IBCD Resources

equipping the church in one-another care.

010 An IBCD Update {Transcript}

About This Transcript

As we finish out Season 1 of our Care & Discipleship Podcast, Craig talks with Jim and Caroline Newheiser about their move to Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. They discuss what their ministry will look like, how they came to this decision, and about this exciting stage of growth for IBCD. Season 2 of our podcast will launch in August with many great interviews with our speakers from the 2016 Summer Institute.

Key Links

Craig Marshall:
Hello and welcome to the IBCD Care and Discipleship Podcast. This is our tenth episode in season one. I’m really looking forward to having Jim and Caroline Newheiser with me today. We’re going to be updating you on what’s happening with their move to RTS. I’m looking forward to talking with them about what the world has been doing in their lives and what’s coming ahead. Jim and Caroline, thanks so much for making time to be with us.

Jim Newheiser:
We had all kinds of time on our hands, just easy for us to jump in over here in the middle of moving everything.

Craig Marshall:
Exactly. I wondered if we’d be doing this while movers are packing up your house or something. They are not there yet, right?

Caroline :
Right.

Jim Newheiser:
Not till Tuesday.

Craig Marshall:
Thanks for making time to do this. We’re right on heels of the Summer Institute and at the Summer Institute we’re able to update some people about your plans and what’s happening but we realized our broader audience and people who may be following things going on with IBCD may not have been able to hear firsthand from you both. We thought this would be a great venue to do that. Jim, I was wondering if you could tell us about your new position at RTS and what kind of responsibilities that will entail.

Jim Newheiser:
Reformed Theological Seminary has been around for about 50 years and they have several campuses. One of the larger campuses is in Charlotte, North Carolina and a former intern from our church who has trained the George Scipione in terms of his counseling when he was at Westminster. Mike Kruger is the president of the seminary. A few years ago they made a commitment to establish a program which would be in biblical counseling.

Over time, Mike contacted me and asked if I would be willing to consider becoming the director of that program. Over a period about a year and a half with much resistance and hair-pulling, prayer, seeking counsel, we finally became convinced that the scope of the opportunity was so significant that we had to say yes in spite of the fact we love everything we’re doing here in Escondido. After being here almost 30 years it’s really difficult to leave.

Craig Marshall:
What are some of your responsibilities be there at the new program?

Jim Newheiser:
I’ll be directing this Christian counseling program. There’s a master of arts degree in Christian counseling, biblical counseling. Also counseling classes for the master divinity students in the seminary and I get a teacher preaching class which is something I begged for because I love to do that and actually Jay Adams like to teach preaching more than he like to teach counseling, not everybody knows that. Then, it’s going to be a program not only teaching these classes and counseling and preaching but already I began to reshape the program to be something that’s going to be hands on not just theoretical but we’ll really follow along very closely with the ACBC requirements of observation.

We’re going to have to role play and then have them do the 50 hours supervised counseling as part of the program in addition to all the counseling courses and the Bible and theology, everything else they take. We hope to have a counseling center which would be modeled after IBCD in the Charlotte area. We hope also in addition to the training of the seminary students who are pursuing degrees at RTS in Charlotte to start doing care and discipleship training in the local area for local churches. The seminary is enthusiastically supportive of these goals.

Craig Marshall:
It’s great. Caroline, what’s your role going to look like as you’re moving to Charlotte and just anticipating these changes?

Caroline :
I’m excited to begin to study the local counseling in the masters level. RTS is excellent because they are having me study every single book of the Bible which is what a biblical counselor needs, more knowledge about the Bible plus I’ll be taking counseling classes from Jim and others.

Craig Marshall:
Wow. That starts this fall? You’re starting up as a student? Wow.

Caroline :
That’s right.

Craig Marshall:
I’ve been talking to Jim about some schedule and things and he’ll say like, “Caroline will be taking finals during that time.”

Caroline :
That’s right.

Craig Marshall:
That’s just wild. Boy, that sounds exciting. Then, there are ladies who are enrolled in the program. What does that look like for ladies in counseling training?

