For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. [O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!]
What Is Counseling at Bethlehem?
Foundationally, it’s the ability to bring the Word of God to bear on one another’s lives. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Our elder-approved Guiding Philosophy for Counseling document provides more detail concerning our thinking on biblical counseling.
We have various counseling care options for those in need. We also have training for those wishing to help others.
Layer 1: Small Groups
Bethlehem’s small group ministry is the ideal context for living out Scripture’s “one another” commands and where much preventive care takes place. These groups are designed to help you carry your burdens and guide you in your walk with God.
Layer 2: Elder/Pastoral Counsel and Prayer
Elders provide oversight of the church usually in a campus-specific capacity and can be available for prayer and/or counseling.
Layer 3: CARE Ministers
Individuals who have been trained and who have manifested a skill to help others through difficult times are available to talk.
Layer 4: Christian Counselors
We have information on Christian counselors with various specialties who may be available to provide you with additional counsel.
Training to Help Others
Layer 1: Biblical Counseling Courses
The basic courses of How People Change and Helping People Change, developed by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, provide basic principles for biblical counseling in everyday situations. These classes are open to everyone and are offered at Bethlehem throughout the year. You can also visit the CCEF site for more information on their conferences and study programs.
Layer 2: Additional Training
With the retirement of Pastor Tom Eckblad, transitions are underway for how Bethlehem will train church members to provide wise love (biblical counseling) to one another. Pray for the pastors and elders as they work through this process.
Layer 3: Peacemaker Ministries
Peacemaker Ministries training focuses on helping resolve conflict. Receiving the Peacemakers’ training will enable you to help others find Christ-centered solutions to relational conflicts. Training conferences are held periodically at Bethlehem.
If you have questions after reading about our options for receiving counsel or for being trained, contact Karla Elsenbroek, Administrator for Congregational Care and Counseling (612-338-7653 x474).