Pillars of the Biblical Counseling Ministry at HPBC
The pillars discussed below are meant to be building blocks that uphold and sustain the counseling ministry at HPBC over the long haul. There are at least eight pillars the will support BC at HPBC.*
1. The Glory of God
The main point of the Bible must be the focus of our counseling and, simply put, the Bible is about God’s glory (Isaiah 43:6-7; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, all counseling that takes place at HPBC must be about God’s glory. The goal of biblical counseling is to help people make choices that bring God greater glory, not less.
2. The Word of God
There are three aspects of the role of scripture in the counseling performed at HPBC: First, the authority of the word: the scriptures have authority over all aspects of a believer’s life (Psalm 119:144, 165). Second, the necessity of the Word: God’s self-revelation in the bible was necessary because the eternal truths about himself were unattainable elsewhere (Romans 10:13-17). Third, the sufficiency of the Word: in counseling ministry the bible is sufficient as our guide to salvation and a life of godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4).
3. The Centrality of the Gospel
Gospel centrality means that Christ-likeness is the goal of counseling. It also implies that the gospel is not just offered as hope for salvation, but also as empowerment for sanctification (Romans 1:15-16). Therefore, in the counseling room, it is our desire to apply the gospel to any situation that may arise and train the counselee(s) to do the same.
4. The Problem of Sin
The chief human problem is sin. Everyone is affected by sin (Romans 3:10). We are corrupted to such an extent that every part of our humanity (thoughts, emotions, actions) has been tainted by sin. Therefore, the counselor will seek to lovingly, graciously, boldly, and honestly confront sin in all its forms.
5. The Purpose of Suffering
In the counseling performed at HPBC, counselors want to keep both sin AND suffering in balance. Recognizing we live in a sin-cursed world that produces suffering for which we may not be responsible, the counselor’s role is to help the counselee to respond to suffering in godliness.
6. The Context of the Local Church
There are several benefits to having the local church BE the counseling center, rather than opening up a separate counseling center which is affiliated with the local church. First, church-based counseling means submitting to leaders who already have watch over your soul (Hebrews 13:17). Second, church-based counseling is a natural extension of our covenant commitment to one another as members of the same church. Third, church-based counseling has a potential for greater accountability of shared problems. In other words the counselee will see that he or she is not; there are others in the church family who are dealing with the same kinds of things.
7. The Necessity of Discipleship
The front line is not the counseling room, but the conversations that take place every day in homes, over lunch meetings, in Bible study, in conversations after church, over the phone, and even through texts and emails! All of life involves counseling and each of these opportunities gives us a chance to counsel the Word.
8. The Acknowledgement of Common Grace
We can make use of the knowledge, skills, and talents of people in many fields of study, as Scripture guides us. However scripture remains the final authority in the counseling setting.
* This section is drawn heavily from Deepak Reju's, “A Vision for Biblical Counseling at CHBC: Pillars One to Five” and “A Vision for Biblical Counseling at CHBC: Pillars Six to Nine”