Jim Newheiser:
Right. In the master of arts in Christian counseling program, a lot of the students are women. Part of how they were selling us on coming to Charlotte was Caroline’s experience as an ACBC certified counselor and her role already in mentoring women. They anticipated she’ll have a role in working with these ladies. Initially she’ll be a student alongside of them but someone with a lot more experience than most of them will have. They see Caroline as very important part of our coming and we need women who can be a model and a mentor for these ladies.

Craig Marshall:
I know that this decision has been a hard one for you all, I think mainly because you love what you’re doing. You love being here. You love the church here. You love being a part of IBCD here. It’s not like you’re looking for something more to do. Jim your plates always been very full. It’s not like you’re looking to fill it up somehow. What are some things about this opportunity that made you all come to realize this is what you think the Lord would have you to do?

Jim Newheiser:
As you said, we love everything about our life here. We’ve been in the same church now for almost 26 years. Three of the four original elders are still together, have been still together till today. We’ve had wonderful harmony there. IBCD especially Craig with your leadership and direction has been flourishing and expanding and the Lord has given me many opportunities to speak in other places and write and have impact so I’m in this ideal situation. We basically fixed up our house with plans to live there until we died and so it’s a great shock to us. Really what weighed on us is Psalm 90, the Psalm says, “Teach us to number our days.”

We have 70 years, 80 years if we’re strong, we want to present to the Lord something of lasting importance. The sole reason we chose to accept the position is that we believe the potential to do good in this season of our life, to do it there is overwhelming, it’s great and it’s worth giving up a lot of comfort and happiness to be able to do that. I feel a bit overwhelmed by it in the sense that I’m very comfortable doing what I’m doing and everybody has learned to put up with me in the church in IBCD and I know I can get by whatever I’m doing for a long time.

There to go to a place where there will be expectations, there are hopes of they’ve been waiting for a director to come. It had given the analogy I feel like I was a guy with a pretty good center field around my church’s softball team and I got called up to pitch for the Yankees. This is not something I was aspiring to but it’s a lot more important than pitching for the Yankees. I feel like if that’s what we’re being called to we should make an effort and see what the Lord does.

Craig Marshall:
Caroline, what’s the process been like for you as a wife? Seen your husband’s giftedness, his desires, your desires trying to wrestle through all that, being supportive weighing in. I know Jim cares very much about what you care about in this decision. I know with the elders, he was constantly updating us and one of the things we’re asking is what does Caroline think about this. I know he’s been very concerned about what you think but how have you navigated that as a wife to Jim?

Caroline :
I am also convinced that Jim’s giftedness is able to be used in this place so that made it easy once I was convinced Jim was the right person for that. My first reaction was, “They need a director of biblical counseling, why is that our problem?” It turned out to be that we were convinced by the people that are in the wider view of Christian counseling in America. These schools are actually training pastors for biblical counseling so there needs to be another school. We don’t have many [inaudible 00:08:50] into the Presbyterian side of Christianity which also could be greatly affected by biblical counseling.

Craig Marshall:
Yeah, anything about IBCD historically. Very much starting with very Presbyterian and reformed roots and then over time not having as many connections of that as of late and so it’s exciting to rekindle some of those connections I would think.

Jim Newheiser:
We really have hope both in a new region and with a couple of major Presbyterian denominations that are strongly connected to the seminary in that region already doors are opening that I would have never imagine. We really want to present a winsome, gracious, gospel-centered view of this sufficiency of the word of God in helping people spiritually. We’d really like to have a lot of churches even give biblical counseling another look and consider getting their people engaged not just in the top leadership of the church but to do care and discipleship throughout these churches. We’re very hopeful to that end. There is a tremendous opportunity which seems to be opening up to do that.

Craig Marshall:
I know one of the dynamics that we’ve talked a lot about in the last few years really in our observation meeting when we’re reporting on counseling cases together and learning from each other is how critical it is if a pastor believes in counseling, caring for, shepherding his people, it just radically changes the whole situation. We’ve just seen that time and time again. I know Caroline that’s something you’ve brought up several times in the meeting, “This lady is in a great church.” I have so much hope like there are so many other things going on there.

