The Biblical Counseling Coalition met this week for its fifth annual leadership retreat at Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, Georgia. This year’s theme was “Mental Health and Biblical Counseling.” The council board meets annually over a three-day period with a rigorous schedule, highlighted by eight main sessions followed by response and discussion time. Also included in the schedule is a variety of small group opportunities, other relationship-building occasions, and shared meals. This year forty-seven national and international leaders in biblical counseling participated.
The highlight of each year’s retreat is relationship building. Prior to the inception of the BCC, often churches, seminaries, and para-church organizations, all of whom offered biblical counseling, acted more as silos rather than cooperating together for the church and the gospel. However, the landscape and general ethos of biblical counseling has increasingly changed with each year’s retreat. Certainly unity is better than separation, and synergy is more effective than silos, as we are all better together striving to serve Christ well. Collaborative relationships built upon love, trust, truth, and unity continue to deepen as we work together to strengthen biblical counseling worldwide. Individual members who make up the council board of the biblical counseling coalition do not just share a common practice or common goals; rather, we are friends.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
This year the primary content area related to mental health and biblical counseling. Main sessions focused on defining mental illness and mental health, the role of nature and nurture in biblical counseling, case studies in bi polar and addiction, and the local church as a mental health provider.
Although all the members of the council board are unified by shared common doctrinal and confessional statements, there is rich diversity among the individual members. In spite of the particular differences between various positions, what a joy to listen as select council members engaged each other around the main session topics with respect, kindness, grace, and authenticity. As the rest of the council board participated in the response and discussion time which followed the main sessions, all the interactions were marked by a desire to learn from each other, by an effort to explore the varied differences in understanding and care, and by a shared commitment to faithfully serve Christ and the church well.
Special honor was given this year to Bob Kellemen by the board of directors on behalf of the entire council board. Bob served as the first executive director and resource director. God used Bob’s willingness, gifts, and talents to forge a coalition, change an ethos, and develop robust resources for biblical counseling. Thank you Bob for your sacrifice.
The only negative is that our time together was too short.
Please pray with us that God will continue to increasingly bless His people through the efforts of the BCC. Possibly you would also like to become a partner with the BCC or give an end-of-the-year gift. You can learn more about various partnership levels and online giving here.
Our prayer as a coalition is that you will find our online resources helpful, our blogs encouraging, and our collaborative relationships refreshing to you in your life and ministry. Even greater, our prayer is that God receives the glory through the BCC.