Biblical Counseling and Intentional Discipleship
“Providing Hope and Help from God’s Perspective”
 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (ESV).
What is Biblical Counseling?
A few definitions of Biblical Counseling:
Faith Baptist Church Counseling Ministry – Biblical Counseling is the process where the Bible, God’s Word, is related individually to a person or persons who are struggling under the weight of personal sin and/or the difficulties with suffering, so that he or she might genuinely change in the inner person to be pleasing to God.
Association of Biblical Counselors – Biblical counseling is a process of focused discipleship. It is an aspect of discipleship focused on the application of God’s Word and walking in God’s Spirit when dealing with matters of life as a whole. Biblical counseling can be defined as a fluid event and process, as part of the Great Commission, when a follower of Jesus Christ in the service of the Holy Spirit provides face-to-face ministry of the Word to others.
And while Biblical counseling may exist as an event, it is most effective and best understood as a series of events; that is, as a process. The process of encouraging sanctification, bearing with the suffering of others, and applying the truth of God’s Word in a careful way takes time. It takes time to believe and follow the gospel more fully each day. The grace of God, the power of His Spirit, and faithful human effort are needed during the process.
Therefore, for the counsel to be biblical it must be rooted in God, exalting of Jesus Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit, and offered in love.
John Babler – Professor of Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary – Biblical Counseling is a ministry of the local church whereby transformed believers in Christ (John 3:3-8) who are indwelled, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:26) minister the living and active Word of God (He. 4:12) to others with the goals of evangelizing the lost and teaching the saved (Mt. 28:18-20).
Biblical Counseling is also referred to as Nouthetic Counseling. Nouthetic is from the Greek word noutheteo, which is used eight times in the New Testament:
- Act 20:31: Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
- Romans 15:14: I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
- I Corinthians 4:14: I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
- Colossians 1:28: Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
- Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- I Thessalonians 5:12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish
- I Thessalonians 5:14: And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
- II Thessalonians 3:14-15: 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
What is Intentional Discipleship?
Intentional Discipleship is the biblical concept of encouraging, investing, mentoring and modeling. It is the idea of one believer pouring himself or herself into the life of another believer for a period of time, so that they both may mature into the likeness of Christ.
Acts 11:22–26 –  The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.  When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose,  for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.  So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. (ESV)
The Goal of our Biblical Counseling and Intentional Discipleship Ministry:
The goal is not necessarily to make the person feel better or simply to remove the problem or change the circumstances. This hopefully will take place, but the goal is much bigger than that. The goal is to come alongside a person and seek to apply the principles in God’s Word in such a way that the person responds in an obedient and godly manner to the issues of life.
- To furnish instruction, encouragement, comfort, restoration and hope.
- To provide the basis for biblical change.
- To impart spiritual wisdom.
- The Word: Personal study and application
- Life within the Church Body
- Homework (the Go and Do)
What makes it so effective:
- The faithfulness of God to answer prayers
- The sufficiency of the Word of God
- The work of the Holy Spirit
- The encouragement and exhortation of the body of Christ
- The disciplined effort of the disciple
Common Issues Addressed:
- Anger and Bitterness
- Christian Living & Maturity
- Death & Grief
- Fear and Anxiety
- Joy & Contentment
- Marriage & Family
- Sexual Sin
- Temptation and Sin
Go to First Baptist Church of Avon Park, Florida to schedule an appointment if you live in the Heartland area of Central Florida.