4 Take-Aways for Your Life & Ministry from the Faith BCTC
As many of you know, I spent Sunday-through Thursday of last week at the Faith Biblical Counseling Training Conference (BCTC) in Lafayette, Indiana.
What did I learn? What lessons can I pass along to you, my friends?
Lesson # 1: God Uses All Types of Crack(ed) Pots
Some speakers, when they are not speaking, never listen to other speakers. It’s preference, I suppose. I like to hear my fellow speakers share their souls and Scripture.
Listening to a diverse group like Elyse Fitzpatrick, Garrett Higbee, Steve Viars, Kevin Carson, Stuart Scott, Randy Patten, Brad Bigney, Charles Hodges, Amy Baker, Jocelyn Wallace, Rob Green, Deepak Reju, and others, it became clearer to me than ever—God uses all sorts of people!
Elyse is a riot! She should be a stand-up comic. And right when she has you belly-laughing, she zeroes in on your heart and who you are in and to Christ. She’s unique.
Brad Bigney is a passionate presenter—dynamic and Word-based with truth related to life. He’s unique.
I’m different from the two of them and from all the other presenters. After 53 years on earth and after three decades of ministry, I have a “style” all my own. And you know what, I can only be me. Yes, I can keep growing, but I can’t stop being me.
Take-Away # 1
A take-away for you—don’t try to be someone else. Don’t try to be someone you are not. God fearfully and wonderfully handcrafted you as His unique poem (Psalm 139:13-14 and Philippians 2:10). Enjoy your own presentation style. Become the most Christ-honoring ministered you can be.
Lesson # 2: God Uses All Types of Conferences
In my role as the Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, I attend and present at a lot of conferences. They all take on a personality of their own. The Association of Biblical Counselor’s Conference always has a great Gospel-Centered focus with an emphasis on keynote speakers and plenary sessions. The CCEF conference always has plenary sessions combined with some track sessions—all focused on a robust understanding of biblical counseling.
The Faith BCTC is always jammed-packed with hours and hours of track sessions. You leave with a depth of insight into biblical counseling and a wide breath of topics covered.
Take-Away # 2
Once again, a take-away—there is not a right or wrong. Each organization understands its own “culture,” its own calling, its own vision. While they can learn from one another. They do not have to mimic or mirror one another. In ministry—stay true to the Truth, while staying true to the vision of your organization.
Lesson # 3: Biblical Counseling Is Growing
One of my presentations was on the state of the biblical counseling world. While I acknowledged that we have much growing to do in terms of a wider impact on the Christian world, I also noted the amazing growth of the biblical counseling world.
If you were to take the combined attendance of the half-dozen “leading” BC conferences and their regional training, you easily would have over 10,000 leaders per year attending world/national BC conferences.
That doesn’t even speak to the growing number of Bible colleges, Christian liberal arts colleges, seminaries, and Christian graduate schools committed to biblical counseling.
Nor does it speak to the growing number of Evangelical publishers publishing a growing number of biblical counseling books that are selling a growing number of copies—Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling sold out twice during the week!
Nor does it speak to the growing number of churches that are not simply churches with biblical counseling, but churches of biblical counseling—where small group ministry, one-another ministry, soul care, spiritual friendship, and speaking the truth in love saturate the entire congregation.
Take-Away # 3
A take-away for you—don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for warmed-over worldly “wisdom.” Trust God’s rich, robust, relevant Word related to everyday life and every relationship.
Lesson # 4: Scripture and Soul
Another of my presentations focused on 1 Thessalonians 2 and five images of the biblical counselor from Paul’s ministry: brother, mother, father, child, mentor.
Those are relational images!
Paul shared deeply both Scripture and his very own soul.
Ministry is not just truth.
Ministry is not just love.
In ministry, truth and love must kiss.
The speakers shared both Scripture and soul. You can tell it in their passion.
I experienced it in my life as many of the speakers ministered to me personally and deeply.
Take-Away # 4
Your final take-away: meditate on the five images from 1 Thessalonians and ask God to empower you to be a Scripture and Soul one-another minister.
• The Love of a Defending Brother: 1 Thess. 1:4; 2:1-6, 9
• The Love of a Cherishing Mother: 1 Thess. 2:7-8
• The Love of a Shepherding Father: 1 Thess. 2:10-12
• The Love of a Longing Child/Orphan: 1 Thess. 2:17-18
• The Respect of a Proud King/Mentor: 1 Thess. 2:19-20
Join the Conversation
Which of the four take-aways would you apply to your life?
If you’ve attended the Faith BCTC, how has it ministered to you? What take-aways would you share?
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