There is no better place to be than within the will of God. We must ask ourselves, "Are we seeking to know and follow God in our ministries as well as our private lives?" As a busy director for more than 15 years, I have found myself often making decisions in response to circumstances without always asking myself the question, "How does Scripture address this? What would God have me say or do in this situation?" Instead, I regretfully now acknowledge that I sometimes relied upon teachings of man rather than God.
A few years ago, I began to ask myself these questions more frequently. The result was I started to realize that much of the material we were using with new volunteers as well as clients was not always biblical. Some of it embraced a tremendous amount of psychological, feelings-oriented, and man-centered thinking.
A biblical counselor had come on our board and continually educated me about these issues through her personal counsel and by encouraging me to read nouthetic biblical counseling books by Jay Adams. I began to apply some of the new concepts I was learning and saw wonderful results with my clients. My 'battle cry' became 2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Through a series of events, I discovered Hope National, of Lincoln, Delaware. They had published a solid, biblically based volunteer training manual entitled, . The authors, Pastor Jim Dundas and his wife, Pat, have spent more than 20 years in the pro-life ministry and are trying to point PCCs in a more God-focused direction.
We invited Hope National to train our board and began to rid our center of unbiblical, psychologically oriented materials. I continued to educate myself by studying and then searching the Scriptures for more knowledge. Re-training of 'old' volunteers began, and they were absolutely amazed at the depth of this training versus what they had experienced previously. The manuals we had formerly used were more of a client 'feelings-oriented' training. did just what the title says— it focused on the client's heart and provided God-centered biblical training to deal with her heart issues. Some new volunteers recently were trained, and the results are astonishing! Client Advisors are now approaching their counseling differently than ever before.
The very first week I supervised our new recently trained Client Advisors was shocking. I could hardly believe what I was seeing and hearing! These counselors were better-equipped, better-grounded, and so ready to counsel from God's Word that it was exhilarating! They were not 'waiting for the open door' or asking permission of the client to talk about God, as I had been taught in conferences and various manuals in years past, but were eager to open God's Word with every client and share with them the hope that we have!
One Client Advisor spoke with her client about the idols in her life—what or who controls her thinking. When asked what changes she thought would be appropriate in her life regarding the idols, she commented that she needed to remove her boyfriend from that status because living with him was sinful in God's eyes. She now has a strong desire to repent, turn to Jesus, and change her entire lifestyle. Let's face it; this is a rare occasion in most centers! Because of the biblical counseling provided this young lady, she could clearly see her sinful lifestyle that was spiraling out of control and her need of the Savior.
Another client returned after having no contact with us for three months. I had counseled her earlier regarding the idols in her life, the pattern of her sinful behavior, and her need to turn to Christ. When she returned, she had visibly changed! She commented to one of the new Client Advisors that she desired to "be within the Lord's will," and had embraced Jesus after leaving our center earlier. Yes, we also do have our share of clients that love their sin, but we are seeing hearts changed as only the Holy Spirit can do when we are used of Him.
A 35-year old new mother stopped by for formula. As we discussed her pattern of behavior that had brought many consequences into her life, the idols in her life, and her ever-spiraling sinful behavior, she acknowledged her need to change. After using the Ten Commandments as a mirror to help her see her sins (Romans 3:20), she acknowledged her sinful lifestyle and need for forgiveness. We took her to Psalm 51 to reflect on David's sins and his repentance. She read that passage aloud, pausing to emotionally collect herself many times. We then traveled down the Roman Road, where she once again read aloud each Scripture, told us what it meant, and acknowledged her need for Jesus in her life. Because we had 'focused on the heart,' the light bulb suddenly went on! Her prayer was one of total brokenness.
It is easy to be caught up in the rush of the day and become distracted as to our real mission. As I have grown the last few years in my knowledge of biblical counseling and the absolute need for it in our centers, I have come to the conclusion that the single most important thing we can do for each and every 'divine appointment' we see is to give her hope for the future. If we don't give her the hope that resides in the Holy Scriptures, we have given her nothing. "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
God's Word is powerful, "sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12), and "it shall not return to me void" (Isaiah 55:11). We are told not to be "ashamed of the gospel" (Romans 1:16) and to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you..." (1Peter 3:15). Our clients are searching for truth and for hope, and that is exactly what we should be giving them through His Word. Only when we '' do we see heart changes that last a lifetime and for all eternity.
With the assistance of Hope National, we believe our center is now well within the will of God. Not only are our clients carefully counseled through Scripture, but also our volunteers have grown spiritually because of Hope's training. We now feel fully equipped through God's inerrant Word.
If you wish to contact Hope National of Lincoln, Delaware, for more information on their biblical training, they may be reached at (302) 424-2166 and www.hopenational.net.
Dianne Pomon, R.N., is Executive Director of Genesis Pregnancy Care Center in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.