Last month, a group of students gathered around tables Friday evening and all day Saturday at our church. This session was the culmination of a semester-long study together, meeting in person and over Zoom. The class participants consisted of those who serve in vocational ministry and those who are volunteer leaders in their churches. In the midst of their busy schedules, what topic is bringing these students to this class? Counseling. These adults have dedicated this fall semester to studying the work and practice of counseling in order to serve the local church.
As a church, we felt a great need to equip believers to care for those who are experiencing the effects of living in a sinful and broken world.
This need is great because on any given day it is painfully easy to see evidence that our world is broken. Sin and its effects are evident as we go into the world or look into our own lives. The need to care for the souls of other believers arises from struggles within their own lives, the lives of their family or friends, or difficult circumstances that come from living in a fallen world. Whatever the reason, we need to equip believers to lovingly point those who are hurting to Christ, the one who can redeem all things.
This mission is no easy task but a vital one. For this reason, our church is thankful to partner with ITM in offering this course on Counseling and Care for Souls. It has provided an opportunity for teachers, foster care ministry leaders, and others to prepare themselves for a ministry calling on their lives to love and care for those in need.
I know in my own life and ministry, I have greatly benefited from theological education and training in formal settings on seminary campuses. However, most people are unable to pack their bags and begin pursuing education full-time. Yet, through ITM many in our church family are now able to take that first step into theological formation and training in a classroom setting. This great need is why we were thankful to partner with ITM.
Adam serves as the Teaching and Sending Pastor at Peninsula Baptist Church in Mooresville, NC. He is a two-time graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a current PhD student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and Ashley have been married for fifteen years, they have two kids.