It seems to me that that’s been a critical piece as I’ve thought through you all going to Charlotte is you’re going right to people who want to be pastors. If these men and then ladies who want to serve in this way are equipped and this way it’s just exciting to think of what the word may do through them in the lives of so many people.

Jim Newheiser:
Right. Just that reform theological seminar in Charlotte, I will be getting every single master divinity student which is future pastor. It’s for at least a couple of courses and I’m hoping that they will be motivated to take lots of electives in counseling once they see how important it is. That’s huge. Even looking back to when George was teaching at Westminster and people like Mike Kruger were in there.

Mike was exposed to the sufficiency of scripture in counseling and how that’s applied practically and that was part of what lead to a program like this being established. The idea of if the Lord gives me 15 or more good years and taking 15 classes with future pastors to teach them the basics of counseling from the scriptures to equip them to proclaim the word of God both privately and publicly. That’s an important work if the Lord should be pleased to allow us to do that.

Craig Marshall:
This idea of training future ministers, training people who are interested in ministry, this isn’t a new one for you, right? This has been part and parcel of your whole ministry experience. I’m wondering if you both could tell us just a little bit about how you’ve sought to care for men and women who are interested in pursuing ministry together. How was that unfolded in your years together? Caroline, why don’t you tell me some about how you sought to do that at least?

Caroline :
Jim started training people in ministry when we were living in Saudi Arabia and we had to open up many house churches which didn’t have teachers so he developed a program there which is a stepping stone to what he’s doing now. Through the years we’ve had the intern program here at Grace Bible and we’ve even had men live with us, students live with us off and on different times. God has equipped us I think for this step.

Jim Newheiser:
Caroline has made a lot of effort both in terms of hospitality and having some cases. I think back to having single Mike Kruger, Greg Welty, newly married [Dan Mark 00:12:45], these guys are now seminary professors. Many people are now missionaries and pastors but having them or having them and their wives into our home, she’s been especially in recent years making some delivered efforts to mentor the seminary students’ wives and prepare them for what it is going to be like one day.

All of that has been part of what we’ve been doing actually would be going back 33 or 34 years going back to our time in Saudi Arabia because there I knew I would have to leave someday. We had many places we had to fill because you had 200 or 300 people, able to get 30 to 40 together in one spot. There’s still men now in different places in the world, different nationalities who are still preaching the word of God who started in that program back in the mid 1980’s.

Craig Marshall:
I think we just had one child back then but you would stay in the nursery so Darcy and I could both read the counseling material in the intern program. Apart from having a babysitter Darcy wouldn’t have been able to hear that you know. Those practical helps along the way as well as I know you’ve reached out to the women and the intentionality you both have had of having them in your home and teaching and instructing.

I’m just thrilled to think of many more people getting to receive of that through this opportunity so that’s exciting. As people may be listening to this though, one thing they may be saying is, “Well, lots of great things for RTS but what about IBCD, what’s going to be happening that way?” Jim, do you want to tell us a little bit about what your role will continue to look like for IBCD?

Jim Newheiser:
Right. You Craig is the operations director have decided you want me to remain as the executive director and that will entail that we will consult with each other about the direction for IBCD. A plan to be at all the IBCD events, I plan to continue to create content like podcast and blogs and articles. To be involved as long as you and the others in charge want me to be involve. We would love to see something like IBCD.

I don’t know if it will be called IBCD East or Southeast but a similar ministry established with close ties in the Southeast near Charlotte. We hoped to be very involved but actually it bring some comfort too or like this morning when I preached to my last sermon as the preaching pastor of our church I could say, “Well, I’m supposed to be back in February, I’m supposed to be back in June, I’m supposed to be back the following October for these IBCD events.” That gives me some comfort anyway that we’ll keep ties not just with IBCD but with Grace Bible which is hosting IBCD.

