31 August 2018

Counseling and Church Life

The second term of 2018 is well under way. While every term we seek to equip men for the ministry of the word, the line from life and study is particularly clear this term. I'm teaching three courses this term: Methods in Writing, Counseling, and Church Life. Perhaps I'll take some time in another post to highlight Methods in Writing, but for now I wanted to tell a little about Counseling and Church Life.
We have been talking in counseling class how biblical counselors are shaped by the Bible in at least two fundamental ways. First in the area of authority, the biblical counselor must have his thinking shaped by the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are our sufficient and authoritative guide on this narrow path to glory. They show us both the means and the end. To the extent that we're guided by the wisdom of this age in these matters we will fail to see our road and destination clearly. Second with respect to goals, the counselor is not seeking merely to address the problems of the one who has come for counsel. Those difficulties such as choices about the future or marital strife are important issues to handle, but more fundamental and lasting is the person's relationship with God—an area where we as counselors need grace just as much as those being counseled. This reminder is one way my time in the classroom is equipping me for ministry in my local church.
Another class is Church Life. We're excited about this course in practical ecclesiology because we believe it's one of the most important and useful that we offer at EABST. Here we're working to shape current and future churches in line with Scripture. The Bible sets out for us clearly the roles and responsibilities of pastors, deacons, and church members. It establishes the church's identity and sets the church's agenda. Unfortunately in all of these areas we're so prone to substitute our own ideas, so it's a privilege to dive down deep into the Word for reminders and correctives.
Please keep praying for us as we seek to be and equip men who love the church for the sake of Christ's name among the nations.

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