By: Connie Chae
This past week some of us from IBC had the opportunity to attend the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) Annual Conference held at Grace Community Church. This year’s conference was centered on the gospel and mental illness. Now I am not a certified biblical counselor in any way but this subject matter is something that has been close to my heart for a number of years and I was very interested in hearing what they would have to say.
We spent 3 days listening and learning from doctors, pastors, and biblical counselors. There were a total of 6 plenary sessions and 5 breakout sessions. The plenary sessions focused more broadly on mental illness and the gospel while the breakout sessions were more specific on certain conditions or issues. Some of the breakout sessions I was able to attend were on the topics of anger, schizophrenia, redemption after adultery and sexual abuse.
I love attending conferences and was looking forward to attending this one. What stood out to me is that biblical counseling isn’t just “therapy” where the patient vents and talks about themselves the whole time. It is patient, it is loving, it is kind. It is “speaking the truth in love” and trusting God in His goodness and wisdom to help each person in their time of need. The speakers we heard from were humble and loving in their desire to teach us from God’s Word. They recognized that they are mere instruments in the hands of a mighty God and it is only in His goodness and wisdom that someone could come out of a difficult and terrible situation. Ultimately, this conference reminded me of how powerful our God is and how vital it is to have our hope in Christ.
http://bcdasocal.org/ (Local training)
http://bcdasocal.org/resources/book-stores (Recommended books)