Last month, I received the honor of becoming a certified biblical counselor with The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). This wonderful, biblical, and God-honoring organization has a three-step certification process: (1) Theological training; (2) Completion of Theological and Practical Exam; and (3) 50 Hours of Biblical Counseling Supervision.
Although certification is not necessary for counseling and discipleship, there is great benefit to the preparation required and adherence to these standards set for biblical counseling.
As we have been preparing for full-time ministry in Fiji, many of you have asked us why we have a particular passion for and emphasis on biblical counseling. Here are three reasons why biblical counseling will have a central role in our ministry in Fiji:
1. Scripture is Sufficient to Help People in Fiji and the South Pacific:
Scripture is Sufficient for All Things Pertaining to Life and Godliness. We believe in God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about change through the understanding and application of Scripture. This conviction leads us to study and apply God’s Word to our lives and in the lives of those we will be ministering to in Fiji. The problems in the South Pacific Islands are great and range from suffering, depression, and suicide; to debauchery, abuse, and sexual immorality. Fijians, like all people, have problems, but the Bible promises it is sufficient to deal with these problems. Counseling is simply the platform for this biblical help. As Heath Lambert writes, “The wisdom to confront life’s difficulties is most often communicated in conversations our culture refers to as counseling.” We are eager to help bring Biblical Counseling to Fiji because we are confident that the Word of God has the solution to their problems.
2. We are Called to Make Disciples:
All Christians are called by God to both proclaim the Gospel and to also help others follow Christ. The format of biblical counseling lends itself to fulfill both these directives. Evangelism often takes place during interactions as problems of the heart are revealed and addressed. Discipleship occurs as we teach others to repent, trust and obey God, and learn to follow Him. Whether this occurs in informal every day conversations or intensive issue specific discipleship, we end up counseling one another in our relationships.
3. The Heart is What Matters:
There is nothing more important than the condition of one’s heart. The heart is the center of our being. The heart contains your thoughts, beliefs, desires, mind, will, and emotions. By emphasizing biblical counseling in our ministry we are aiming to address the root of problems and sin which all stem from issues of the heart. We want pastors to be trained, lay people to be equipped, and churches to be strengthened and prepared to address the heart of those within the church and the world around them.
It is our desire to serve and love the Fijian people by training and equipping them to rely on Scripture, to evangelize and disciple others, and to forsake sin and love the Lord with all of their heart! We are thankful to God for the ministry partners and preparation He has given us so that we may serve them well!