Biblical Counseling Ministry
We believe that a personal, vital knowledge of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation, and is the foundation for all true biblical counseling (2 Cor 5:17). As such, we are committed to a presentation of the gospel to those who seek counseling and are not believers in Jesus Christ.
Biblical counseling seeks much more than merely helping people to feel better or make changes in their behavior. It is our personal desire in this ministry to glorify God in all we do and say (1 Cor 10:31) and we seek to bring our counselee to this same conclusion. As each turns from a desire to please himself (Luke 9:23, 24) to a desire to please God (2 Cor 5:9, 15; Col 1:10), true change is then not only possible, but inevitable (Rom 8:28, 29, 12:1, 2).
Our Counseling Focus
Our focus centers around three questions. What are the core issues? What is God’s view of those issues? And, what would God have us do about those issues? A four- step process from 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 outlines the path that answers the last question.
• Teaching – what does the Bible say about the issues?
• Conviction – is there recognition of sin and the need to change?
• Correction – what needs to be done to affect that change?
• Training – what homework will be given that can lead to concrete, permanent change?
The Holy Spirit’s Role
The work of the Holy Spirit is an integral part of the methodology and philosophy of biblical counseling. Because of the Christian’s new identity in Christ, the Holy Spirit works to effect change through the Word of God as it is read and applied to the believer’s life (Jn 16:7- 11; Rom 6- 8; Gal 5:16- 18, 22- 23, 6:1; 1 Jn 2:27).
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common reasons that people come in for counseling?
People seek counseling for a wide range of issues, such as marital problems, depression, grief, anger and unforgiveness, anxiety, parenting, fear, confusion, and pre- marital counseling.
What are the fees for counseling?
All counseling done by the Riverside Counseling Ministry is free of charge as a ministry of Riverside Community Church. However, if someone wishes to make a contribution, it will be deposited in the church’s general fund. How long will counseling last? Counseling can last anywhere from four to twenty sessions. When a believer has set their heart on pleasing and glorifying God, the process is much shorter. It just depends on whether one really sets their heart on pleasing and glorifying God. All other things seem to fall into place.
How long does each session last?
One hour is the standard session, but at times it may be longer. We are here to love people and help them to change and grow. We’re not on a clock.
Can someone receive counseling if they are not a member or attender of Riverside?
Although our primary focus is to provide counseling for those who are attending Riverside Community Church, as there is availability there may be opportunity for those outside of Riverside to receive Biblical counseling. We ask, however, that all counselees attend Riverside for the duration of their counseling.
How do you determine whether something is an organic or biological problem?
We don’t. That is a job for a medical professional. We deal with the spiritual issues of one’s life and let the doctors do what they do. Occasionally, we may suggest that a counselee have a physical examination by their doctor.
Counseling Training and Supervision
The counseling will be given by individual Elders of Riverside along with lay members from the Church body. Each counselor has been trained or has begun the process of being trained by ACBC, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Each counselor will be recommended by, held accountable to, and under the guidance of the church Elders.
What about confidentiality?
We understand that the nature of the information we deal with is highly personal, and thus, we will do everything we can to guard the information entrusted to us. However, there may be situations whereby we may be legally or biblically obligated to share certain information with others. For example,
- If you are a danger to yourself or someone else
- If there is physical or sexual abuse reported
- If we discern that your pastor should know so that he can shepherd you
What is the process to get the ball rolling?
Please contact the church office (256-599-8675). After an initial intake, a counselor will be chosen for you based on experiences, talents, gifts, gender, availability, etc., and the two of you will coordinate schedules for your appointments.