Review By: Kevin Hurt
Why This Book?
As one who has pastored the same church for the past 27 years — with the goal of making God’s sufficient Word applicable to the day-to-day real-life circumstances people find themselves facing — and as a certified Biblical Counselor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC), I find the latest book from the series produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC) — Biblical Counseling and the Church — to be a rich treasure when it comes to the topic of Biblical counseling.
As in each of the previous resources the BCC has produced, this book is theologically sound and practically applicable as it candidly deals with the real, and often messy, issues of the Christian life. As you read what has been written from over 20 different respected ministry leaders, you will find this book to challenge and encourage you as it places the focus on where Biblical counseling should be done – in and through the local Church.
And because Biblical Counseling and the Church puts the emphasis on the local Church as being the place where Biblical counseling takes place, this is a resource that will serve everyone in the local Church. It is not a book for pastors only. Pastors, as well as lay leaders, educators, and counselors will find that this book is for them. Regardless of your role in the local Church – Youth leader, Sunday School Teacher, Small Group facilitator, Men’s or Women’s Group Leader — you will enhance and deepen your ministry as you connect the relationship of Biblical Counseling to the local Church and the ministry you are doing. In fact, even those informal conversations we all have with one another as believers will be enriched as you learn how to weave Scripture into those conversations about the struggles people are telling you about.
As I read this book, I was once again reminded of, as well as challenged with, one major question: As people face addictions, deal with loss and grief, and seek help in restoring broken relationships, where can they turn for counsel and assistance? And the answer is the local Church. The Church has been uniquely blessed with the gifts of the Gospel and a super-sufficient Scripture, and the Church is able to offer hope and counsel that no other institution on earth can. That is something that we, as God’s people, need to let sink in. As the Church, we have something to offer that no other institution or counseling service has to offer.
The book is divided into 6 parts that show us how Biblical Counseling touches the various areas related to the local Church:
Part 1 – More Than Counseling: A Vision for the Entire Church. This section reminds us that counseling is not just for a few, and especially for the professional, but for all who are in the local Church.
Part 2 – Biblical Counseling and Small Group Ministry. From this section you will discover that Small Groups — a key to building deep and transforming relationships — will be revolutionized as you see how to connect Scriptural counsel in those close and intimate times of fellowship.