Recognising Biblical Counsellors
Hardly a week goes by without a request like this – ‘Can you please tell me if there are any biblical counsellors in my area?’ It’s not one of the most satisfying requests to reply to.
The reality is that there are very few trained biblical counsellors in Australia that we are aware of who are taking referrals from outside their own local church. From the start, Biblical Counselling Australia has been keen to equip all Christians to minister to each other in their own churches. This message– that counselling is more than a professional job for a few highly trained experts – is starting to be heard in some places.
With our emphasis on equipping all believers in every-member ministry we could be heard as saying that there is no place for referrals to recognised biblical counsellors. Just recently a student said to me that since biblical counselling was for every Christian within local churches, she would need to pursue other training to become a professional counsellor. However, we aren’t forced into an ‘either/or’ scenario where biblical counselling has to be either a ‘professional’ or a ‘lay’ movement. Ideally, it should be ‘both/and.’ There is a lot of value when the ordinary way Christians care for each other in local churches is best described as ‘biblical counselling.’ And there is also a lot of value in being able to seek the help and support of people who are highly trained, yet who share the same understanding of counselling.
So, to clarify that we really do want to see biblical counselling happening in all contexts, here is a link to our draft proposal for recognition of trained biblical counsellors. It’s a draft – so it’s not finalised, but it might help guide those who are aiming to take external referrals as ‘biblical counsellors.’ And as a draft, comments are invited and will be collated and considered before the next stage. Take a look here BCA certification draft