Member DMG + American Association of Christian Therapists

May-June Newsletter 2003
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AACT Newsletter:  May and June 2003

Providing for the Protector
By Dr. Mike Lynch

Dr. Mike Lynch

For a little more than a year now, I have had the pleasure of serving as Senior Chaplain to the Corcoran Police Department in Corcoran, CA.  The chaplaincy was established primarily to minister to the members of the department and their families.   I am to provide counseling to the same should they desire.

Being the outsider coming into a new program, I did not know how I would be received.  Having been an officer for more than 18 years myself, I know the daily pressures that the officers go through.  To my surprise, I was very much accepted by the officers.   Many of them liked the fact that there was someone for them to talk to that has experienced the same things they have.  I am part of the team.

A couple of months ago, I received a phone call from one of the officers.  He sounded very disturbed when he called.  I asked him what was the matter.  He asked me if I could come to Corcoran.  I told him I could and asked again what was the matter.   He stated to me at that time that he needed his chaplain right away.  He also stated that he had just shot and killed a young man that had tried to run over another officer.  Ministry began at that point.

I responded to Corcoran (which is 40 miles from my house) and was directed to the scene.  Once there I spoke in person with the officer that had called me.  He was visibly shaken and needed someone to talk to.  I took him to the side and prayed with him and then let him talk about how he was feeling.   I instructed him not to tell me any details of the shooting because I could be supoenaed to testify as to what he had told me.

Just being there and listening was the most important thing I could do for this young man.  Too many times we as counselors don't take the time to just listen.  He shared with me the hurt he was feeling for having to have killed the suspect.   He did not have a feeling of guilt because he knew he had saved the life of his partner and possibly the lives of others should this suspect had been able to escape.

I spent a great deal of time with the officer that evening.  I let him talk and share what was on his mind.  The fact that he is a Christian made the entire situation go a lot better.  He was able to be open with both his family and myself.   I left him that evening with an absolute assurance that he was going to work through the incident with God's help.

Counseling is not only giving advise, it is being willing to listen as well.  The Bible tells us to "Be still and know I am God".  I have had to learn just like everybody else that all the education in the world does not necessarliy make you wise.   Wisdom comes from listening.  Listening to God's instruction when he is trying to guide you through the troubled waters.

I am a provider to the protectors.  God is my provider.  Seek his guidance with each and every one of your cases.  Never let your pride get in the way of performing your task.

Grace and Peace


Dr. Robert Strachan

Dr. Barkman:
I received my licensure as licensed professional pastoral therapist from AACT today.  Regarding the opinion question about landscape vs. portrait, I prefer the portrait.  I am grateful that I was one of those whom you "experimented on" by sending both landscape and portrait formats, so that I now have both.
Thank you for offering the AACT licensure avenue.  Your fine organization has identified and recognized a niche of Christian therapy professionals who deserve and need such a service.  
May our Lord Jesus bless and multiply your ministry.
In Him,
Dr. Bob Strachan
LPPT diplomate

Words From Our President

Dr. Gary Barkman, President

Greetings in the Lord's Name.
Here we are again... my does time fly.  It seems like no time since we were putting our first newsletter on the web... and here we are almost two years later.  And how much is changed and grown is almost beyond measure.  Praise the Lord.
As you can see we have had a variety of articles come our way... all very well written.  We appreciate all that have given their time to be an active part of AACT.  You also can write an article... just begin typing on your computer and email it to us with a picture.
It's renewal time again for many.  When we took the reigns in August 2000 most members renewed the same time each year.  We have change the 1 time renewal to 4 times a year.  Those who renew in June should begin thinking about sending in their renawal. Please note this web site as we have continue to introduced some new levels for those who are qualified.
We have partnered with a fellowship of churches and have several schools that are "Certified Academic Institutions."  We know we offer the best... And those we work with are convinced and spread the good news about us.
We are also becoming a  presence on the Web.. Type in my name and all sorts of things come up...(good things)... Or type in part of our name and usually we will come up with our location.
We have become a part of Dayspring Ministries International.  Please go to their web site and check out the ever unfolding ministry that God is working through us and the entire organization. (no www) (
So why won't you NOW make it a point to join this young prestigeous association???
Many blessings to you in your counseling ministry.
Dr. Gary Barkman
President, AACT 


