When I looked at the requirements for the ACBC certification process I was intimidated particularly by the exams. For those of you who are also intimidated by the exams, I want to encourage you to set aside all thoughts of the ACBC exams being an intimidating task and instead begin thinking of them as a gift. It wasn’t until I made this transition from task to opportunity that I was able to experience the grace that was wrapped up in the tireless efforts of reading and writing. When viewed as an opportunity from God, studying Scripture and theological issues and applying them to everyday life results in this gift leading to a greater love for the Lord and a greater ability to faithfully minister the Word of God.
The ACBC exams have benefited me personally and my ministry in two ways: theological foundation and practical application. This is how the exam is structured and this structure is in fact what has benefited me most.
Recently as I sat down with my pastor, I shared with him my desire to solidify my theological beliefs. Soon after I had this conversation, the ACBC exams were placed in front of me and I couldn’t view them as anything other than an opportunity. Studying theology requires that we take a topic and undergird that topic with biblical data. The ACBC exams challenged me to open up my Bible and solidify what I believe based on Scripture. These theological requirements were a tool that helped me saturate myself in the Word of God, resulting in a greater love for it and a greater ability to minister it.
While strengthening a theological foundation is a great benefit of taking these exams, it is not the end goal. I was amazed that the more I studied the Scriptures, the more practical and relevant the Scriptures became. While working on the counseling exam, I realized the theological foundations that I had been studying informed the way I thought through helping people with the problems that they face. Good theology is paired with practical application, so that it leads to loving both God and others.
Benefits of This Opportunity
As I mentioned earlier, the ACBC exams were a gift from the Lord in my life. The benefits have been so valuable, not only because they have helped me faithfully minister the Word of God in counseling, but because they have stirred me in a way that has challenged me to view everything in life through the lens of Scripture. By pursuing certification and completing the ACBC exams, I am now better equipped to minister the Word of God to counselees, my family, my youth group, and myself. If you are intimated by this process like I was, my prayer is that you too would begin to look at this process as a gift, and trust that through it you will be both better equipped to handle God’s Word and be changed in your love for it. If you become weary or intimidated during the certification process, meditate on the truth of Scripture below and remind yourself that the ACBC exams are a gift.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”