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equipping the church in one-another care.

035 Interview with Keith Palmer {Clip 1 | 2:21}

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You know something I heard another leader in the Biblical counseling movement, I heard him say years ago, and that is, “We don’t want to have a counseling ministry, we want to be a counseling ministry.” When I was first, I was hired at our church years ago as an associate pastor, to be about equipping the equippers, or discipling the disciples. So whether it’s men’s ministry, women’s ministry, [inaudible 00:08:53], children’s, youth, you know whatever, my role was largely was to come alongside those existing leaders and equip them and help them to do the shepherding work that they were doing. I didn’t really intend it to be this way, but I found the Biblical counseling curriculum that I received in seminary as a wonderful, rich source of material to help equip disciples.

So didn’t realize it at the time, but by teaching literally every leader in our church who was teaching at some level, taking them through a basic course in Biblical counseling, I didn’t tell them that. I said, “This is discipleship material,” but to get that type of training it really created a culture in our church that helping others with the gospel from the scriptures for life problems, for training children, training adults, you know, whatever it is, that’s normal church ministry. That’s what the Bible teaches us to do. So that’s been just wonderfully helpful in our church, because now there’s a culture of discipleship. We do have a formal counseling ministry, but I think if you were to bring our people into the studio here and ask them, you know, “What’s one of the facets of your church?”

That they would say, “We believe that it’s every believer’s role to minister the Bible to other people in the body of Christ”, whether it’s for some huge, life changing thing going on, or just the everyday you know, anger, anxiety, conflict, you know just that’s our role to again, going back to Ephesians Four you know the pastors and teachers equip the saints, but it’s the believers that minister to one another. I think that’s created a healthy culture of discipleship in our church. It really, it’s just an extension of our Ecclesiology, but applied in a way that I really think has had a wonderful impact on our church. That would be one area where I think it’s been helpful.