A Vision for Biblical Counseling
Imagine the gospel opportunities we would have to make, mature, and multiply disciples…
…if Emmaus Road Church had a team of biblical counselors who served people in our church and community. Steve Viars describes the counseling ministry at his church:
“The Lord has given me the privilege of serving as a pastor in Lafayette, Indiana for nearly 25 years. Our county population hovers around 165,000, and our city is home to Purdue University. In many ways we are a typical mid-sized Midwestern town. We have an interesting mixture of engineers and farmers, radicals and soccer moms, athletes and couch potatoes. Lafayette is large enough to have a television station but small enough that there is rarely anything exciting on the news. …
“In 1977 our church launched a biblical counseling center to serve our community. We wanted to glorify God in our town by offering counseling services based on God’s sufficient Word. We also wanted to provide a place where other pastors, missionaries, and key lay leaders could receive training that would prepare them to offer similar ministries wherever God placed them. Decades later we offer 80-120 hours of biblical counseling each week to members of our community--all free of charge. We have found this to be a marvelous way to shine the light of Christ in our town by sharing his love with people in need. Through the years scores of men and women have been won to Christ through this ministry, and many Christians have found answers and direction for how to grow and change through applying God’s Word to their lives.” - Counseling the Hard Cases (edited by Heath Lambert and Stuart Scott)
Lafayette sounds a lot like Sioux Falls, doesn’t it? Can you imagine? That’s 80-120 people each week who are encountering Jesus Christ, not as an abstract idea, but as Savior and Redeemer right in the midst of their marital conflicts, parenting challenges, addictions, sexual sin, anger, depression, grief, anxiety, and financial difficulties. That’s the functional centrality of the gospel on steroids, delivered through the personal ministry of the Word.
If that vision stirs you and you have any desire to help launch a biblical counseling ministry, we encourage you to explore ACBC Certification. That’s the first major milestone in the process. We are asking God to raise up men and women in our church who are uniquely empowered by the Spirit with wisdom and skill in counseling.