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Bethlehem Blogs

June 6, 2017

The Root and Fruit of Personal Ministry

Bryan Pickering

Pastor for Care & Counseling, Downtown Campus

While at Bethlehem on April 8, 2017, David Powlison, Executive Director of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF), addressed the root and fruit of biblical discipleship, especially as outlined in the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew. He also outlined eight stages in the development of counseling wisdom in the church. David concluded his talk by answering several questions submitted by those in attendance. I invite you to take a listen if you missed it, or if you just want a refresher in what David said while he was here.

Here are the eight stages at a glance:

Stage One: The Scriptures speak to you. They are a different voice from anything you’ve ever heard. And God touches you through them.

Stage Two: There arises an intuitive, internal conflict between God’s voice in Scripture and all other psychologies. Biblical counseling is a God-centered psychology. “Psychotherapy” means “care and cure of souls.” We believe at heart that biblical counseling’s goal is to get you outside yourself to see the God who is.

Stage Three: You hear that the church should be doing this. We should counsel.

Stage Four: You agree with Stage Three, and that it’s desirable to do counseling in the church and that we should get better at i

Stage Five: You personally set about growing in counseling wisdom. Affliction becomes a door for the love of God. He teaches us to take refuge in him here.

Stage Six: You enter into an intentional discipleship and counseling training track.

Stage Seven: You become better and better at personal ministry. We should be good at it—we’re often not. We don’t take the whole burden of another—we take one part of it and bear it with them. We become skilled counselors.

Stage Eight: Some are raised up to be leaders of others through teaching counseling and mentoring in personal ministry. Coaching leadership is breaking down what you do into steps and components. Intellectual leadership is pressing the truths of biblical counseling into new areas. Entrepreneurial leadership is creating new structures and systems for biblical counseling to thrive.