Craig Marshall:
There’s definitely a sense of loss with IBCD it’s interesting to think you won’t be here on Monday nights both you and Caroline and we’re looking at the counseling schedule realizing, “Wow, two of our counselors won’t be with us on the following Monday nights.” On the other hand from an IBCD standpoint just a lot of gain just in terms of now this new audience, this expanded audience that we’ve been working towards for a long time and it’s just neat to see how the Lord providentially has had us developed training materials that go right into the heart of church. Now, that he’s shifting you all into equipping people who will be going into those churches and they can have materials ready to take with them. For us it seems like it’s really neat how the Lord has brought us about.

Jim Newheiser:
I think IBCD is still unusually blessed with your leadership and Tom and others we have counseling as well that I still think we have resources on site here far beyond most centers. The team you’ve put together creating materials and media and things online so I’m very hopeful and positive about the future of IBCD. I’m also thankful to the counseling with love observation we’ll continue and we have people who are ACBC certified and whom we have great deal of confidence. I’m glad it’s all going to go on and we still want to be a part of it as much as we can be.

Craig Marshall:
It’s fascinating to think historically it used to be CCF West so it came out here and now we have IBCD which is primarily on the west coast and now expanding to the east coast. We’ll see what that does. It’s kind of exciting. Just as we kind of conclude some of these thoughts. I’m curious one of the things we talked about in biblical counseling is knowing God’s will and decision making in the will of God and trusting the Lord. I know that this has been a long decision process for you both with a lot of struggle in it to be honest. I’m curious as you’ve gone through it what you’ve learned about yourselves, what will be helpful to you as you seek to help others who are trying to wrestle through opportunities in life. Any things that come to the forefront of your mind?

Caroline :
I know that it’s forced me to trust the Lord more about things I really care about, things that I’ll be leaving behind. One of the most convincing arguments was one we heard from Heath Lambert who said, “So do you trust God enough to leave IBCD and your church?” The answer has to be, “Yes, I trust God enough to have him take care of these people we care about and this ministry we care about.”

Craig Marshall:
Yeah, took it to a new level in terms of having … It’s one thing to say you trust that and meant to be what 3,000 miles away from these people that you care about that stretching for sure.

Jim Newheiser:
It was by far the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. The last time we had a major move was 29 years ago, we got kicked out of Saudi Arabia. It was painful to leave but I did not have to face those people and say, “I’ve decided to leave because I think I could be more useful somewhere else,” I got kicked out and I had no choice. We landed here and obviously we’re not particularly warm to the idea of change because we’ve been here 29 years and made no effort to leave and became happier and happier as the time went on.

When the opportunity came we were kind of overwhelmed by the scope of it, we resisted it repeatedly. There is no way you can be absolutely certain this is going to work out. God doesn’t offer us that certainty that’s part of walking by faith and not by sign that we make a decision and really for us the final criteria became at our age moving into our later 50’s with what time we may have left how could we be most useful. We saw at counsel from many, many others both inside and outside of our church throughout the counseling movement, friends who are in ministry.

The waiting seem to come down pretty conclusively that the opportunity for usefulness in North Carolina was very, very great and that trumped all of our other concerns for the future of the church, our concerns for family, we’re going to be leaving here. Just our great discomfort, I mean when you’ve piled up stuff at a house with a lot of storage for 29 years without ever throwing anything away. You just hoped your kids would deal with that when you die and not have to do it yourself. Everything about it has been hard and it’s been a good exercise in terms of sympathizing with others who have hard decisions to make that you can’t get this absolute certainty.

Overtime the Lord has given us peace about it in a way that actually is kind of surprised me where ones we reached the point of accepting the offer and telling everybody involved, the Lord has helped us not to really waver in that. It’s been really, really hard and I certainly wondered, “What I have gotten myself into?” but we still are hopeful that this is what will make us most useful. If the Lord allows us to fall on our face and we come rushing back here asking if we could be the janitor or something or anything you guys will let us do so be it. That was good too. We hope it’ll be a good season to be useful.

Caroline :
I’m reminded of how many people in the bible just had to step out in faith and if we try to protect ourselves from disaster we will not step out. Disaster could happen but Lord is still good.