 By Dr. M.R. Burckley



As I contemplate the year ahead I cannot help but become excited about the ministry the Lord has planned for me. I also become a bit anxious about meeting the responsibilities of that ministry. Being a Faith Based counselor does carry a great responsibility. Think about it! If we are faith-based counselors, that is, Christian Counselors who have studied the Word of God and use it as the foundation of all our counseling, then we are ministers, shepherds, teachers and evangelists as well as counselors.

As ministers, we have received a call from God just as Paul did. Acts 26:16

Jesus may not have appeared to us  when we were called. But our lives were, or should have been, changed by that call just as Pauls life was changed. Our commission is just as incredible as Pauls was. If you do not believe this then I ask you to meditate on these verses:  2 Cor. 4:6, Ephes. 1:18, 1 Peter 2:9, Acts 13:47, Romans 13:12, Ephesians 5:8, Philipians 2:15, 2 Peter 1:19. 

We are called to witness of the marvelous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to open the eyes of men and women to the truth of God, themselves, and their world. We are to help them find purpose, meaning, and significance in life. We are to turn them from darkness to light, to save them from stumbling about, falling and dooming themselves in the darkness of sin and shame (whether it be their own sin or the sin of another which has affected their lives); to turn them from darkness to the light of holiness.

I Timothy 4:6 tells us that if we do this we are good ministers of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which we carefully follow.

As shepherds, we are to feed the wounded sheep who God has led to us with knowledge and understanding. We should lead them by example not by lording over them. If we are not ready to walk the walk as we follow after Christ, then we are not ready to lead others. We cant cop out by saying; We are called to counsel not to be leaders, if we have been called by God then we have been called to Leadership. As a leader, we lead by example not as a dictator, not by teaching one thing and doing another but by living for Christ a pure and righteous life, being a pattern and model for Christ and for what God wants His people to be.

If we have entered this ministry as a profession, a means of livelihood, to serve mankind, because people said we had a gift for it, or we would make a good counselor, or by the encouragement of family or friends, we have entered it for the wrong reason. These reasons may surround a persons entry into ministry but they must never be the reason. Ministry is a call from God, and no person should enter ministry without that personal call (I Pet. 5:2,3). 

As evangelists, we are called to the great commission of  preaching Jesus and making disciples of all men (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15).

As counselors, we are to be guided by the Great Counselor, Jesus Christ, through the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit. While we may hold much counseling knowledge, and are well learned in techniques, theories and therapy, it means nothing without being Faith Based (that is our faith in Christ) and Spirit led! We must take all the counseling knowledge we have gained and filter through the Word of God before we use it.

Finally, as teachers, we are to teach sound doctrine, with love, from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. We are not to turn from that firm foundation on which our counseling is based for if we do it will be as idle talk and of little, if any, worth! I ask you, how can we teach and counsel with sound doctrine if we are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God; if we do not make a daily habit of reading and studying His Word, and if we do not apply and practice that Word in our own lives? Make no mistake, we are called to teach if we have been called to counsel. First and foremost by example (I Tim, 1:3-7).

I hope this article has provoked much thought which will in turn cause change in our lives. James 3:1 tells us that as teachers we will receive a stricter judgment. The teacher tells others how to live, correcting them when they fall short. We therefore take on the responsibility for the lives of others, and their spiritual growth. Because of this, if we fail to live what we teach, we will bear a greater judgment and condemnation. However, if we faithfully follow after Christ, living out the Word of God in our lives, we can look forward to that crown of glory that does not fade away which we will receive when the Chief Shepherd appears (I Pet. 5:4).