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.
I 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.