist Church training.

Pastor Bruce


Cross-and-BIble2-300x200It had been a number of years since I attended training in Lafayette. God had thrown me a few curve balls in the last few years and it wasn’t possible for me to attend the training (Elizabeth is a cancer survivor.). I have a desire to disciple women and with our new counseling ministry getting started at MDF, Offering Hope to the City; I thought this would be a good year to go.

Besides, it was a long, hard winter and I was in desperate need of some spiritual refreshment, but God had so much more for me. I needed some reinforcement from what I had learned in the past, so I decided to retake Track 2 and I was not disappointed. I had the privilege of sitting under some of the most gifted biblical counselors from all walks of life. I was taught how the Bible is sufficient to help our brothers and sisters in Christ with such problems as anger,  eating disorders, bipolar disorder, pornography, homosexuality, and those suffering from sexual abuse, postpartum depression and infertility.

What I heard over and over again is that Christ and the Gospel has to be central in all our counseling and discipleship. The Gospel isn’t just for salvation and taking us to heaven, but for the “in-between” time of just “living life.”  Pastor Steve Viars did a (taped) session on counseling and our union with Christ. Using one of his former counselees as a case study, he explained how we need to make a person’s union with Christ the main emphasis. We need to avoid the 2 extremes in counseling: the purely behavioral model which only focuses on the put ons and put offs by slapping a bible verse on it, and the purely introspective model that only looks at the heart and has no application.

He showed us in Romans 6 how because of our union with Christ (being in Him) we have been:

– baptized into Christ

– baptized into His death

– buried with Him

– so that as Christ was raised

– so we too might walk in the newness of life

– if we have become united with Him

– we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection

In Christ, we have been given a new position and focus in life–we’ve been given a new hope.  Because of Christ’s death and forgiveness of our sins, we’ve been given the gift of  repentance. We have the power to change and can move on from our sins because there is no condemnation in Christ and we can never be separated from His love for us.  Because of the Holy Spirit working in us, we now have the power to offer forgiveness to others because we have been forgiven much. Instead of craving acceptance from the world and man, our joy is in His acceptance of us. But biblical change doesn’t stop there. Because of our union with Christ, we need to start living life serving others and not serving self. As Romans 12:2 states: “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Biblical Counseling Training 2015 Attendee Feedback Part 2

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 of Lauren S.
Lauren is a small group member, a relatively new Christian and this was her first experience at the Faith Baptist Church training.

Pastor Bruce


Cross-and-BIble2-300x200I am going to be cliché in my writing and start this off with a quote I spent the week hearing repeatedly: “A good counselor first makes a good counselee”. The first couple times I heard this, I understood the logic behind the statement. I understood that working with the bible meant that I would come under convictions, and I understood that this meant there will be times I am going to need to repent after rebuke. The first couple times I heard it though, I couldn’t bring my mind past the logic of the statement. It wasn’t until I came under some strong convictions while at the conference that I understood what this statement truly means. Despite the fact that I had gone to the conference to learn how to help others in a biblical manner, I found that I was repeatedly confronted with areas where I need to grow. I quickly learned that this conference was going to require a level of self-examination that I am ashamed to say I haven’t done in a while.

So what does it mean to be a good counselee before being a counselor?  It is the constant reminder that as a counselor, I will never be anything more than a starving beggar who is pointing another starving beggar to the source of food (I want to avoid plagiarism by saying this is not my quote – one of the dark haired pastors first said it, but I can’t remember which one). With this in mind, it becomes impossible to see myself as being a better follower of Christ than a person who reaches out to me for guidance. Not one type of sin is more vile than another kind; sin is sin and all of it is equally vile. I am first a counselee – a sinner who is running the same race as a brother or sister in Christ. As a counselee I am learning how to run that race alongside those who are struggling to fight the same desires of the flesh that I fight. The “counselor” title is nothing more than running the race with the bible as my hydration and pointing other weary runners to the same source of replenishment. If that doesn’t put the importance of community and fellowship into perspective, I don’t know what does.

If anybody is looking for a way to squash some pride that has been lingering in the heart – go to this conference. I want to challenge any person who claims Christ as Savior to sit through one day of sessions and see if you can make it through without being confronted on the absolute depravity we have apart from God. Thankfully, we have a God who is full of love of mercy and this was continually pounded into the teaching with the common idols of the heart. The hope we have of being brought out of that depravity is more than sufficient to show why biblical counseling is so important. Praise God for the hope we all share in Christ.

Biblical Counseling Training 2015 Attendee Feedback: Part 1

Between February 8th and 13th, 2015, eight members of Missio Dei Fellowship beside me (P. Bruce Roeder) attended the biblical counseling training conference in Lafayette, Indiana.

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 of Mike S.  Mike is a small group leader and this was his first experience at Faith Baptist Church. 


 

Cross-and-BIble2-300x200What was my reason for attending?

  1. I have not done a decent job of spiritually guiding my family and that is a reflection of my own spiritual growth in Christ.
  2. My wife has turned from the faith and is in extremely serious sin of which I am woefully under prepared to counsel her because of my own immaturity in the word in certain areas.
  3. I love the Lord and do not want to  walk any longer in blindness simply because of laziness, bitterness, self-pity or lack of faithfulness in seeking, knocking, asking Him for wisdom.

What one thing have I taken away from the training?

  1. The word of God has every answer to man’s condition of sin and its effect on our thinking. It can speak into any condition of man and our counseling of ourselves and others must emerge directly from the word and no other place.

What did I learn about counseling?

  1. I  must be a good counselee first before I  can even begin to counsel another meaning we must be students of the word, applying it to our own lives, confessing sin, true repentance and turning away from sinful desires and to God. We must be doers and hearers of the word.
  2. We must understand the Bible and how it applies to each situation, when counseling there needs to be a building up of loving involvement, a sharing of biblical hope, gathering of relevant data and then a biblical evaluation of where a person needs change first and the most.
  3. We need to encourage people to want to imitate our Savior Jesus and the change has to be in the heart and not on the outside.

I am excited and have already begun to quietly counsel my family by applying biblical responses as situations arise. It is a slow process and I need to faithfully seek His guidance and be patient. I am looking forward to attending the conference next year for track 2.

Here is a link to counseling training link found on the Faith Baptist Church website.