A few thoughts about the first weekend of the conference from Pastor Jason Blackley (Grace  Community Church North Liberty)

“I came to learn how to help others and found I out I needed help.” I cannot give attribution to this quote because whether you attend Faith Biblical Counseling Training in Lafayette, Indiana, or you attend one of there Regional trainings, this is the sentiment felt by all of us.

The evening of the 19thof September and all day on Saturday, the 20th, Grace Community Church hosted the first of three weekends of the Regional Biblical Training Conference put on by Faith Baptist. While Grace hosted the conference, an army of folks from multiple churches greeted, served and prepared food, ran sound, led worship, took out the trash and made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. The conference was planned by the Eastern Iowa Biblical Counseling Coalition.

The topics for the first weekend included:

– What Makes Counseling Biblical?

– The Process of Progressive Sanctification

– 6 Key Elements of Biblical Counseling

– Organizing Data

– The Goal of Biblical Counseling

– Video Case Study for Marriage Counseling

The 300 folks in attendance were seemingly attentive and engaged through all 10, hour-long sessions the first weekend. One of the explanations for the ability to stay attentive was the aforementioned work that the Holy Spirit was doing in each one of us. As we mediated on and dissected scripture, it is plain to see areas in your own heart that you have not brought under the teaching of scripture on a daily basis. You can sense the power of scripture as well as the opportunities for growth and health that it can bring to your own heart and the hearts of those around you.

In my 5 years attending the conference in Indiana, the Spirit has done this work in me time and time again. Is the quality of teaching that good? Are the materials that much superior to other conferences? Is the Spirit really moving that profoundly? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, but there is more to it.

True Biblical Counseling uses the Bible and the Gospel not as resources, but as the foundation, syllabus, weapon, “balm for the soul,” and the recipe. The Word of God is powerful and never ceases to speak when we are submitted to the Spirit. The Gospel is the hope on Earth and when we focus on the saving grace and the sanctifying grace as described in scripture God does profound work in us and through us. (The fantastic baked beans didn’t hurt the appeal of the conference either.)

I’m so thankful my wife can attend this conference for the first time, and I look forward to sitting through the next 2 weekends of the Regional Biblical Counseling Training Conference.

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