Network 220 ministries held their annual convention in Plano, TX April 27-29. This association of ministries has grown from the daughter offices of Grace Fellowship Int’l which formed the Association of Exchanged Life Ministries in 1986. Photos are at the N220 Facebook page and audio recordings from the sessions are available at http://network220.org/convention/
On April 6,7 Tri-State Bible College in South Point, Ohio hosted a Recovery Coach Training seminar. This was a follow up event related to the one day Addiction Recovery seminar presented by Joe and Cherri Freeman in Proctorville, Ohio February 24th. The host church posted videos of that day on their Facebook page here:
The Recovery Coach Training seminar gave a practical overview of how to apply the Exchanged Life Discipleship Counseling model to helping others find freedom from chemical and behavioral addictions. Grace Fellowship International is prayerfully developing an ongoing track to equip Recovery Coaches for personal and local church-based ministry.
We congratulate chaplain Juan Mendez who just completed his certification as an Exchanged Life Counselor. He testifies,
“The Exchanged Life Certification and Training has a plethora of resources to equip counselors and lay persons to be more confident in approaching the helping profession. It does this in a variety of ways, such as offering visual diagrams, methodologies, pastoral leadership, seminars, insights from God’s Word, testimonies, and useful books that can be incorporated into daily ministry practices . . .
“This model of counseling has been helpful for addiction recovery in many ways, which is my primary use for it . . . Many of the counselees that enter the America’s Keswick residential recovery center were circling around in a spiritual wilderness, and this model helps pinpoint where to engage in the [spiritual] warfare. The [GFI] curriculum has a structured format to walk each counselee from darkness to light, stepping out from the lies into the truth, and eventually claiming their new identity in Christ . . .”
You can email Juan here.
How should we appeal to pastors if they are not teaching the believer’s new identity in Christ?
We can convey is the importance of clarity, emphasis and dignity.
Clarity: We have a relative identity as people, male or female, Americans, etc. But
in Intensive Discipleship we clarify the essential identity of the believer…which is
based on their regenerated spirit.
Emphasis: The emphasis of the New Testament (especially after Pentecost) is on
the believer’s new, positive, unshakeable identity. This is grace-based, therefore it
Dignity: If we wallow in a relative identity based on our behavior, our past or our
conditioning, it will erode the sense of dignity that is part of a healthy self image. As
we gratefully accept our value and dignity as those created in the image of God,
redeemed by the blood of Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, it motivates us to
practical holiness, worship and love for others.
– John Woodward
Danny Niceley has taken the Grace Fellowship Conference and Workshop, and has done some apprenticeship in Pigeon Forge. He is currently working as a librarian at Carson Newman College. In this 6 minute video Danny tells of his athletic achievements, near-fatal accident, and discovery of grace-based acceptance in Christ.
In a sermon posted on February 13, 2018 Pastor Cymbala uses four scriptures as a starting point for this challenging message about experiencing real change in the Christian life (John 8:28-29; Romans 6:5; Romans 8:5; Galatians 2:19-20). The audio message can be heard online or downloaded here: https://www.brooklyntabernacle.org
At North Point in Atlanta, Andy Stanley preached a series that addresses some vital themes related to grace for Christian living and the believer’s new identity. It’s entitled “NU ME” and is available from their download store. North Point includes insights from “NU ME” in their Care Network’s “Re:New” one-on-one mentoring ministry.
Their team has produced an 8 lesson video-assisted small group study that incorporates the essential content used in North Point’s Re:New ministry. It’s titled Renovate. This resource has great potential to guide participants in spiritual renewal.
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:3,4).
[Lee LeFebre has made important contributions to this branch of the Biblical Counseling family tree. Here is a testimony about his spiritual journey. Used with his permission. – JBW]
Daily, I was asking God to be on the throne of my life. I didn’t understand that God would take me through a breaking process, and that Christ didn’t just want to be on the throne of my life, but wanted to be my life.
Throughout college, graduate school, and my work experience in social services, I saw tremendous inconsistencies between psychotherapy and Scripture. The more I analyzed psychotherapy, the less convinced I became that it held any real answers. I believed Christianity had an answer, but what? How could accepting Christ change the shattered lives of the street kids I worked with? I thought they needed Christ and therapy, so I tried to combine Christianity and secular theory for the “best of both worlds.”
I saw a series of contradictions in life. The Bible promised peace that passes all understanding, that keeps our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus; but Christians I knew in the 50’s and 60’s were having nervous breakdowns right and left. The Scripture also promised joy, yet my church was a sponsor of the largest Christian mental health hospital in the country.
I had been in church and Christian schools all my life. At the age of 27, I had received assurance of salvation through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Yet in spite of all that, I struggled terribly with anxiety, my inability to conquer sin, and my efforts to reconcile psychotherapy and Biblical teaching.
To drive home the truth of my condition and the insufficiency of my efforts, in the early 70’s God showed me five things:
1. God promised peace that passes understanding, and I didn’t have it. I had peace with God, but not the peace of God. I had to confess that I couldn’t attain it. If I were to obtain that kind of peace, it would have to be a gift.