The Impact of Biblical Counseling
Biblical counseling is having a significant impact toward fulfilling our purpose of “Preparing People to Meet Jesus” here at Valley Baptist Church. This is taking place on three distinct levels.
First, we now have about 16 people who either have completed or are working toward certification in biblical counseling in a congregation of about 200 in average attendance. In October of 2009 we began the ValleyConneX Biblical Counseling Center staffed with our counselors on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Other appointments are made during the week as the counselors and people coming for help are available. From about a month after we began this ministry we have had a steady and sometimes almost overwhelming stream of people coming for counseling. The counseling center ministers to people from both the church and the community.
Second, people in the church are approaching the people who have been through the certification process for help. Since we have a wide variety of people who have been trained as biblical counselors, it is not hard to find someone with whom they have a natural connection. I have realized that many or even most of these people would not have come to the pastor or made an appointment at the counseling center. So rather than having people hurting to the point of desperation before seeking help, they are approaching these counselors in a time of need but before the situation becomes critical.
Third, people in the church who have no formal training in biblical counseling are becoming more sensitive to assignments God is placing before them. They are realizing that a believer, filled with God’s Spirit and armed with God’s Word, can effectively minister to others. They also realize their need for accountability and instruction, so they are seeking out our trained biblical counselors to guide and mentor them through their ministry to others.
The story of Jeff and Mary Ann provides a snapshot of what God is doing. They came to the counseling center at a time of desperation in their marriage. Here is their story in their own words:
Biblical Counseling through the BCI institute saved our twenty five year marriage. It really helped us do a 180 degree turnaround from where we were.
We had tried other Counselors, including “Christian Counselors” and we knew that we would be on a five year plan with them. We really needed help now and didn’t think a drawn out process of talk therapy was going to work.
A friend who had been through the BCI program told me over lunch to go see Pastor Larry Creamer and the next day my husband called and set up an appointment. I figured, what could it hurt? I (Mary Ann) had been planning a new life after our last child left for college.
My husband Jeff had been withdrawn and had anger issues that he wasn’t able to resolve. Pastor was able to biblically show him truths about anger and discuss repentance and Godly sorrow with him. We had been Christians for many years and had not understood the difference between asking for forgiveness and true repentance.We believe because he is the spiritual leader in the home that as he changed, I was able to see my sin and heart issues.
We are now both focusing our lives on Jesus Christ and have renewed our commitment to each other based on God’s word and principles.
This type of counseling was direct, truthful, honest, and powerful. It was presented in a spirit of love and genuine concern.
Jeff and Mary Ann
The rest of that story is that Jeff and Mary Ann are now a part of the Valley church family and are working toward certification in biblical counseling.
Dr. David Penley defines biblical counseling as intense discipleship. The church is the natural setting for discipleship. Our goal is to move people from intense discipleship to ongoing discipleship for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The biblical counseling training has been a vital part of reaching this goal here at Valley.
Senior Pastor, Valley Baptist Church
Director, ValleyConneX Biblical Counseling Center
Bless you brother for your ministry and devotion to the Risen Christ.
I am writing to give you and your office my whole hearted endorsement for the training I received through BCI. My calling to the healing ministry in our Church body has been greatly helped by this training. What the Lord God has anointed, you have assisted in the practical. I have used the training, practical application, practice. and the resources on a very regular basis. We will be using the resources in training those called to the healing ministry, as we have begun a healing study with 25-30 folks attending weekly. I have found the material we covered coming to mind often as situations come up in ministry and in the training of those we are raising up to the ministry.
I am a professional engineer (bio-chemical engineering) by profession. My role in our fellowship is currently that of Discipleship Director (I am leaving this post after several years) to now lead the Healing Ministry & Missions Team. I attend St. Thomas – Anglican in Menasha Wisconsin. My wife & I and our three children live in Appleton Wisconsin
Ron P. Pagel
St. Thomas Church – Menasha WI
I have practiced as an In-Home Family Counselor in a secular agency for the last 6 years. I realized I was not being genuine in practicing one way and believing another; meaning that I was not able to share my strength and peace that I have in my relationship with God with those I served.
At the same time I decided to open a Christian In-Home Counseling service, Biblical Counseling Classes were being offered right in my hometown, through BCI. I took it as a sign from God to enroll and was fully blessed as a result. Ab Abercrombie has a way of practicing and teaching that reminds and encourages us to use The Spirit as Counselor in all sessions. We are a vessel for God to work through. We don’t have to “fix” everything; we let God be in charge.
The key ingredient in Biblical Counseling is making sure that I keep aligned with God before I can even think of helping anyone else. As I am held accountable to God’s Word so to are the people that I serve. I am inspired to counsel in “truth and love”, as Ab does a wonderful job of presenting as well as living out.
Lois Pulvermacher, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Crossing the Bridges
Green Bay, WI
I have worked in the field of social services since graduating with my Masters degree in School Psychology from the University of WI-Madision in 1982. Years of experience in the secular field of psychology left me feeling empty and wondering what it would take to see real healing occur.
The Biblical Counseling classes, offered by Dr. Ab Abercrombie of The Biblical Counseling Institute has given me hope. It lies in repentance. In my opinion, we have sold the Salvation message too cheaply and accepted a mental commitment for something that requires the heart, mind and spirit.
The Biblical Counseling Institute offers a clear and concise technique that anyone can learn who is committed to the Lord. The truth is not hidden in a technique it is revealed in the Word of God. I love it!
Going to the Biblical Counseling Training Sessions felt like coming home to me. There is something really comfortable about sitting in a room with a group of people, whether you have ever met them before or not, knowing that you are all there because of a common interest. Getting to see the faces of the other people in our community that have felt the same burden and desire for God to help and heal the people that He puts in our paths was very much a blessing for me. It feels very much like meeting family that you have never seen before.
The training courses themselves were educational, relevant and informative. Dr. Abercrombie has a delivery like none other. It’s very obvious that God has put this call on his life and given him such a passion to equip others with the fundamentals of biblically counseling the body of Christ. I believe that through this ministry the people who take the courses receive a part of the annointing that God has so obviously poured out on Dr. Abercrombie and the BCI to do this work. God has changed my life and I don’t think I can remember the last day I didn’t have a "divine appointment". To God be the Glory.
Green Bay, WI
I attended, and completed Dr Ab’s Certification program about 2 years ago. I have not written this until now because God has provided me with so many opportunities to do his work I simply forgot about it. The result of the BCI class is as follows;
God, through Ab, showed me the true condition of my heart, and that by working on my own cleansing and repentance I can be a better vehicle to do his work and better represent Him as a True follower of His word.
Dr. Ab has a unique Spirit driven approach that simplifies what a true follower of Jesus looks and acts like. He takes the worldly opinions, views, and beliefs out of the equation and redirects our thoughts to life based on Gods word and the power God can provide us IF we truly allow it.
The result of this class has been that my Wife and Son(17) are just finishing up their Certification as well, and both are very busy doing His work. Imagine a 17 year old in todays world hungry to evangelize. My family has been Blessed with a better understanding of what a true Christian means and looks like in everyday life. My son also realized that a prayer of Salvation does not always mean Salvation and is sometimes done for the sack of comfort.
He has since accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and has begun his ministry on this earth with the true power of the Holy Spirit. About 2 months ago we were Baptized as a family as well. What an honor and a true Blessing to learn and obey God and see His work unfold right before my eyes. I never would have thought this would be in my plans, but then again, it isn’t my plan is it?
Are you a Christian of comfort or is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life? Call BCI and help find out what the Lord has in store for you!