Church Partner/Biblical Counselor Endorsements

“I am so grateful that I now have a trusted partner in ministry through BCTM. God has graciously provided biblically-trained counselors that care for our members in the same way I would – and deliver the same gospel-centered message that I preach from the pulpit.” – Reverend Carl Kalbercamp, Jr., Senior Pastor, Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church

 

“In my opinion, BCTM is an excellent extension of the pastoral arm in the local church that we’re not adequately equipped to provide. We are humbled and grateful to have them alongside us in our effort to counsel and love Christ’s Church with biblical instruction and grace.” – Randy Rhea, Senior Pastor, Madison Heights Church

 

“I am so thankful the Lord led David Elston to bring BCTM to Shreveport. They will be a tremendous biblical counseling resource for our churches and our community.” – J. Tracy Graham, Senior Pastor, Norris Ferry Community Church

 

“We are excited to partner with BCTM to see lives restored through the gospel in the context of the local church.” – Kevin Shoemaker, Pastor, Redeemer Church, Starkville MS

 

“Having known Chase Maxey for years, I consider him a close friend, a co-laborer in biblical counseling, and a dear brother in Christ. As colleagues at CCEF, I saw the Lord grow Chase’s passion for loving people well in this fallen world. My soul is deeply encouraged by how our Father is graciously using Biblical Counseling & Training Ministries (BCTM) to further His kingdom by pointing hurting people to Christ – the only Hope for our weary souls.” – -Dr. Tim Lane, Founder and President of the Institute for Pastoral Care and Tim Lane & Associates; Author of Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace; Co-author of How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making.

 

“The ministry of BCTM is a true partnership with the local church. Their biblical, gospel-centered approach to counseling has been a vital part of discipleship in our own local church context.” – Miles Van Pelt, Elder, Grace Reformed Church; Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages, RTS Jackson

 

“As we considered biblical counseling resources for our church body, we were compelled by BCTM’s view of the local church, vision for Mississippi and by multiple positive references. We are enthusiastic about supporting BCTM as they help us meet an important need in our area.” – Bill Heard, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Starkville, MS

 

The ministry of BCTM is a blessing to Grace Presbyterian Church and to the wider community of Shreveport-Bossier. It is refreshing to have a trusted listener who navigates life and relationships with a Christ-shaped message of hope and healing. David Elston is a bright and perceptive counselor and a gifted communicator of Biblical truth. Grace Presbyterian is part of the BCTM Church Partnership program which offers a wide range of resources, including: leadership training, Biblical counseling courses, and a trusted counseling referral for ongoing needs within the church body.  I highly recommend getting connected with David and BCTM Shreveport to find out how he can partner with you for the benefit of your church body and others in your community.” – Quinn Hill, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, La

Counselee Endorsements

“Chase Maxey is a true friend and I am very grateful for his words of truth and encouragement that led me to begin living a Christ-centered life. He revealed to me the gift of grace given to me by God and allowed me to see that I was able to give grace to the ones I loved after I began to receive grace. I was on the verge of ruining my marriage and had been living very selfishly. I thank Chase sincerely for all the words of truth wrapped with scripture. His guidance, patience, and encouragement were and continue to be greatly appreciated. The times spent together renewed my faith and the Holy Spirit filled me more and more as we worked through each meeting. I believe that times spent at BCTM with Chase Maxey truly helped me to see clearly the love of Christ which saved my marriage and lead me to start living a Christ-centered life. Thank you!”- Counselee, Home Office

“Chase Maxey and BCTM helped give us a reference point for beginning a marriage. They affirmed our belief that Christ is the foundation of marriage, and that we should always try our best to put Christ before each other in every circumstance.” – Counselee, Home Office

 

