While we believe that all Christians are called to speak truth in love to one another (Ephesians 4:15), to build one another up (Ephesians 4:17), to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1), to exhort one another (Hebrews 10:24,25), to comfort one another (2 Cor 1:4), and to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), there are nevertheless times in people’s lives where their own personal suffering and struggles may require direct and focused discipleship to help them overcome what has ensnared them (Hebrews 12:1).
It is for that reason that through our biblical counseling ministry we have trained and equipped men and women who seek to bring the hope and help of Jesus Christ to those who are hurting and suffering.
In short our biblical counseling ministry seeks to bring the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on a person’s circumstances with the aim of bringing hope, repentance and change into the life of that person. The final goal would be for the the person receiving counsel to grow in his/her understanding of the gospel and how it applies to every area of life. Those whom God transforms through this process of change and growth then respond in grateful and joyful obedience in every circumstance to the building up of the body of Christ and to the glory of God (Ephesians 4:11-14).
We believe that men and women are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28) with a complexity of body and soul (Genesis 2:7). As such, biblical counseling must take into account that humanity experiences a full range of the relational, rational, volitional and the physical. Wise counseling must take into account the whole person if we are to seek to understand how to help that person. While there are physical and organic factors that can affect people's lives, we seek to help our counselees gain confidence in the transformative process of becoming more like Christ in the face of what may be physically challenging (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). As none of our pastors or lay counselors are licensed mental health professionals we do not offer advice on the value or benefit in taking psychotropic medications. We would always encourage our counselees to consult with their medical professional when faced with these questions.
We believe that human behavior is tied to the thoughts, intentions and affections of the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13). We believe that all of our behavior arises from hearts that are worshipping either God or something else. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of the heart and address the inner person (Proverbs 23:7; Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:21-23). God fully understands and rightly weighs who we are, what we do, and why we do it. While we cannot completely understand another person’s heart, God’s Word reveals and penetrates the heart’s core beliefs and intentions (Hebrews 4:12-13).
We believe that the gospel is the power of God to not only save people from their sins but to also transform the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit to be conformed more and more into the image of Christ, teaching us to deny all ungodliness and live for the glory of God (cf. Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29; Titus 2:11-12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). We therefore point people to a person, Jesus our Redeemer, and not to a program, theory, or experience. We place our trust in the transforming power of the Redeemer as the only hope to change people’s hearts. People need a personal dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ, not a system of self-salvation, self-management or self-actualization (John 14:6).
We believe that the Bible provides thorough guidance and instruction for faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3). Therefore, our counseling is based on scriptural principles rather than those of secular psychology or psychiatry. Neither the pastoral nor the lay counselors of GBC are trained or licensed as psychotherapists or mental health professionals, nor should they be expected to follow the methods of such specialists. If the counselee is unwilling to use the Scriptures as the final authority for counseling, sessions will be terminated.
Due to the size of our ministry it primarily exists for those who attend Grace Bible Church, but exceptions can be been made on a case by case basis. If you’re interested in receiving biblical counseling from us please contact Dawn Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org who will send you counseling forms. Once you’ve completed these forms, please return them to Pastor Scott Denny’s attention. He will review your forms and arrange your first appointment.