Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation


How CCEF Has Grown (and Seeks to Keep Growing)

by Ed Welch

CCEF has grown and changed. Many gifted people have come and gone during these 50 years, and each one has had an impact. Outward changes have come in building improvements, technology, administration, partnerships, and educational programs. But the ways we teach and counsel have also grown and changed. It is these deeper developments that I want to identify.¹

We Value Growth and Change

Any institution that wants to improve its product places a high value on growth and development—the work can always be done better. As a ministry, CCEF shares this value.

We work with a timeless, unchanging, authoritative text. Scripture certainly needs no development. We are confident that Christ has come in the flesh, died for sins, is risen, and his Kingdom is growing because the Spirit has been given to us. We are also confident that Scripture speaks with breadth and depth to the human condition.

But we are not so sure about ourselves. We know we are sinners, and our knowledge and gifts are limited. Our corporate growth depends on the Spirit sanctifying us, our learning from each other, and our listening to critics.

We grow from the Spirit sanctifying us. Progressive sanctification is an elemental reality. As individuals, we will only fully arrive when we see Christ. But we are now in him and empowered by his Spirit. We can grow in love and wisdom, and we can change by turning from stubborn sins. If we are spiritually static, then something is wrong. As individuals, we hope to be different—to grow and change—from one year to the next.

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CCEF’s growth rests, in part, on the individual growth of the men and women who serve here. Yet it is more than that. Institutional growth in wisdom is more than the sum of the growth of its members and employees. There is something that happens when God’s people work together that is greater than the aggregate of each person’s growth. Just as marriage creates something more than the joining of two people’s strengths and weaknesses, so each member of our staff is part of the growth of one body in ways that the maturing cannot be ascribed to particular individuals. The Spirit is involved in the work of the whole.

We grow from meeting together. For us to be more than the sum of parts we must meet together. But this goal can be undermined by the reality that counseling and teaching ministry often demand a good bit of solitary time. As counselors, we rarely co-counsel. As teachers, we close our office doors and prepare for the next day’s lectures. As writers, we read, think, and compose, and we tend to bring others in after we have completed a significant amount of work. So we intentionally plan to meet together so that we can learn from each other.

To this end, we hear devotional wisdom from each other in daily prayer meetings. Our faculty, counselors, and ministry departments meet together weekly. We read the Journal of Biblical Counseling. We read each other’s books. We hear each other speak at our annual conferences. We talk together about institutional goals, challenges, and initiatives. We know that our personal styles and the nature of our work can steer us inward, so we are consistently fielding ideas for how to work better together in community.

We grow from critique. We don’t only learn from each other, we also learn from those who disagree with us.

For example, in the early 1990’s we were publicly criticized that we were getting too cozy with secular ideas and practices. Though our attempts to explain and seek understanding with that critic failed, the experience of being critiqued was invaluable. It became an occasion to consider whether there were kernels of truth in what was being said. It was also a time to learn what it was like to be criticized. Simply put, we did not enjoy being misunderstood and misrepresented. From there, it didn’t take long for us to consider that others might not enjoy being misunderstood and misrepresented by us.

The typical rules for engagement in the public square are that when someone publishes an article or a book, those publications are open for public evaluation, however harsh. At CCEF we had always wanted to be fair in our response. Once we were harshly criticized however, we recognized our need for more scriptural rules of engagement. We arrived at this: we want to write about someone’s ideas in a way that first understands those ideas accurately. We want to identify the person’s thoughts in such a way that he or she would say, “Yes, that is what I wrote and what I believe.”

We want to write as if we are face to face with the author of the book we are evaluating. We aim to critique in such a way that the author is edified by our interaction, whether he or she fully agrees with our biblical rationale or not. Even more, we want to give authors a first look at a book or article review so they have opportunity to respond before we publish it. This has happened, but not often enough. We have more room for growth.

We are grateful for the Spirit, the Word, our colleagues, our partners, our students, our counselees, and our critics. Together they reshape us.

Three Areas of Development in Our Understanding

The actual changes we have made can be tracked through our books and Journal of Biblical Counseling articles. They all emerge from insights into and applications of biblical doctrine. For example, How Does Sanctification Work? brings fresh insight into progressive sanctification. Marriage Matters and Age of Opportunity bring new applications from a theology of the heart and apply this to marriages and to teenagers. Cross Talk brings biblical theology, the way Scripture unfolds the story of Christ, to pastoral care.²

A deepening understanding of three biblical doctrines finds expression in this literature: our approach to Scripture, our view of the person, and our doctrine of Christ.