“BCTM has been a huge help to me as someone who has struggled with anxiety and pornography for a number of years. From the very first time we met up in his office, David maintained a very ‘person to person’ as opposed to ‘doctor to patient’ dialogue, and it was obvious that he genuinely cared about me as an individual. The counseling is solidly Gospel-centered, and the discussions across our meetings definitely reflected this. David was also willing to work with my pastor, and because of this, I received support from that end as well. BCTM has been a huge help with guiding and bringing the Gospel to bear on difficult areas of my life, and I recommend them to anyone who needs counseling or guidance.” – Counselee, Shreveport Office

 

“I was depressed, and I felt trapped. I just couldn’t see a way out of the foxhole. David Elston counseled me with godly questions I couldn’t have imagined to ask myself. It shifted my thinking closer to Christ and away from anger and self-doubt. He used the Bible to point me towards a meaningful path. By God’s power and wisdom, David led me from a broken mind so that I could find healing in Jesus.” – Counselee, Shreveport Office

 

“The counseling group has always been so helpful and encouraging, and I feel like I got to know people on a much more realistic level. Life is just hard and sometimes we go through seasons of needing more prayer and encouragement.” – Counseling Group Participant, Home Office

The Privilege and the Burden: A Personal Glimpse – by Chase Maxey and David Elston

For this week’s blog, we’d like to give you a personal glimpse of our own hearts as biblical counselors. In Galatians 6:2, Paul says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Bearing one another’s burdens – this is the calling of all Christians in general and of the manner in which we aim to counsel at BCTM in particular. It is a calling that is both a privilege and a Kingdom-minded burden.

We often thank the people we meet with for the privilege of allowing us into their stories, for the honor of being trusted with the intimate details of their lives. And we mean it every time we say it! But even more than that, what a privilege to be a small instrument in the hands of the Redeemer, a vehicle of His grace to them! What a privilege to be able to shine His marvelous light into the darkness of the fallen hearts and broken lives of our brothers and sisters. We often ask ourselves, “Who are we to bear witness to such a movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people in a fallen world?!” Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17), and what a humbling honor for the Lord to use our unclean lips to speak the word of Christ into their particular situation.

And yet what a burden, but a Kingdom-minded burden – because we share in these struggles with you! Ed Welch, who is my (Chase’s) dear friend and mentor, a man of God, a faithful and loving husband, a professor and biblical counselor, often reminds us: If you aren’t moved by a person’s story, then your counseling will not be truly helpful. It is part of the calling of the counselor to be affected by those we walk with. This is one of the hallmarks of biblical counseling: We intentionally do not maintain clinical expert-to-patient distance, but move toward the counselee in brotherly compassion and empathy.

But there is a line to walk. On the one hand, we should be affected by those who ask for help. Asking for true help, by the way, is such a mark of God’s children. On the other hand, we can never forget that there is only one True Counselor – the Lord Himself. In and of ourselves, we cannot fix people’s hearts, relationships, and situations. Only the Triune God has the power to do that. As the sinful nature persists, there is a part of us that wants to help when we see someone hurting, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong when, rather than trusting them to the care of God and praying for The Lord to work in their lives, we desire to play God and do the work ourselves. We think, “I can fix this situation if I can just say the right word, find the right Scripture, ask the right question.” That is neither good for us nor good for them. At that point, we’ve stopped pointing them to the only One who can help them and instead we are pointing them to ourselves – measly jars of clay.

On the outside, it may not look like much of a difference between being an instrument in the hands of the Redeemer and attempting to be a redeemer ourselves. The people we meet with may not sense the difference. But, there certainly is a radical difference! It is an attempt to carry a different kind of “burden,” the burden of redemption that we know we were never meant to carry. A burden that we know only the Savior himself can and should and does carry.

The most helpful thing we’ve found in walking this “line” is a regular habit of prayer for the people we’re meeting with. These times of prayer are doubly beneficial. It is beneficial for the counselee because we’re petitioning God on their behalf to work in their lives. But it is also beneficial for us, because it reminds us that this is His work, not ours (Phil 1:6, 2:13); and it reminds us that salvation – past, present, and future – belongs to Him, not us (Psalm 3:8, Rev. 7:10). We are learning how to apply Isaiah 30:15 to the work of counseling: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

As you finish reading this, would you say a prayer for us and our families – that we would grow in oneness as He, The Father and Spirit are One, and that we would be disciplined and faithful to do this work of helping others connect life and Scripture in a Kingdom-minded way?

