Earlier this year, NANC’s board decided that it would be in the best interests of our association to change the name. There are three reasons we believe a name change is a great step for us. Let me explain them to you.
We Want To Communicate Our Purpose Clearly
First, the word nouthetic is a perfectly good Greek word, which most people simply do not understand. Most of us in NANC spend more time explaining the meaning of a Greek word than we intended to when we mention the name of our organization. Once people understand the meaning of the term it does not help us that much. The term means “to confront or admonish,” and this only describes a narrow slice of the kind of counseling endorsed by NANC. Of course, biblical counselors admonish people in their sin, but at NANC we also encourage our counselors to comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, pray, encourage, instruct, take care of their physical bodies, and 101 other things the Bible says to do. In its precise meaning the word nouthetic is a truncated expression of the many and varied counseling styles that God communicates in Scripture.
We Are a Certifying Organization
Second, for nearly 40 years NANC’s primary function has been to certify those people who have been qualified for biblical counseling. At NANC our primary calling is not merely to talk about biblical counseling, but to certify those people who know how to do biblical counseling. We believe it is increasingly important to communicate that certification is our fundamental mission and contribution to the biblical counseling world. Our name is the first thing about our organization that communicates who we are and what we do and there is nothing about our current name that communicates certification and its central importance to our organization. We want to address this problem with the proposal of this new name.
We are an International Association
Third, NANC is no longer a national association. As a matter of fact, we have certified counselors in 14 countries and that number is growing. We are increasingly excited about the possibilities for international growth in biblical counseling in general and at NANC in particular. Our current name is not an accurate representation of our current international composition or of our future global interests. We believe the proposal of a new name that avoids the word national addresses this problem.
We have been communicating with our membership about this potential change since the board first recommended it earlier this year. During these communications we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our membership and are assured that they share our enthusiasm for this name change. Because “NANC” is in our constitution, it cannot be changed without the approval of our membership. I would like to invite you to come to NANC’s annual conference this year in Montgomery, AL on October 7-9, 2013, to participate in this historic occasion. I look forward to seeing you there and am eager for us to share in such an exciting event in the life of NANC.