1. Our approach to Scripture has developed. Our primary text, of course, is Scripture. All true developments should emerge from an understanding that Scripture is the communication of God that brings life into the challenges we face every day. We try to read widely, and we believe that, as instructors, we must be up-to-date with current literature and debates within our particular specialty areas. But Scripture, with its boundless reach and inexhaustible depth, is the text that interprets all others.

Scripture has breadth: “The Spirit searches all things” (1 Corinthians 2:10). One of our interests has been to consider problems in living that are not identified directly in Scripture—such as many of the psychiatric diagnoses—and to bring them within Scripture’s domain. This brings us into dialogue with secular psychotherapy, and psychiatry. In the early 1980’s most of our courses attended to the strengths, weaknesses, and sub-biblical assumptions among these neighbors. Secular observations, questions, theories, and practices were a catalyst. But as we understood more of Scripture’s wisdom, our direct engagement with the psychologies has diminished. There is simply too much available in Scripture. Our prime interest has always been to enrich a frankly biblical understanding of people: a true “psychology.” And our prime interest has always been to enrich an explicitly pastoral approach to helping people: a faithful “psychotherapy.” So instead of identifying where other psychotherapies are inadequate, we have increasingly focused on how Scripture’s ministry methods nourish human flourishing, reaching further and into places that secular approaches can’t imagine. In recent years we have also focused more on psychiatric disorders—but not just on the limitations of secular diagnosis and treatment. We have been asking how Scripture accounts for reliable psychiatric observations, and then goes deeper and wider. Our goal in doing so is to extend the pastoral richness of Scripture to some of the many difficult problems with which psychiatry grapples.

Scripture has depth: “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Scripture goes wide, and it goes deep. By deep, we mean that Scripture always reveals more. It reveals the most penetrating and profound view of reality. Only Scripture brings us into the unfathomable expanse of the mind of God; there are no human answers that provide more ultimate explanations. This depth, of course, is summed in Christ and him crucified.

Here all things converge. Injustice, guilt, shame, misery, lack of purpose—they are all answered in Jesus. His work, therefore, is crammed with meaning. Jesus is the Messianic King but much more. He is the High Priest, the Temple itself, Divine Warrior, Suffering Servant, Lamb of God, Light and Love. Scripture resists our attempts to reduce the knowledge of God to one image or perspective. With depth comes the simplicity of the gospel, yet the gospel is a limitless repository of spiritual realities.

When the breadth and depth of Scripture are brought to pastoral theology and counseling they return to two questions:

Who is the person?

Who is God?³

These are the other two areas where our comprehension has deepened.

2. Our understanding of the doctrine of the person has grown. Basic to all our classes and writings is a theology of the person. We have found that most differences among counselors can be traced back to this, so we have been committed to applying orthodox doctrine and listening for new developments. Here are some of the places where our understanding of people has grown.

The person is complex. There is no deeper need or answer to the problems of life than Jesus Christ, yet there is complexity in humanity. Sin, victimization, and human frailty muddy the waters. In Christ, we are adopted children, prophets, priests, royalty, warriors, parents and much more. We are also victimized, foolish, physically weak, and sinful perpetrators. Given this complexity, CCEF has avoided being smitten by one exclusive perspective on our humanity. For example, we have developed the theme of idols of the heart, which is a rich vein in Scripture with endless applications. Idolatry combines both the spiritual arrogance and pitiful slavery that are etched into our humanity. But we deny that this category exhausts Scripture’s teaching about our fallen condition. Just when we might think we have a full picture, Scripture offers more. We are image-bearers, fallen, sinned against, recipients of common grace and brought into Christ—a complex stew of saint, sufferer, and sinner.

Complexity also appears in any attempts to discover simple formulas for change. Counseling would be easier if we could reduce the change process to a series of steps. Yet the Spirit uses an unpredictable combination of the knowledge of Christ, Scripture, prayer, personal stories, deeds offered in love, and an endless number of unique providences to bring about change in our lives. The specific steps that unfold for one person will not necessarily work for another.

