The first benefit of partnering with the BCA concerns the exposure to biblical counseling/discipleship principles that will strengthen your church. The BCA board recognizes that many churches and individuals desire such exposure, but do not have the time to go to a weeklong conference. Every year the BCA will be hosting a Christian Growth Seminar where individuals, churches, and parachurch organizations can hear some of voices writing in the biblical counseling movement. On September 10, 2016 the BCA Christian Growth Seminar is excited to have Dr. Edward Welch speaking on the subject of “shame.” The Christian Growth Seminar will feature Kevin Carson in 2017 and Brad Bigney in 2018. This one day seminar is a wonderful opportunity to learn and invite others you know to become more proficient in the area of counseling/discipleship.
The second benefit of partnering with the BCA is having connectivity to others who have been doing biblical counseling/discipleship ministry for years. Let’s face it, none of us know it all or have experienced everything. The BCA provides access to people serving as pastors, lay leaders, mentors, parachurch organization leaders and more that will likely be able to give you biblical advice just when you need it. The BCA will also serve its members by helping those interested in certification by pointing them toward credible certifying agencies. In the future the BCA will also be enlisting ACBC fellows within the region to help supervise individuals seeking certification through their organization.
The third benefit of partnering with the BCA is its local church focus. Each BCA board member is actively participating in churches where a biblical counseling/discipleship ministry exists. Part of the goal of the BCA is to help strengthen local churches in this work. By being part of the BCA, a member will be continually challenged to take what they are learning and use it to impact their own local church for the glory of God. Counseling/discipleship takes many different forms within the local church. At times it looks very formal because of an intensive need in the life of someone who is struggling. Other times it can be as informal as going for coffee or dinner with a friend or couple in your church in need of help. The local church focus means that it is not individualistic orientated, but church centered. The goal is to have churches functioning as a counseling/discipleship community right where God has placed them. Places where the hurting can come and find hope and comfort in Christ alone.
The fourth benefit to becoming a member of the BCA is the opportunity to be connected with one of their interactive focus groups. The interactive focus groups will be meeting one time a month during the evening hours. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Being part of a group of people learning to grow and change for the glory of God is exciting. The interactive focus groups will combine biblical instruction on particular topics with interactive breakout groups that will highlight the topic presented that evening. Each participant will be able to choose their interaction level. Some may want to listen, while others want to engage. No matter what you choose, the instruction and interaction will help you grow in your walk with Christ. The BCA is also investigating the ability to live stream the interactive focus groups so that others who are further away can still be encouraged by biblical instruction. The focus groups will also provide an environment where mentorship and friendships are forged. The BCA desires to initiate relationships where dependence on God is paramount and prayer for each other is necessary.
The fifth benefit of BCA membership concerns networking. If you are a church who is offering biblical counseling or hosting a biblical counseling event you are able to request that it be promoted on the BCA website. Membership also affords you the opportunity to be listed on the BCA website as a supporting individual or church. This will give others the opportunity to connect with you concerning someone in your area who might be able to help someone.
The sixth benefit of being a member of the BCA revolves around resources. In the near future the BCA will have a number of downloadable resources available to members to help in their ministry of counseling/discipleship. From PowerPoint diagrams, helpful homework assignments, devotional sheets, consent form templates, and more. It is also the goal of the BCA in the future to offer a quarterly counseling resource written by certified counselors within the BCA.
The BCA hopes that you will consider taking part in its vision to help strengthen the counseling/discipleship ministries of local churches in the Upper Midwest.