There are times in life when you just need a helping hand. In fact, many people are doing very well in some parts of their life while struggling in others. Now might be the time when you need someone to come alongside and encourage you from the Bible. At WLGBC, there are people equipped and willing to come alongside you to listen, pray, study God’s Word, and help you in the process of life change, discipleship, confession, and repentance. We call it “discipleship counseling.”
Discipleship counseling is gospel-centered and is the process of one Christian coming alongside another with words of truth to encourage, admonish, comfort and help - words drawn from Scripture, grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ and presented in the context of relationship. The goal of this counseling is that the brother or sister in need of counsel would grow in their understanding of the gospel and how it applies to every area of their life and then respond in grateful obedience in every circumstance. It is primarily focused on changing the heart through the realization of what Christ has done for you which then leads to changes in behaviors.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23
We are eager to serve folks with all kinds of struggles. We come alongside those struggling in their marriage, parents seeking help with their children, those dealing with sexual sin, and those struggling with their emotions (e.g. depression or anger). In all cases, we turn to the Bible to address the problems of life.
Please understand that the person or persons with whom you meet are not licensed, professional counselors. We are Christians involved in the ministries of a local church, have been equipped with basic people helping skills, and are willing to help you learn how to turn to God and His Word to address your life situations. At the start of any discipleship counseling you will be asked to acknowledge that you understand the nature of the help we offer and the qualifications of the helper meeting with you.
We are confident that God can work in your life and bring help and freedom. You can be confident that God has something to say about your situation through the Bible and that He is eager to work in your life by the work of His Holy Spirit.
You can expect:
- Privacy. Everything will be held in strict confidence except, where, in the helper’s judgment, there is a biblical and/or legal requirement to involve others.*
- Care. You will be cared for and treated with respect.
- Encouragement toward Christ-likeness. You will be encouraged in your successes and urged to think and act in a way that pleases Jesus Christ.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
What we expect of you:
- Be honest. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to help you if you are not honest with your helper.
- Come and participate by doing homework assignments aimed at helping you toward lasting change.
- Be persistent. Your struggles did not happen overnight. Growth and change will not likely come overnight, but as you persist in making different choices and building new habits.
What is the cost? All counseling is gladly offered without charge.
Stop by 1200 Kings Hwy in Winona Lake
You will be directed to complete one of our intake forms. These are designed to help us get to know you and to gain a basic understanding of how we might help you. Once we receive your completed form we can connect you with a discipleship counselor.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 Timothy 3:16
Our Beliefs & Practices in Discipleship Counseling
The primacy and sufficiency of the Bible. We believe the Bible, given by God, when properly interpreted, reveals to the believer all the direction necessary for one to understand his need for Christ, how he can please the Lord, and how to live in a God-honoring manner regardless of the circumstances, whether comfortable or difficult.
The Holy Spirit. We believe that genuine heart change is totally dependent on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Identity in Christ. We believe that, for any believer, a clear understanding of identity in Christ is invaluable in walking in freedom (Galatians 5:1, 13), discerning truth from lies, and winning the battle for the mind.
Dependent prayer. We will emphasize prayer and dependence on God.
A spiritual worldview. We believe in Satan as the adversary of our souls (1 Peter 5:8). We believe the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is stronger than the power of Satan and his demons in this world (1 John 4:4). We believe spiritual warfare is one dimension of any struggle, sin pattern, or spiritual difficulty. Therefore, we believe it is imperative to understand the nature of the battle for the mind (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and the value of the spiritual armor God gives to every believer (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Sin and struggles as three-dimensional. We believe the problem is “always physical, always spiritual, and always emotional.” Therefore, it will be your helper’s desire to help you address all three.
Confession and forgiveness. Repentance, confession, and receiving God’s forgiveness are essential to “clearing the deck” and turning away from sin and its effects. Therefore, your helper will assist you through a spiritual inventory aimed at heart-searching, confession, and cleansing.
Freedom versus management. We believe confession and repentance leads to freedom from sin, not merely management of it.
Teamwork and the support of a Prayer Partner or other friend. We believe the best help happens when you have a friend present with you. At some point in our time together, we will urge you to bring someone (of the same gender) with you to your counseling sessions, believing that person can be a vital resource of encouragement, follow-through, growth, and accountability. (Galatians 6:2, Romans 12:10, James 5:19-20).
Number of meetings. Many people see significant progress in 6-12 weeks. Often, this will depend on the choices you make regarding homework.
Homework. You will be asked to do homework that will encourage lasting change and to bring the completed assignments with you to your next meeting.
Gender. Men will meet with another man, and women will meet with a woman. Exceptions are when meeting with a pastor or in the event of an emergency.
*Policy #18 Policy on Pastoral and Staff Confidentiality (Approved May 25, 2005-Revised January 2011)
The church expects confidentiality with respect to information concerning people who are counseled by church staff. Such confidentiality extends, in particular, to most legal proceedings at any level. Counselees are to understand, however, that the church may have responsibilities to Biblical principles that may prevent a guarantee of absolute confidentiality in certain circumstances. In specific situations, this policy of confidentiality will be further defined and may be waived by action of the Overseers.