God’s ways are never trite, simplistic, or formulaic. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Otherwise, we would lose the needy and prayerful edge that is essential for ministry. But Scripture’s depth comes with a public-domain quality that makes it accessible and memorable. We can truly know the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23–24)—because he gives his Spirit. Even children can minister in Jesus’ name. We are humbled by the depths of Scripture but not befuddled. We appreciate the doctrine of Scripture’s perspicuity and have worked to simplify how to counsel and help others. For example, our early classes tended toward lists of people’s problems, lists of skills that counselors need, and lists of relevant Bible passages. It could give the impression that the process of counseling involved mastering an endless number of details. While we value every particular bit of knowledge, now we also have a working framework. Counseling ministry essentially has two parts: knowing the person and knowing the words of Christ to the person. Though this defies predictable steps, it provides a more memorable map for wise conversations.

The person is directed by his or her heart (Ecclesiastes 11:9). If you want to know someone, know what is on the person’s heart. All questions about the person go through here, as do all differences in counseling and pastoral care. CCEF has had an abiding interest in understanding what Scripture says about the heart.

There are various ways of speaking about the heart, so we do not feel compelled to settle into one perspective or image. But two reappear in our courses and books. One is the image, borrowed from Jeremiah 17, of a tree and its roots. In other words, our words and deeds are directed by the source of life that we seek. In this text, the source of life is either other people or the Lord.

Another recurring perspective focuses on the activity of the heart: the heart has affections, it desires, it worships. A self-aware human being is always ready to answer questions such as “What do you really want?” “What do you love?” These desires seem to be layered, with some desires more noticeable than others. For example, most obvious are our natural desires, such as desires for love and belonging. These are not wrong in themselves. They are simply a given of our humanity. Pleasures and pains are found here. Dig a little deeper and you discover desires that set a moral course for our lives. We pursue the right or we pursue the wrong because we want the right or wrong. Then, at the depths of the heart, our affections are found to be very personal. We either love and follow the Lord of life or we love and follow the world, our sinful desires and the devil. Through all these layers of our humanity, desires and affection are the organizing theme.

The person is an embodied soul. Another answer to the question “Who is the person?” is that we are embodied souls. This tradition at CCEF has also been a tradition in the church.

“I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”
“My soul will be taken immediately after this life to Christ and my very flesh, raised by the power of Christ, will be reunited with my soul.”
—Heidelberg Catechism, answers #1 and #57

The doctrine of the embodied soul allows us to also understand that our bodies also shape behaviors in ways that can be troublesome but are not sinful. Certain behaviors will generate more attention to the body or more attention to the soul, but we keep both in view. This has allowed us to serve people better, and also to engage with professionals who see only the body but not the soul. With professionals, we have been able to affirm the partial merit in what they say. Yet we also aim to see more—to see the soul-ish aspects of the person that intertwine with physical abilities and disabilities.

3. Our understanding of Jesus has grown. Scripture reveals Jesus Christ as The Person. We have tried to get in step with this revelation. Jesus Christ is the very personal center of Scripture, of life, and of ministry. He rearranges everything.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:1–3)

The triune God has revealed himself most fully in the speaking, listening, touching, caring, remembering, and loving Son—the personal Son. A fulfilled life is lived in response to his initiative and engagement with us.

The Apostle Paul began with this starting point. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Then as the letter proceeds, Paul draws the connections between Christ and specific problems of everyday life. This did not mean that Paul’s sermons were short and redundant. It meant that all Scripture has finally been assembled around Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. Paul’s letter is filled with pastoral questions and counsel—on factions, sexual license, meat offered to idols, marriage and divorce, false ideas, and much more. With each one he reasoned from Jesus and his gospel to these thorny, everyday matters. The entire universe, from the flow of world history to daily spats among friends and neighbors, was reinterpreted now that heaven has penetrated earth in Jesus.

Jesus is at the center of human history. Therefore, Jesus must be at the center of our lives, our teaching, and our counseling. One way to summarize our development over the last fifty years is our attempt to imitate Paul’s pastoral method. Making tighter connections between Jesus and daily life has brought both intentional and some unintentional changes in our approach to counseling.

Our Counseling Methodology Has Changed

In the rest of this article I will briefly note six areas of methodological development derived from this theological development: where we sit, how we listen, what we say, how we identify with others, and what our goals are.