Grace and Peace to you all, Chase and David

 

 

If you are interested in bringing this or any other Roundtable Counseling discussion to your church or business in a relaxed, interactive environment, please contact us at 601-709-8254 or connect@bctministries.com.

To access more encouraging truths, learn more about the ministry of BCTM or to become a BCTM partner, please visit our website atwww.bctministries.com or connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/bctministries.

Please share this post with anyone who may be encouraged by BCTM’s weekly blog. We would love to expand our reach, so please help us share the grace of the gospel. To sign up to receive these blogs via email, visit our website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter (bottom left).

Grieving with Hope – David Elston

We must never forget that before the resurrection occurred, the cross was everything but victorious to the disciples. Friday was everything but Good Friday. Imagine the finality Mary and Mary Magdalene must have felt when they watched the stone rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb. That is the modern day equivalent to covering a coffin in the ground with dirt. The Bible doesn’t tell us the emotions of the two women, it just says that when Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.”

What shock, what sickness must have been in the hearts of these two women as they watched the limp body of Jesus laid in the tomb! What knot of grief must have been in the disciples as the stone was rolled in front of the tomb! They had placed every last ounce of hope in Christ and the kingdom that he promised to establish. They had entered into Jerusalem just five days ago with their heads held high as their Master was praised with palm branches as King. And now those same heads wagged with shame over the complete humiliation of that King.

You can imagine the doubts that may have run through their minds: “What happened? Where did things go wrong? Did evil, sin, and the devil win? Why didn’t God protect his Holy One from corruption? Why didn’t God preserve the honor of his Son? I thought he was the one to redeem Israel. Was he not the Christ, the Son of God?”

Doubts of this nature surely passed through some, if not all, of the disciples’ minds. The overwhelming mood of the disciples before the news of the resurrection is one of complete shock. They can’t remember a thing Jesus said about coming back from the dead (Jn 20:9). All they know is that the person they had come to love above all things was gone.

Many of us have felt it in some measure – that seemingly meaningless void that is left when a loved one dies. The thought, “But you were just here.” The thought, “Just yesterday there was life in that body that is now so cold.” The disciples had left everything and followed Christ. He had become their everything. And now – he was simply gone.

But there is always that disbelief, that strange hope when we lose a loved one, that we will find them still sitting in their favorite recliner when we return home, that we will see them pulling up in the driveway for a visit when we look out the window, or that when our phone rings, it might be them calling to catch up. But then, of course, we realize such hope is in vain – we’ve forgotten that our beloved is no longer there. And what grief when that realization comes!

Perhaps the disciples were experiencing the same strange “foolish” hope concerning Jesus, thinking that they would find him just around the corner arguing with a Pharisee or see him reclining at the dinner table at Lazarus’ house in Bethany. For the disciples, however, that hope wasn’t so foolish. In just another couple of days, their Beloved would, indeed, be just around the corner. He would actually be eating and drinking with them again. What unspeakable joy must have filled their hearts at the sight of their Beloved, alive and well!

In the same way, the resurrection of Jesus is a promise to all of us who have lost loved ones in the Lord. Of course, it is good and right to grieve when we lose loved ones, because death is a corruption of our Creator’s good design of this world. And we know from the death of Lazarus that Jesus grieves over death as well (John 11:35). So we grieve deeply over death in the present, but as the Apostle Paul says, we “do not grieve as those who have no hope.” We grieve with hope because we know that by the power of the resurrection we will, indeed, see our beloved again. We will, as it were, once again see them pulling up in the driveway for a chat, or come home to find them in their favorite recliner. So, by faith in the promise of the resurrection, we grieve with hope!

