This past week I attended the Leadership Retreat for the Biblical Counseling Coalition at WinShape Resort in Georgia. It is a beautiful setting for a gathering of men and women from all over the nation and the world who are dedicated to biblical counseling.
We come together from a variety of organizations: CCEF, ACBC, IABC, ABC, and from various ministry settings. We are a diverse group! Most are pastors who practice biblical counseling in their churches and others are medical doctors, and those who hold advanced degrees in specialized fields. Many are from academic settings where they teach biblical counseling. There were a few like me who serve in or operate a biblical counseling center either within or outside of a local church.
Our purpose in meeting together for 3 days was to discuss mental health and biblical counseling, and enjoy the fellowship and encouragement that comes from being united in mind and heart. Our central belief is that the Scriptures contain everything needed for life and godliness. With the agreement that the Word of God is sufficient, we are free to learn from one another and expand our understanding of complex topics. We do this by listening to one another and interacting in a large group format around a central topic.
We also participate in small groups. These small group times allow us to share joys and sorrows, burdens and blessings of being involved in ministry life. We prayed for each other, cried with one another, and rejoiced in what God is doing in our lives and ministries.
While these gatherings take me away from my counseling office for several days, I have determined they are important for me to attend. Dealing with human tragedy on a weekly basis as I do, I long for the comradery that comes from such an event. I suspect everyone in attendance would say the same thing.
For the reasons I mentioned here and many more, if you are a biblical counselor and not already a member, I would encourage you to become a part of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. We are much stronger together than apart.