1. We rearranged our offices. This was an unintentional, seemingly less significant change, but it illustrates how theological developments exert themselves in innumerable ways. At CCEF each office has a desk. In the early 1980’s a counselor sat on one side of the desk and counselees sat on the other. If you asked why we used desks we would say that we needed a place to write counseling notes and assignments.

Then someone rearranged an office and placed the desk off to the side. Counselor and counselee began sitting together. Then, independently, another desk was put in a corner, and then another. Over the course of one year, we stopped sitting behind desks when we counseled. Now, when we want to write, we have a clipboard on our lap. In retrospect, this change was unintentional, yet it was profoundly doctrinal.

Our theology creates implicit and explicit identities. When Scripture is primarily didactic instruction about how to live, counselors are primarily teachers, and teachers used desks. Counselees come with a question, and we give the correct answer. When Scripture is the treatment for a particular condition, counselors are physicians of the soul who give apt direction and write a prescription, and doctors at that time used desks. We had never discussed these identities with each other, but they were unconscious applications of the way we understood Scripture.

When Jesus is the center, we are pulled into an intensely personal world. Scripture, indeed, has plenty of instruction, but teacher-student does not best capture the fellowship of Christ-with-us. Scripture treats what is wrong with us, but doctor-patient does not capture the mutuality of Christ walking beside us:no-veils, no-barriers, side-by-side, and face-to-face are more accurate. The resulting identity is a hybrid. A counselor is a pastor, who is concerned for the soul of another. A counselor is a friend, who speaks openly and with love. A counselor is a sympathetic fellow struggler, who knows the comfort of Christ in his or her afflictions. A desk does not adequately convey the relationship we are aiming to achieve. Side-by-side does a better job.

2. We encourage others to speak with the Lord. As the weight has shifted to the personal more than the mere pedagogical I think that our counseling has grown in providing more encouragement for each person’s relationship with God. “Pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Ps 62:8). A personal relationship goes in two directions. The other person speaks, and we know that person; and we speak, and are known to that person. God speaks to us. He reveals himself as the one who is gentle and familiar with our sufferings, who is merciful to our sins, who rejoices in our relationship with him. He invites us to be comforted by his love, a love that will be steadfast and present, and by his power, that will make things right. And God invites us to speak to him.

Our human relationships are intended to mirror this. And we are called to facilitate each other’s direct relationship with the Lord. This is the reason why we ask a counselee to speak about hard things. One aspect of life in the Kingdom of Heaven is that we put our innermost thoughts and feelings into speech. Though the Lord knows us, he values our efforts to find words for those things that are most important to us. When words fail, he takes us into the psalms and puts names onto the silences and confusions of our souls. The psalms enrich the possibilities of human experience, and the Lord persistently invites us to pour out our hearts to him.

3. We look for the good, then the hard. Sin is our primary problem. Sin will always command our attention in ministry. Yet that doesn’t mean that sin is the first thing we identify in a counseling conversation. When you relate to those you love, you rarely talk first about their sins, and for good reason. When you follow the history of humanity, it begins with our creation in God’s image. This ground of mutual respect persists through the biblical story, even as sin disrupts and destroys, even as people suffer and cry out for help, even as Christ restores, making saints.

Destructive sinful acts will call for our attention, but we typically look first for the good in people. You observe this strategy in the beginning of every New Testament epistle. Scripture front-end loads the grace of God, the good fruit in his people, and the warm relationship between apostle and people. We often look next for suffering. This strategy also appears at the beginning of many epistles and psalms. What impels a person to seek help in the first place? Usually it is some experience of hardship and pain: a broken relationship, emotional misery, anguish over self-destructive behavior. Though it is not an inviolable rule, there is an order that often recurs in our ministry method. Identify the good. Explore the troubles that have brought hardship. Then, as necessary, speak of the sinful in light of Christ’s merciful purposes. We are simultaneously saints, sufferers, and sinners—usually in that order.

4. We speak good news. We look for the good in people, and we look for the good in Scripture. With Jesus in clearer view, we hope that our counsel has also become better news: more life-giving, and sweeter to the ears. Jesus speaks to us through Scripture and the Spirit. His message is good news. He invites us to rest in him, to believe in him, to find forgiveness and cleansing in him, and to follow him. Repentance itself is good news, as it is an obvious work of the Spirit. Though following Jesus is not always easy, it is good and attractive.

