Shows Main Idea – Your church has a weak view of biblical counseling. You’re one of the lone voices for this effective and biblical model for sanctification. Most of the church prefers an integrated model. How should you respond to your church and leaders?
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Obey Your Leaders
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. – Hebrews 13:17
The Main Thing Is the Gospel
Though some BC people don’t like to downgrade their biblical counseling views, the truth is that sanctification is secondary to the main thing. If the church believes and preaches the Gospel, then walk circumspectly.
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. – Philippians 1:15-18
You Cannot Sin Against Your Conscience
- You can stay if you’re not divisive, grumbling, or any other kind of sin.
- You should leave if you cannot keep from sinning.
- If you can stay, then you should discern how to make a difference without sinning.
Don’t Be An Aggravationist
Some biblical counseling people can be irritating, harsh, and self-righteous. They remind me of my experience with the fundamentalist movement.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it. – 1 Corinthians 4:7
- Don’t be aggravating.
- Be humble.
- Practice what you believe without being divisive.
- Don’t whack-a-mole: shoot everything that moves. (Tell the TMC “hate Dobson” story.)
Biblical Counseling Will Stand the Test Of Time
- Secular counseling does not work.
- Integrated counseling will not work over the long haul.
- Biblical counseling is God’s Word practically applied.
God Will Vindicate You In Time
- Be encouraged.
- By optimistic (God-centered confidence).
- Do your biblical counseling job.
- Consistently counsel God’s Word.
- It will refresh the downtrodden.
- It will convict the foolish.
- It will change the humble.
- It will cut through the fog of the confused.
- It will shine brighter than any other form of counseling.
People will eventually come to you after their other programs, plans, and perspectives reveal what they are: cultural filler that cannot satisfy, or as Jeremiah said, “cisterns that can’t hold water.” See Jeremiah 2:13. They will want the real meat. Eventually. See Hebrews 5:12-14.
- Think about a lifetime plan in your local body. That is what it will take. See 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
- Make sure you know the difference between being a soul care provider and a BC apologists. There is still a group of BC advocates out there who spend so much of their time talking about how right they are that they are weakening their cause by alienating those they should be helping.
- Don’t self-promote:
- Apple Corporation does not spend time talking about how they are better. They just steadily put out a better product.
- Like a restaurant always spouting off about how they are the best in town. Just feed the people and let God vindicate you.
- Don’t shoot everything that is different from you. Win people with the Word. Don’t alienate with arrogance. It is God who justifies (1 Peter 2:23-25).
- People are pragmatists. They don’t care about the counseling wars. They want help.
On Ground Level
- Teach a Sunday school class.
- Teach a life application class. (Stand-alone training events.)
- Do counseling.
- Be intentional, e.g., ask a person how he is doing and then “counsel” him on the spot.
- Lead a small group.
- Train “Nicodemus” when he comes to you by “night” asking you questions. This is seizing whatever opportunities that are given you.
- Bring (1) input, (2) BC clarity, (3) perspective, and (4) other “counsel” into your elder meetings.
- Pull another leader aside, as appropriate, to share a better perspective on a “counseling” situation.
- Personally model BC in your life and family. (This may be the most effective thing you can do.)
- Use all venues as opportunities to teach the BC way, e.g., if you lead in singing venues, you can always “teach” through leading in your worship sets.
- Share my content.
All of these approaches give you an opportunity to insert a better way of doing things. Then, if the Lord gives you a bigger platform to espouse the BC way, by all means, take it, but make sure you don’t use your platform to blow off steam or for point-making.