Jim and Tara have been serving as missionaries in Southeast Asia for the past 10 years. They are grateful for the opportunity to not only proclaim the gospel in the city they are living in but to also serve the local church through the teaching of the Bible and the training of local pastors. Recently though, Jim and Tara are beginning to see problems arise in the church and are concerned with the selfish and sinful responses the church body is displaying towards the problems and also towards each other. Jim and Tara are preparing for a trip back to their home country for their much-needed one-year furlough. They will be leaving in 7 months and are concerned that if things do not improve then the church they helped plant and have ministered to over the past 10 years, will not be here when they return. How can they help the church leaders and the church body begin to live out the Biblical truths they are learning each Sunday? How can they assist them to serve each other and show love for one another as commanded by Christ to His disciples in John 13:34-35? If we claim to be disciples of Christ who are committed to making disciples for Christ, then we must be easily identified as a disciple of Christ by loving one another just as Christ has loved us.
This is where the ministry of biblical counseling can be used as an effective tool of the church. This tool will help its members mature in their love and care for one another so that they can model the love and care Christ has for them and for others. Biblical counseling is not secular psychology or even Christian counseling; rather biblical counseling is in-depth discipleship dependent upon the sufficiency of Scripture to teach, reproof, correct and train the follower of Christ so that they may be adequately equipped for EVERY good work (2 Timothy 2:16-17). Biblical counseling seeks to train all believers in the ministry of discipling one another through the tools of God’s Word, His Spirit, and His church for the growth of the His body and the glory of His name.
The theme of this year’s Southeast Asia Reformed conference is Making Disciples, Cultivating Healthy Churches in Southeast Asia and the topic of the ministry of biblical counseling and the role it plays in discipleship within the local church will be the focus of one of the breakout sessions. During the session we will be looking at what the Bible teaches about the importance of the pastor in not only caring for the sheep entrusted to him by God, but also ways he can begin to educate, equip and enable others in the church to care for one another as an act of love towards their neighbors and as acts of love for God. This session will also look at how to address biblically common problems faced by all churches such as; inter congregational and personal conflicts, marriage problems, financial frustrations, addiction, sexual sins, depression, abuse, and other problems believers try to deal with as they live in a sinful world.
The ministry of biblical counseling is not reserved for trained professionals or pastors alone, but rather is a ministry expected of all followers of Christ who are committed to the five L’s of biblical counseling and discipleship. Learning and Living out God’s Word, so that they can Love others and Lead them to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So if you are committed to making disciples for Christ here in Southeast Asia, then we look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference. And if you desire to learn more about the ministry of biblical counseling and how it can be an effective tool to help equip the church to disciple one another for the glory of God and the good of the church, then please be sure to join us for the breakout session on biblical counseling and discipleship.
Many of us sometimes feel like Jim and Tara in the sense that we are aware of problems within the local church and are unsure of ways to help the body address those problems biblically. This is why the ministry of biblical counseling and discipleship can serve not only the missionary seeking to teach and train local leaders and believers, but it can also help the local church to grow from within and continue to minister to its community as it begins to live as disciples of Christ by loving one-another and serving each other. By God’s grace, let us continue to press on together in the making of disciples for Christ by the proclamation of God’s Word and the practicing of His truths for the good and growth of His church and always for the glory of His name.