With our eyes trained to see the Lord’s personal engagement and goodness, we can go to the Old Testament and notice that this goodness has been apparent all along. For example, Isaiah begins with descriptions of recalcitrant children who have forsaken the Lord. They think that rituals are more important than knowing and following. In response, the Lord defies all expectations and invites the people to a conversation. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isa 1:18).

I think one result of this development is that our counselees want to continue with us longer than they did during our early years. In CCEF’s early years, 30% of those who sought counseling came once and did not return. Over the past several decades, less than 10% of counsel-seekers only come once. We believe that one reason people want to return is that they more often receive something good and hopeful.

5. We listen for stories more than lists. Another seemingly minor change in our counseling is that we are less prone to generate a long list of a person’s problems and then tick those problems off one by one, marking them as solved.

Behind that typical way of gathering information and then proceeding was a way we understood Scripture. Scripture identifies the basic problems of living, and supplies fitting texts and practical goals for solving those problems. As such, Scripture was filled with pieces of wisdom. Our job was to access those pieces. Counseling-by-concordance is how we began.

But if Scripture is a coherent, unfolding story about Jesus Christ, then our counseling task changes. Our goal is not so much to identify a list of a counselee’s specific problems and find the right text. Instead, we needed to understand a person’s unfolding story. In order to assemble a story we usually have plenty of questions. What events and choices have been most influential? What seems most important today? How does this person interpret life? Where has this person grown? Are there past events that seem to summarize the person’s present experience? Where is this person stuck? Who has and who is influencing this person for good or for bad? What Scripture controls the person’s knowledge of Jesus? Where is help needed? Out of our growing understanding of the person emerges a coherent past and present that directs the person toward the future. With this story available, we reflect on the story of Scripture, and how Scripture portrays the way lives unfold, and the ways the Lord intervenes in a person’s life. We look for ways to enter in. How does the story of Jesus begin to retell this person’s story? Of course, we still bring to bear specific sections of Scripture, but in a way that hopefully assembles the disparate pieces of a person’s life, and makes life and Scripture connect in more coherent and personal ways.

The change, I think, is that people who come to us feel better known and understood. None of us are the sum of our problems. Instead, our aspirations and heartaches, our successes and failures, interconnect in a meandering story that God superintends. To know another person is to better appreciate that whole story and its primary themes. Fuller understanding helps us to consider how the Lord is re-scripting this story.

6. We comfort. Jesus suffered and knows our suffering, which leads us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). The personal God is moved by our troubles; we too are moved by the troubles we hear. I think that our counseling has grown in entering more sympathetically into people’s sufferings. We have given increasing attention to Scripture’s concern with affliction and victimization. Christ, our high priest, entered sympathetically into human pain, sorrow, and shame as he took our sins on himself (Hebrews 4:15–16). We aim to be affected by what we hear, show mercy, and speak of God’s mercy in a way that is persuasive, attractive, and good, that leads toward “obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling with his blood” (1 Peter 1:2).

It is especially remarkable that our God never minimizes suffering. The psalms most often lead with our need for God’s strength and protection in affliction. The “mercies of God” touch suffering as well as sin. God never ratchets down his compassion because we are tainted by our own sins. He never compares our suffering to others. He never suggests that he is concerned with more important matters so we should keep our angst about personal troubles to ourselves. Rather, in Christ, our troubles are known, and the Lord is moved with compassion.

Though suffering can isolate, there is a comfort and hope in being surrounded by a knowing community. This is what we have received in Jesus, and this is what we try to offer as friends and counselors.

What Next?

We expect more growth and change in the future as we come to know people and Scripture better. We will meet people whose struggles bewilder us. We will be critiqued, sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly. We will learn from each other and from our growing number of partnerships. The Spirit will patiently bear his fruit.

We hope that this process of growth and change will only be accelerated. Why? Fifty years ago biblical counseling was in its infancy, and being pioneered by a handful of people. Today biblical counseling is being developed all over the world, in different cultures and languages. We have the privilege to learn from thousands of pastors, instructors, and thoughtful Christians. What do we need? We need ears to hear, eyes to see, compassionate and humble hearts, and a desire to grow together.

