Biblical Counseling

Frequently Asked Questions

What is biblical counseling?

Biblical counseling is committed to the position that Scripture provides the only authoritative guide for what we are to believe and how we are to live (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Biblical Counselor is trained in the use of Scripture and the principles of biblical counseling. He or she does not base his or her counsel on man's wisdom, opinions, experience, or concepts of behavior, (Isaiah 55:8-11) but seeks to bring the full range of Biblical truth to focus on the person's need (Hebrews 4:12). At Missio Dei Fellowship we emphasize the importance of change at the heart level by applying the Gospel to the problem (1 Cor. 15:3).

What does biblical counseling deal with?

Biblical counseling deals with the entire range of problems confronting mankind including: broken marriages, parent child relationships, fear, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, tension, anxiety, worry and any other problems that may result in mental and/or physical immobility. In short the biblical counselor is equipped to deal with problems dealing with ourselves, our relationship to God or our fellow man (2 Peter 1:3).

What is the goal of biblical counseling?

The goal of biblical counseling /discipleship is to develop spiritual maturity and help others become more like Christ.

What do the terms "biblical counseling" mean?

Counseling that is biblical draws its meaning from a Greek term "noutheteo" a term that does not have an exact meaning in English. Depending where it is found in the New Testament it is variously translated, admonish (rebuke), warn or instruct (teach). The more literal meaning of "noutheteo" "is to put before the mind." This means change from the inside out, or in other words: heart change.

How does biblical counseling work?

Biblical Counseling works by applying the Scriptures to particular circumstances and focusing on a "change of heart. The Lord Jesus frequently noted that our biggest problem is our hearts (Luke 6:43-45) while the apostle Paul gives us the fundamental process by which heart change is accomplished (Eph. 4:22-24). This involves discerning thinking and behavior that God wants to change; using God's Word to change that thinking and behavior for the benefit of the disciple and for the glory of God.

Who should do biblical counseling?

The apostle Paul makes it clear (Rom. 15:4) that any mature Christian trained in the Word should give biblical counseling. This does not mean "untrained" in the use of the Scriptures. We believe that pastors and elders should be competent to give biblical counsel, and this competency should be passed on to the congregation so that they too are willing and able to provide some level of biblical counseling.

Where should biblical counseling/discipleship take place?

Biblical Counseling/discipleship should take place in the local church, David Powlinson from the Christian Counseling Education Foundations gives five reasons that this is so:
1) In your own church you know people. In other words you know their back story. You know of their struggles and their victories. As a result you can relate at a much higher level than any professional.
2) At your church your people are not just "problems" in need of a diagnosis. They are new people in Christ with different callings and gifts. Everyone has a role to play in the greater whole. As a member of the same church you can help them in that role by giving wise counsel.
3) Anyone can learn from anyone else. What this means is that counseling is not about the designated expert meeting with a needy client. It's all about learning how to apply the gospel to our daily lives and more specifically to the common problems we face. In this way we learn from one another.
4) You have the opportunity to be transparent as you mutually partake in the means of grace. You are ministering to people you pray with, worship with and bear with one another's burdens. Your relationship is much closer than an outside "expert" could ever be.
5) You have the opportunity to ask the big question, such as "what are you living for?" Your theology will drive the counseling, not your psychology. Because your theology should drive your counsel you will be able to give practical solutions to problems and help to hold the person accountable to those solutions.