What is Biblical Counselling?
There is a helpful article by Dr Ed Welch about this and he starts by quoting this:
Biblical counselling is “for resolving of their doubts, and for help against their sins and for direction in duty, and for increase of knowledge and all saving grace” Richard Baxter (1656).
Biblical counselling is not new to the church. Dr Welch states “biblical counselling is a hybrid of discipleship and biblical friendship…….It began with God speaking to His people; it was further established by kings, prophets, priests and apostles as they applied God’s words to particular situations”. Speaking the truth in love to one another is what we are called to do as we continue to encourage each other in our faith in Jesus to see our lives transformed by the gospel. Biblical Counselling allows a person who is suffering or struggling with a particular issue to meet for a period of time one to one with another Christian on a regular basis to work together to see the Word of God applied specifically to the area of struggle so that change in the person’s heart can occur.
What is Biblical Counselling UK? And how are Beeston Free working with them?
Biblical Counselling UK (BCUK) has been running a 2 year certificate in biblical counselling course in conjunction with Oakhill Theological College since 2013. For some people who have completed the certificate course, BCUK has developed a biblical counselling internship. There are 6 interns currently working in their churches in England in partnership with BCUK, one of whom is at Beeston Free, Zena Schofield. As well as meeting individually with people, couples or families for individual biblical counselling, Zena will also be helping us develop as a church our ‘one anothering’ of each other. She will be working with the ministers to consider how we can encourage each to see our lives being transformed by the gospel we grow in God’s grace to us. If you would like to know more about this please speak to George or Zena.
I am interested in having biblical counselling for a particular area of struggle or suffering, what do I do?
Speak to a minister, an elder, another member of staff or the biblical counselling intern (Zena) to ask about biblical counselling available at Beeston Free Church. You will be asked to have an initial conversation with either a minister or Zena to discuss the particular issue(s) you are seeking help for. This initial conversation will explore whether biblical counselling within the church would be helpful for you at this time or whether another form of pastoral care might be more appropriate. If it is thought biblical counselling might be appropriate you will be asked to complete a biblical counselling request form to give some more specific details. Once that form has been discussed between the George and Zena you will be contacted about next steps.
I have a friend who I think would benefit from biblical counselling, what do I do?
Ideally encourage your friend to speak with a minister or the biblical counselling intern. Alternatively you could speak to a minister or biblical counselling intern on your friend’s behalf initially.
What might be a situation when I might consider biblical counselling?
If you are suffering in a particular way or struggling with a particular issue or facing a repeated pattern of sinning then biblical counselling might be especially helpful. It allows someone to walk alongside you for a period of time and encourage you to grow in God’s grace by listening to your situation and then bringing the Word of God to bear on your situation.
Who will know I am having biblical counselling?
George Hawkins (Senior Minister) and Zena Schofield (Biblical Counselling Intern) will know who is having biblical counselling within the church. George may also decide that another minister or elder needs to know and so share with that person. You will be encouraged to share with a trusted Christian friend within the church that you are having biblical counselling and to ask that friend to pray for you. It would probably be wise for you to share with your home group leader or small group leader that you are having biblical counselling.
Is it an admission of failure to request biblical counselling?
No. Biblically we are encouraged to bear one another’s burdens, to love one another, to encourage one another and to speak the truth lovingly to one another. This is what we are seeking to carry out with the biblical counselling we provide at Beeston Free.
Is what I say in my sessions confidential?
Please ask for the document on confidentiality which answers this question in detail.
Do I have to pay?
No. There is no fee as this is part of the church’s pastoral care; it is one part of the way we do ‘one anothering’ within the church.
Can a person who does not attend Beeston Free Church have biblical counselling at the church?
We are prepared to consider this but normally we would expect someone to be attending one of the congregations of the church. We would certainly encourage people to regularly attend church if they did start biblical counselling with the intern.
If I am coming to biblical counselling does that mean I don’t need to go to church on a Sunday as I am meeting with a Christian regularly?
No. When God saves us He takes us out of the kingdom of darkness and into His family. It’s really important to continue meeting with other Christians to serve others and be encouraged. We see the biblical counselling as a complement to the normal pastoral care structures with the church, not an alternative.
I have more questions who can I speak to or contact about them?
You can speak to Zena or email her here if you have further questions.