¹Growth and change can be used interchangeably, and I will use them in that way. But they also connote slightly different means of development. Change usually suggests that we are out of kilter in some way, and need to be righted. Growth suggests that we are on the right path but there is so much more for us. Our corporate development has included both growth and change.

²David Powlison, How Does Sanctification Work (Crossway, 2017), Winston Smith, Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments (New Growth, 2010), Paul Tripp, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting (P&R, 1997, 2001), Mike Emlet, CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet (New Growth, 2009).

³In the opening pages of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin rightly identifies these two questions as the sum of Scripture’s instruction.

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The work of CCEF’s faculty reminds me of God’s faithfulness to me, to my soul, for today and every day of my life.

We all have many things competing for our attention. For me, it can be transitioning between multiple responsibilities at CCEF, being a husband and father of four, and serving as an elder in my church.

I’ve had the opportunity to absorb some of Ed Welch’s teaching over the last few weeks, and it’s really impacted how I view myself day to day, and my relationship with God. As Ed spoke about Psalm 23, I saw clearly that we all have this natural tendency to be restless, even when we are a part of God’s flock. Ed taught from this psalm how our Shepherd knows this about us, he knows we are naturally restless, and his response is to make us lie down so that he can restore our souls.

How applicable this is to me today. My Shepherd is always, actively, teaching me to rest. I can learn to trust and give thanks for all that I have, even in the midst of the many things that tempt me to be restless.

I think one of the things CCEF does so well is to focus on God, and focus on people, and bring these things together in a way that helps me to connect with Scripture and map my struggles on to God’s bigger story, which includes me. I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness to CCEF these 50 years.

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There was a season in my life when I could not reconcile my personal experience of pain with the promise of God’s tender care. I vacillated between the assumption that he must be trying to show me what I was doing wrong and the assumption that he was simply distant, cold, or indifferent to my cries.

And then God broke in. For the first time I saw him as a God who draws close, a God who sits and listens intently, and a God who is moved by our suffering to the point of grieving with us. He is the one who has all the power to remove my affliction. He is the one whose tears shed for my pain outnumber my own. Seeing this side of God made all the difference to me.

This story comes to mind when I think CCEF because God has used this ministry to bring these truths to life for me: first through its teaching when I was a student, then through its people when I became an employee. Even when pressures have been high and resources short (as is often the case in ministry), this community has reflected God’s love not only in ‘in word or talk but in deed and in truth,’ entering in and listening, weeping, praying and rejoicing with me. This care has made it difficult for me to doubt God’s tender love, and I am so grateful.

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God has been faithful to me as a mother by walking with me daily and, through his Word, church, and Spirit, coming to my aid as I need it. God has used CCEF to clear my thinking as I disciple my kids, giving me a biblical vocabulary and insight into the truth so I can teach them how to understand their hearts and behavior and interpret their lives as children of God living in a fallen world.

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I grew up knowing that the words contained within the pages of Scripture were speaking to real life; I just didn’t think they mattered to my own. I knew one major summary statement about humanity: ‘man is sinful.’ I also grew up with a curiosity about why people did the things that they did. I started studying psychology, but my response to their solutions was ‘Is that it?’

It felt as if I needed to hold two parallel understandings of humanity: people are bad, and life is hard and different for everyone. That’s where this ministry changed everything for me. You don’t have to hold those two views separately; they’re intertwined into one strand. Scripture doesn’t separate them either. In fact, it adds a third strand: we are redeemed people going somewhere. We are sinners, sufferers, and saints.

A Call to Prayer

Dear friends,

God hears the prayers of his people, and through our dependency on him he fulfills his mission through our ministries. The prayer linked to this note gives thanks to the Lord for his faithfulness, and humbly asks him for continued growth and grace.

Would you join us in asking God for the good gifts named in the prayer attached below? Feel free to print it out. Tuck it in your Bible or hang it on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror. Join us as we reflect on God’s work among his people, at CCEF, and in each of our lives. He has been faithful; he is faithful; he will be faithful.

Each month we share particulars of what God is doing and how you can specifically pray for us. Would you make a commitment to take time each month to pray for us? You can read more by clicking on the “Current Happenings & Prayer Needs” below.

Thank you, and blessings,

David Powlison