Taking courses through CCEF’s online School of Biblical Counseling has been immensely valuable to my soul, to my family, and for my ministry to others. While working full-time and serving as an elder in my church, I began taking courses back in 2011. And I’ve slowly soaked in each of the classes ever since. “Life-changing,” though it perhaps sounds cliché, is truly an accurate descriptor for these courses. I really mean that. Again and again, I was pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ and his glorious gospel in each and every class. And I was repeatedly challenged to apply the gospel to my life; letting theology remain in the abstract is not an option when taking these courses.
My wife, Debby, who is now also taking CCEF classes, spontaneously said to me one day, “You’re changing.” Her comment was all the proof I needed: it’s been time well spent. She could see that the Lord was not letting me stay the same man I was. The courses consistently challenged me to notice the difference the Triune God makes in the concrete, day-to-day details of my life—and I was called to respond to God by worshiping him and loving other people. My joy and satisfaction in Jesus is increasing because of the work he is doing, and has done, in me through the CCEF classes.
How am I using the education I received through CCEF? I am privileged to serve as the director of Redemption: Twin Cities, a biblical counseling ministry in Minneapolis. Along with my involvement in the daily operations of the ministry, I also counsel others on a regular basis, seeking to point them to the One we all desperately need, our Lord Jesus. I get a front-row seat to watch an image-bearer become more conformed into the image of Christ as God works in them over time for his glory and their good. It’s nothing short of thrilling! And God also changes me in the process!
I also serve as a co-instructor of biblical counseling courses at Bethlehem College and Seminary. We seek to train men and women to treasure Jesus above all else, and to love people really wisely and really well. This means equipping our students to glorify God through effective personal ministry, in addition to equipping them for effective public ministry. My CCEF education has a strong influence on how I teach these students to counsel others. We utilize articles from the Journal of Biblical Counseling on a regular, if not weekly, basis.
Additionally, I get to serve as a recitation instructor for CCEF, which affords me the great blessing of progressing through the courses yet again, as well as helping other students grasp the material and make it their own. This winter we began piloting a model at Bethlehem Baptist where a cohort of students takes Dynamics of Biblical Change together. I serve as their recitation instructor, and we meet face to face every other week to discuss course content and to address questions that will help them grasp the material and implement it in the ministry contexts where they serve. It has been a delight to see them embracing CCEF’s biblical counseling model and to see them ministering to one another in this face to face setting. It’s like a snowball of grace rolling downhill—more and more are being affected by the Person and work of Jesus. The Spirit and the Word are changing people—and it is a joy to see.
Whether you are a pastor or elder, a teacher or minister, a worker inside or outside your home, a husband, wife, a parent, a son, or daughter, a sibling, or a friend to fellow sufferers and sinners, the CCEF courses will equip you to live more consciously before God’s face and point others to Jesus through personal ministry. I cannot recommend these courses highly enough.
To register for School of Biblical Counseling courses, visit www.ccef.org/school.