The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) is an organization that I’ve been pleased to be part of for many years; first, as a conference attendee, then a certified counselor, and currently a teaching fellow. ACBC has a rich, 40-year history of involvement in the training and certification of men and women who love Jesus Christ, but also want to more effectively minister His grace and truth into the lives of others as biblical counselors. Below are five reasons I love being part of this organization.
ACBC is committed to the ongoing pursuit of excellence in biblical counselor training and certification. Excellence, not mediocrity, is the pursuit of the leaders and members of ACBC. Yes, the training is rigorous at every level, but it is well worth it and will lead to significant personal growth in your own walk with the Lord. Counseling certification is not about obtaining a certificate to hang on your wall, so that you can then hang out a shingle (although some may), but it’s about growing toward spiritual maturity and love so as to be more useful to our Lord and His church (Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:28-29).
ACBC is committed to theological clarity and precision, which grows out of a commitment to the sufficiency of the Scriptures for life and godliness. We stand without apology on the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of the Bible as God’s words to man. The Scriptures are sufficient for all that pertains to living a life that glorifies Christ our Lord and Redeemer (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). My fellow Fellows not only love theology, but they love the Lord of theology. For further study on the sufficiency of Scripture, see Steve Viars’ and my chapter in Scripture and Counseling, one of the volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition.
ACBC does not believe it has arrived, but is committed to continued growth in our understanding of human behavior, the body/soul connection, and the heart issues that drive us. Behavior modification is not our business. Our business is to plead with God for wisdom to discern how the Spirit is at work in fellow believers in order to come alongside one another to help in the ongoing process of applying theology to life (Eph. 4-6). ACBC rightly views the Christian life as an ongoing journey of sanctification toward becoming like Christ. I am pleased to be part of a body of men and women who view themselves as lifelong students of the Lord.
ACBC is committed to building up local churches through training all those who desire to become willing servants of God in the process of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Rightly understood, biblical counseling is an intensive aspect of the Great Commission to multiply disciples of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20), which is a command given to all believers in the primary context of the local church. ACBC understands this and affirms it in practice. Sanctification is a community project. ACBC gets this!
ACBC is committed to pursuing and multiplying a “pastoral heart” toward others. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you already understand my conviction: Biblical counseling is a ministry of love for every believer, not simply pastors and church leaders; it’s a biblical responsibility to speak the truth in love to one another. This means that a pastoral heart is not only for pastors. A pastoral heart is one which longs for the spiritual good in others and, therefore, seeks to do all in its power to part of the process of leading others closer to Jesus, the one and only Redeemer for desperate sinners like you and me (Rom. 1:11; 15:14).
As one who continues to be blessed by being involved in the ministry of ACBC, I encourage you to check them out. Involvement at any level will surely enrich your own walk with the Lord and expand your ministry of love toward other believers. To learn more about the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, visit www.biblicalcounseling.com. You may just find regional training is not that far away.