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.*
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
Biblical Counseling Training
We desire to cultivate a culture of Biblical Counseling (BC) at HPBC. One way this culture will come to fruition is through training our members in the concepts and methods of BC. Our primary objective is not to simply educate people about biblical counseling but to train and equip biblical counselors. Below you will find our one year BC training plan that equips our members to “speak the truth in love” to another more effectively. To register for this training click here.
INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL COUNSELING:
Introduction to Biblical Counseling is a basic introduction to biblical counseling theory and techniques. Attention is focused on how the Scriptures and theology form the foundation and substance for Christian counseling. Biblical concepts for understanding people and their problems, heart worship, guilt, a biblical view of self, the biblical method of change, and the proper handling of crisis situations are addressed. There is also a strong emphasis toward understanding basic theological concepts such as justification, sanctification, sufficiency of Scripture, union with Christ, the doctrine of man, the role of the church, etc.
TYPICAL PROBLEMS IN BIBLICAL COUNSELING:
Typical Problems in Biblical Counseling is for those who want to go a step further than what the intro class offers. This training is designed to apply the principles taught in the Intro class to a range of specific counseling problems including: anxiety, anger, decision-making, dealing with the past, depression, sexual sin, fear of man, and forgiveness.
Counseling Observations and Practicum
After completing the two semester curriculum there will be opportunities for counseling observation and practice; observing a trained counselor throughout the entire counseling process and then opportunities to counsel under the supervision of a trained counselor. The Counseling Observations and Practicum seeks to apply the principles taught in the two semester classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does High Pointe offer biblical counseling to non-members?
We are happy to meet in limited scope with any person—Christian or not—who wants light from the Bible shed on their path; however, we reserve ongoing counseling for the members of High Pointe Baptist Church.
How often do we meet?
An initial meeting with one of our Biblical Counselors will help determine if on-going meetings are necessary and helpful. Most often, our counselors will ask for a 6-7 meeting commitment, then re-assess and adjust meeting frequency and length of commitment based on progress and ongoing need.
Will I be meeting with a pastor?
Sometimes, but not always. High Pointe is very blessed to have many gifted men who aren’t pastors as well as women who serve as Biblical counselors.
Are the biblical counselors at High Pointe certified by any specific counseling organization?
What counseling do you normally do?
How do I know if I should reach out?
No. We do not require certificates or degrees to serve as a Biblical Counselor. We do thoroughly investigate the person’s life and doctrine and believe they are mature, godly, able to counsel, and gifted to serve as counselors.
Alongside pre-engagement and premarital counseling, we are eager to listen and strive to serve no matter what a person faces. Typical problems our counselors face include depression, sexual immorality, understanding God’s providence, anger, discerning calling, marriage and family issues, and more.
Have you stalled in making progress against your sins? Are you going backwards instead of forwards in your obedience to the Lord? Do you genuinely not know how to grow from where you are presently? If so, we would love to meet and help.
Do you report abuse?
Will I be meeting alone with the counselor, or will someone else be included?
Is there a cost?
Yes. We always report abuse. It is required by the State of Texas, and it is wise for every church to involve civil authorities to deal with criminal activity.
In most cases, we do have another person (an advocate) join in the counseling with you. The advocate is being trained in Biblical counseling as well as contributing to your counsel by adding their wisdom and praying for you.
No. We are very happy to provide this service free of charge.