 

 

If you are interested in bringing this or any other Roundtable Counseling discussion to your church or business in a relaxed, interactive environment, please contact us at 601-709-8254 or connect@bctministries.com.

To access more encouraging truths, learn more about the ministry of BCTM or to become a BCTM partner, please visit our website atwww.bctministries.com or connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/bctministries.

Please share this post with anyone who may be encouraged by BCTM’s weekly blog. We would love to expand our reach, so please help us share the grace of the gospel. To sign up to receive these blogs via email, visit our website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter (bottom left).

How We Counsel – Chase Maxey

Almost every couple in marriage counseling walks in with fingers pointed at one another: “It’s his or her fault.” If he would just change and she would stop nagging we would be fine! If it were otherwise, they probably would not be in counseling. But, praise God that they are coming in and asking for help.  What an awesome sign of the Holy Spirit moving! Asking for help is no easy task, and who doesn’t need help?! We all do, it’s just whether the Holy Spirit allows us to see how desperate we are and seek Him and help from His people.

Therefore, once the Spirit encourages His people to humbly ask for help we begin the counseling process like this:

  1. We aim to always be slow to speak and quick to listen well.
  2. We build relationship and “earn the right” to speak into someone’s life.
  3. I ask the Counselees if they believe that I love them as a brother in Christ.
  4. I ask for permission to speak into their lives while praying for wisdom.
  5. When difficult words need to be spoken or delicate situations require addressing, I remind them that a sinful man like me is attempting to speak the truth in love.*
  6. Then, we pray together asking the Spirit to lead us as we do further relational work.

*Noteworthy from #5: Truth and Love must go together – God is Love and God is the Author and Perfecter of (Capital “T”) Truth. We can think many things are (lowercase “t”) truth, but if we don’t have a biblical rationale for everything we think, say and do, we should be suspect of our motivations, because our thoughts, feelings, and emotions will lie to us in a split second! Remember, just because something is “true” to you or me, sure does not make it True as God defines all Truth. Even as passionately as we may believe it or absolutely convinced we are right.

I hope this quote by Warren Wiersbe blesses you as it has my wife and me:  “Truth without Love = Brutality and Love without Truth is Hypocrisy.” The Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit’s direct guidance put “truth” and “love” together because they cannot exist separately. May this change the way we do relationships starting with marriage and moving out from there.

Please consider the hardest times in your life. Are you bitter and resentful about the hardships and struggles in your life, or have you learned something about yourself and more importantly about the Living God and who He says you are? If you are struggling with not getting what you want, that is no surprise, but we must know how to deal with such relational turmoil. Recently, I met with a couple who blamed each other for the issues in their marriage. And, I must admit, at face value without all the information, one party appeared to be totally guilty and the other, a helpless victim. But, as we walked together for a fairly short and hard season we learned that all of our hearts are to “blame.” But, we aren’t looking to blame anyone. Together, we were searching for the work of the Holy Spirit in each person. It’s easy to find the sin in someone’s life, but it’s an arduous yet joyful journey to discover the work of God’s Spirit, and this takes hard work! Of course, this seems counterintuitive but it’s the very relational struggles that God uses for His Glory and our good. Remember, God’s story of Redemption has been exactly the opposite of what we would expect from the very beginning. Have you read it recently? His-Story will shock you!

 

 

If you are interested in bringing this or any other Roundtable Counseling discussion to your church or business in a relaxed, interactive environment, please contact us at 601-709-8254 or connect@bctministries.com.

To access more encouraging truths, learn more about the ministry of BCTM or to become a BCTM partner, please visit our website atwww.bctministries.com or connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/bctministries.

Please share this post with anyone who may be encouraged by BCTM’s weekly blog. We would love to expand our reach, so please help us share the grace of the gospel. To sign up to receive these blogs via email, visit our website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter (bottom left).

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