Craig Marshall:
Yeah. I know and you’re knowing God’s will talk is one of things you mentioned is you consider … Is there anything biblical that forbids it and then after that it kind of boils down to lists a little bit of like pros and cons almost. I remember several different dinner conversations where I’d pick different sides, “You should stay, you should go,” and you did a really good job arguing against whatever side I would pick. I know you’re wrestling through a lot of lists.

Jim Newheiser:
I think you actually changed your mind.

Craig Marshall:
I did.

Jim Newheiser:
In terms of your council two or three times which didn’t make things very easy.

Craig Marshall:
No, I’ve learnt how better to counsel someone through something like this through a lot of failure during this decision.

Jim Newheiser:
Yeah, and as you probably know that the conversation I had which was with Tom which really sealed my mind of what I had to do. He did not want us to leave but when I said, “My reason for staying is my concern for this, this and this and my reason for going is I’m pretty much convinced I’d be more useful.” He says, “Well then you have to go even though I don’t want you to.” He had to go face his wife and tell her that he had talked us into leaving even though he didn’t want to.

Craig Marshall:
Right. Jim and Caroline thank you so much for taking some time to talk with us. What’s the rest of your timeline look like as we look ahead into July? What kind of things are happening?

Jim Newheiser:
They come and pack up our house in two days and then in four days hopefully they load up the truck and we start driving across the country. The SUV is full of the stuff that Caroline doesn’t trust to the moving truck like our photo albums which may require a trailer or something on top of the car. We’ll see family on the way and some friends on the way. Probably get there in a week and move into the house the Lord has graciously provided for us and I’ll spend a month trying to get ready to teach these courses. She’ll spend a month trying to fix our house up and get ready to take courses and off we’ll go.

Craig Marshall:
You all have a lot of weekends already filled up with speaking and people coming.

Caroline :
That’s right.

Craig Marshall:
Typical Newheiser way.

Jim Newheiser:
We have many house guests scheduled for the first few months we are there including one person who maybe living with us for a month. Initially the person will be my assistant maybe living with us for a month before he can get his own place for him and his family. The Lord has opened up many doors, I’m kind of the new kid in town and I’m getting a lot of opportunities to speak in that region and want to be well equipped to do those.

It’s going to be hitting the ground running. We also had a trip planned to Costa Rica which is still in the books, they’re going to let me miss a week of class to keep that commitment I made over a year ago. There are many, many things happening but as you know I’m happy when I’m busy I don’t want to be unuseful so we’re excited about that. I just hope I can keep up with it so I’ll be spiritually and intellectually ready to deliver all that we’ve promised to do.

Craig Marshall:
Yeah, thank you for that update. It helps us all know how we can be better praying for you both and praying for this new season for IBCD, this new season for the Newheisers. Lots of exciting things that the Lord is going to do but then also as we’ve mentioned stretching things, opportunities for trust, for growth in many ways. We appreciate all of you who are listening and your ongoing support for us especially in your prayers and some of you are supporting us financially as well. It really helps us as we’re seeking to accomplish our mission of helping churches grow in one another care. Jim and Caroline, thank you so much for being with us this afternoon for updating everyone and we look forward to hearing from you when you’re on the east coast and we’ll just be using a little bit different technology to do that.

Jim Newheiser:
No problem.

Caroline :
Thank you.

Jim Newheiser:
We look forward to that too. Hopefully we’ll have joyous things to report.

Craig Marshall:
Yeah, that’s exciting. Speaking of exciting this is episode ten of our Care and Discipleship podcast which brings us to the end of season one and we just finished a bunch of recordings, of interviews with people at the Summer Institute and we’re busy processing those. In early August we’re going to be starting up season two with our next ten episodes. Keep your eyes on the lookout for those things. The best way to find out when the conference audios and videos and the new podcast become available is to sign up for our email newsletter.

There’s a stay connected page at IBCD.org or you can follow us on social media, we have Facebook and Twitter and even Instagram profiles there and we’re always updating when the latest resources come out. We’re looking forward to being back with you in a few weeks and to be updating you from not only the west coast but the east coast as well. Until that time thanks for listening and we’re praying for you that you’ll continue to grow in one another care. Thank you so much.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Equip One-Another!

Have you enjoyed this resource? Share it with your friends.