Yesterday I began a 4 part series of an interview with Kirk Barger, our new Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church. The interview began with a few questions about his personal interests, hobbies and the like. Today delves into Pastor Kirk’s passion for biblical counseling. I am personally excited for the opportunity to serve with like-minded men when it comes to this vital issue. Biblical counseling is an important part of “ministering the Word of God”. Here is what Pastor had to say about his passion for counseling people to come to Christ and assist them grow in that relationship:
Mark: What training have you had in biblical counseling, and how do you see it benefiting you in your ministry?
Kirk: From 1998 until 2002, I received my training and certification from the National Association of Nouthetic Counseling in Lafayette at Faith Baptist Church. In other words, I am a Biblical Counselor i.e. I use the Bible as my only source of counsel for helping others. Since my certification, I have 100s of hours of counseling experience. This counseling has covered many different areas of study Marital Problems, Eating Disorders, OCD, Depression, Life-Dominating Habits, etc. I am very thankful for the training I received as a NANC counselor. I see my training as not only being beneficial in my ministry (in counseling, teaching, preaching, leading, etc.), but also in my daily life (communicating, handling problems, making decisions, dealing with sin, pointing others to Jesus, etc.). I believe every pastor, teacher, deacon well, I guess just about anyone would benefit from Biblical counseling training!
Mark: What drives you in your passion for biblical counseling?
Kirk: I truly believe in the sufficiency of the Scriptures, in other words, I believe God’s Word is capable of giving us the instruction one needs to handle all of life’s problems (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:3-4). And I have observed time after time lives being changed when a person humbled himself and was obedient to the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing is more encouraging, and fires me up, than to see people growing in Christ, handling problems Biblically, as they live Godly and victorious daily lives when obedient to the Scriptures.
Mark: What advice do you have for those that desire to grow in biblical counseling?
Kirk: I believe the most effective counselor is one who is continually applying the principles of Scriptures to his/her life. And in order to apply God’s Word, one must know it, i.e. studying Scripture, memorizing Scripture, and meditating upon Scripture. In doing so, a person is equipping himself with the Word to be able to, first, handle his own life Biblically. Then, he will find it a lot easier to share with others how to handle their problems according to God’s Word. If one is really serious about learning how to counsel biblically, he/she must get more active in learning how to use God’s Word more effectively to counsel counseling training (which I hope to get started soon at CBC)!
Chance to interact: What life situations do you think the average church member struggles with the most? If addressed, what topics would they benefit from the greatest?