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Biblical Counseling in an African World

How do you counsel a woman in your church who contracted HIV from her unfaithful husband? What do you do with a teenage son who sells family possessions to buy alcohol? What do you say to a barren woman whose husband left her for one of his underage students? Or to a man who came to Christ while in prison but whose unsupported wife plans to remarry because of poverty? How do you help a young woman resist pressure from her family to see a witch doctor about bearing a son?

These are all actual counseling situations that our students in Malawi are facing in their respective churches. Many would argue that these people need to see behavioral “experts” or mental-health “professionals,” but we know that what they really need is counsel from the living God. Emotions-centered therapeutic jargon does not satisfy the desperation of the downcast, but God’s Word revives the soul, enlightens the eyes, and rejoices the believer’s heart (Ps 19:7–8).

140325-153056It has therefore been a priority of Central African Preaching Academy (CAPA) in Malawi to instill in its students a confidence in the sufficiency of God’s Word. One of CAPA’s faculty, Matt Floreen, recently taught Introduction to Biblical Counseling to the 25 pastors in the MDiv program. His experience in helping men navigate life through a biblical lens has been extremely positive. He explains, “Issues like polygamy and witchcraft were pretty foreign to me, so it was exciting to explore with these men how God’s Word speaks to these issues. God has indeed granted us everything for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3)!”

Each of the 17 TMAI training centers around the world aims to instill in national pastors and church leaders the convictions that: (i) the Bible is our counseling authority, (ii) biblical counseling is a vital ministry in the local church, and (iii) all God’s people can and should be trained to counsel others effectively. We remain convinced that the single greatest need in our world today is the Word of God. Link arms with us and pray that this great need be met!

To support our ministry or to find out more about how we might partner together for this endeavor, please reach us at info@tmai.org.