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How does a person learn to counsel others with the truth of God’s Word? Bob Kellemen believes that the best way to learn counseling is by doing it—by giving and receiving biblical counseling in the context of real, raw Christian community.
Gospel Conversations explores the four compass-points of biblical counseling:
- Sustaining: “It’s Normal to Hurt.”
- Healing: “It’s Possible to Hope.”
- Reconciling: “It’s Horrible to Sin, but Wonderful to Be Forgiven.”
- Guiding: “It’s Supernatural to Mature.”
These four compass points combine to equip readers to develop twenty-two ministry relational competencies—the “how to” of caring like Christ. This book serves as a practical training manual that can be used for lab and small group interaction.
Gospel Conversations is the second volume in The Equipping Biblical Counselors Series, a comprehensive relational training curriculum for the local church that provides a model for equipping God’s people to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. This two-volume series weaves together comprehensive biblical insight with compassionate Christian engagement.
About the Author
Bob Kellemen, ThM, PhD, is the executive director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and the founder and CEO of RPM Ministries. Bob has pastored for over a dozen years and now serves as chair of the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Seminary (Maryland). He is the author of nine books, including Equipping Counselors for Your Church.
Gospel Conversations is just what pastors, local church leaders, and compassionate laywomen and men need as we serve and minister to those God has placed around us. We come in contact with people who are suffering and struggling each and every day. Gospel Conversations will equip us all to better speak both truth and love in a way that is winsome and wise. -- Steve Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, IN; author, Putting Your Past in Its Place
I’m not a counselor” is an all too common and erroneous statement. We are all counselors. Some of us counsel from behind our steering wheel or from our couch while watching our favorite sport. We offer counsel of some kind every day. The issue is whether we are good counselors. More importantly, are we biblical counselors? Our counsel is only as good as it is biblical. Much of what fosters the thought that we are not counselors is our judgment that we don’t know how to talk to people about their particular trial or sinful habits. Bob Kellemen, in Gospel Conversations, provides the church with an invaluable resource to help people appreciate their fundamental role as a counselor. Not only that, it also offers the reader training in practical relational skills for becoming an equipped biblical counselor. -- Andrew Rogers, Pastor of Soul Care, College Park Church
I needed a practical guide for pastors, counselors, and laypeople to help them understand the dynamics of gospel-rich conversations with struggling Christians. Now I’ve found it! Both rich in theology and Scripture, and at the same time very practical, Bob Kellemen’s Gospel Conversations is a powerful tool for everyone who wants to think more carefully about how to help others. It skillfully equips God’s people to have heartfelt, empathic, engaging, Christlike, servant-hearted, thoughtful, and gospel-centered conversation. -- Dr. Deepak Reju, President, Biblical Counseling Coalition; Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC
As a pastor who strives to equip others in the church to do what is covered in Gospel Conversations, I was affirmed, enlightened, challenged, and encouraged by Bob’s winsome and relentless gospel focus revealed in this incredible work. I highly recommend Gospel Conversations for your library and as a field guide for your ministry. It displays the very best of Bob Kellemen---the instruction of a coach, the love of a pastor, and the wisdom of a teacher. -- Dr. Robert K. Cheong, Pastor of Care, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, KY
I really appreciate Bob’s love of people and his desire to teach others how to be relationally wise with a goal of growth in Christ likeness. Gospel Conversations takes “one anothering” seriously and teaches us how to put into practice honest, in-depth, and grace-saturated relationships with others. In other words, truly biblical relationships. Thanks, Bob, for guiding us to be more relationally competent to counsel. Don’t just read Gospel Conversations---practice it, and your church can move from Sunday morning surface relationships to truly dealing with the realities of life on a fallen planet. -- Dr. Ernie Baker, Professor of Biblical Counseling, the Master’s College
Bob Kellemen is a master trainer of counselors and Gospel Conversations is a training masterpiece. Distilling thirty years of counseling training, this book is much more than a training manual. It is a treasury of wise biblical soul care. Bob’s approach to counseling is clear, comprehensive, compassionate, and compelling. I found his Four Dimensions of Counseling Equipping and the wealth of helpful self-counseling and other-counseling questions especially helpful. I plan to reread Gospel Conversations soon as I seek to improve my own counseling training at my church. I enthusiastically recommend it to everyone who aspires to counsel fruitfully and help others do the same. -- Pat Quinn, Pastor of Counseling Ministries, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, MI
I am thankful for Bob Kellemen’s Gospel Conversations equipping manual, which has been carefully designed to apply practical principles of gospel-centered biblical counseling in a small-group setting. What is taught in this book is founded upon careful exposition of Scripture and is rooted in sound theology that has stood the test of time throughout church history. I also appreciate the way Gospel Conversations boils down the key points into “tweet-sized” statements, memorable word pictures (“climb into the coffin”), and lists that summarize the principles he is emphasizing. -- Jim Newheiser, Pastor, Grace Bible Church; Executive Director, Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship
Gospel Conversations is a gift to the counseling community at large. It is theologically rich, gospel-soaked, hope-filled, and practically presented. As a Christ-centered approach to counseling, it offers anyone interested in reaching the hearts of hurting people a solid opportunity to be equipped to do so. I highly recommend it to pastors, churches, educators, and missionaries as well as anyone wanting to be equipped or to equip others. I am grateful for the privilege to apply this in my church. -- Dr. Dwayne R. Bond, Lead Pastor of Wellspring Church; CEO and Founder of Proximus Group
Bob Kellemen has crafted a relational masterpiece with Gospel Conversations. It is an excellent resource for caring for the souls of hurting people. Bob emphasizes the need to equip by following Christ’s model of disciple making: training the whole person to be a thoroughly equipped biblical counselor. I have personally benefited from the soul-to-soul, relational counseling style put forth in this book. Truth balanced by love and compassion is the foundation on which Gospel Conversations is based. Rich with applied theology, this book will be required reading for our biblical counseling trainees. -- Julie Ganschow, Founder, Reigning Grace Counseling Center
Bob Kellemen’s book is a robust, relational, comprehensive training manual. While you can work through it on your own, this manual has much to offer in a group setting to grow all participants to be equipped to compassionately, biblically counsel for Christ. Even if you have been counseling for years, Gospel Conversations offers significant insights from the Scriptures about how to counsel that will help a veteran counsel in a more soul-to-soul manner in accordance with the Scriptures. I’ve been counseling for decades and am being greatly helped by Gospel Conversations. -- Ken Long, Executive Pastor, Grace Fellowship Church, Florence, Kentucky