Brothers and Sisters,
In 2018 there will be many discipleship opportunities available to you at HCBC including Community Groups, Men & Women’s Discipleship, and more. You’ll hear more about those soon, but for now, I’d just like to focus on some very significant opportunities for you that are right around the corner!
For several years at HCBC, Biblical Counseling has been an increasingly significant part of our emphasis and ministry. At its core, Biblical Counseling is simply a form of discipleship as it aims to bring the all-sufficient Scriptures to bear (2 Tim 3:16) on our personal and corporate growth as Christians as well as letting the Scriptures inform how we navigate the common challenges of life. Biblical Counseling impacts marriage, fear, anxiety, friendships, spiritual disciplines, parenting, anger, practical theology, depression, evangelism, addictions/besetting sins, church unity, and much more.
While recognizing that not everyone in the church is called to be a full-time, formal biblical counselor, and that some will be more trained in Biblical Counseling than others, we believe that everyone at HCBC is called to have a basic, fundamental understanding and responsibility to know how to use the truths of Scripture in such a way that it will facilitate spiritual growth, maturity, and strength in our congregation. The apostle Paul looked back on the growth of the church in Rome with grateful thanksgiving and satisfaction because they themselves were “filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
Here we see that the instruction isn’t just limited to a handful of formally trained pastors. Instead, Paul rejoices that the whole church is able to instruct one another in the Scriptures. We see elsewhere in the Scriptures that the church membership is expected to be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands through loving discipleship, through the bearing of one another’s burdens, and through speaking loving truth to one another that builds up the Body. (Gal 6:1-2, Eph 4:29) As your pastors, our heart’s desire is for Harbins Church to be like the church in Rome, “filled with all knowledge and able to instruct (counsel) one another.”
With that said, we are excited to bring to your attention a few ways that you can begin to receive basic training in Biblical Counseling. I would love to see all of our members involved in one (or more) of these opportunities.
#1. Adult Bible Study. We just recently launched a great study called Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands and it’s not too late to join in. After our holiday break, Pastor Jeff will resume this study on Sunday, January 7th, at 9:30am in the sanctuary. This is an outstanding study designed to release HCBC from the popular notion in our culture that the church’s sanctification and growth is in the hands of a small group of trained pastoral professionals. Instead, every one of us at Harbins is called to minister to the Body and and become an effective tool of change in the lives of others. We’ve gotten excellent feedback on this study so far and we are hoping to see more of our members there every week, resuming on the 7th.
#2. Faith Community Church 2018 Biblical Counseling and Discipleship Training Conference. For the past several years members of HCBC have gone to this conference and it has been nothing short of outstanding. This will certainly be a time of personal growth and excellent training in God’s Word for all who attend. Myself, Pastor Jeff, and our wives, along with others from our church, have been among those who have greatly benefited from this time. The training will be broken up over the course of four Saturdays at Northside Church in Roswell on January 27, February 24, March 24, and April 21st. Jeff and I would really love to see more of our members make it an annual tradition to attend. The registration deadline is January 12th. For more information visit here. If you need financial assistance to help pay for the conference let us know and we’ll see if we can help. Also, groups can carpool to help with travel expenses.
#3. Biblical Counseling Training at Providence Church in Duluth. Our friends at Providence Church will be providing FREE training in Biblical Counseling as they launch a 10 week course starting Tuesday evening, January 9th. If you are interested in deeper and more intensive training, or if you are interested in going through the certification process with the ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors), this is for you! Led by Pastor Jess Arnds, who is an ACBC certified counselor from the Master’s Seminary, you will go deep through weekly reading assignments, observing counseling sessions through video, group discussions, and more. There will be dinner provided at 5:30pm for a small fee, and the training begins at 6pm. You’ll wrap up by 9pm. There will be FREE CHILDCARE! Sign up here! For more information, contact Pastor Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please prayerfully consider taking advantage of one or more of these terrific opportunities that will help you in your own personal growth as a Christian, and help you to powerfully minister to others in our church, building up the Body at HCBC. We pray that 2018 will be an incredible year of growth in the Lord for you and for our church.
Grace and Peace,
Pastors Demer and Jeff