Here’s what some people are saying about
Windows of Opportunity
“I have been struggling with the right ‘approach’ for asking intro questions for a new client. As we would cover a different case study, I began to see the routine of each one and yet the need for individuality of each case”— Alva DuBois
I think mixing your agenda with our personal experiences and thoughts (many sharp people in our class) creates a great learning environment…Great combo of personal comments (I learned a lot from those), and sticking to your notes. I had a blast!” — Mark Rosendahl
…it [the conference] exceeded my expectations…I like that you taught a process by applying it to specific cases” — Jim Griffith
“I was very impressed with the teaching and content of Biblical Counseling in a Week. Every Christian should know how to use these techniques for family, friends, others they may meet who are without the hope that Christ can bring to their lives” — Jan Perley
“Caring and practicing teacher; consistent Biblical perspective on human problems with living. Wonderful care given to our personal needs; excellent venue…Thank you so much for this opportunity. I really wanted to re-ground myself, biblically speaking… I’ve read a lot of stuff in the field and felt perhaps I myself had become psychologized. Thanks for holding on to what is a minority opinion” — Liz Swanson
“People change because they make decisions in the details of their life.” Winston Smith
It becomes incumbent on us then, if we are to help people change, to help people recognize those choice points and help them to make godly choices in the future. Windows of Opportunity is a way to do just that.
In the course of their lives people make choices all day every day. The Bible tells us that these choices are based on what the person wants and grounded in who they are at the heart level (Jas. 4:1-3; Luke 6:45). Because what is in our heart determines what we think, do, and say, it is important, if we want to help people change, to help them see that what they are doing is simply the outworking of what is in their heart. This is why the Bible commands us to circumcise our hearts (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4). If we want to have new life, we need new hearts.
In order to cry out to God and ask him for a new heart, people need to know they have the need in the first place; that they are out of control and all their choices and decisions come from a sinful and rebellious heart. Convincing people is what God has called us to (Acts 16:16-18; 2 Tim. 2:23-26) and Windows of Opportunity is a very natural and simple way to help people see into their hearts through the stories of their lives.
The stories a person tells about his life lend themselves to be viewed from another perspective—God’s perspective. We call the process Windows of opportunity because we will us the events of the life to look into the heart of the person as a person might look into a house through the windows of the house.
Our counseling in a week conference is an interactive conference. The attendees are expected to read the assigned autobiographies and memoirs with a special view to noting and paying attention to the events of the authors’ lives—especially the defining and pivotal events.
When: January 12-15, 2016
T-Th: 9:00am-5:00pm, with a lunch break
Where: Anselm House, 205 East 5th Street, Moscow, Idaho
What: Counseling-in-a-Week/Windows of Opportunity is an intense four day conference which focuses on bringing the love of God to the lives of people who are having a difficult time living in the world God placed them.
Who should come: Anyone who finds themselves in situations where they are being asked to help or minister to people who are experiencing problems in living.
What a difficult life situation is: The authors of the books we will be discussing have many different life situations ranging from thoughts of obesity to hearing voices to being afraid to go out the front door. A difficult counseling situation is anything that you have difficulty working through. It might be that you have a friend who is depressed, or a friend who is having trouble getting along with others at work. Anything that you find overwhelming as you try to help others is classified as a difficult life situation.
Why it is called Windows of Opportunity: It is called Windows of Opportunity because we will be looking through the events of a person’s life, as one looks through a window, to see opportunities for God’s grace to invade her life and to transform her into Christ’s likeness.
Before you come: Attenders will need to have read the books listed below and be prepared to discuss how they might help the authors of the books were they to meet them in the course of their lives.
The Process: Attenders will be expected to have read the books listed below. As you read, you should imagine that you have been given the opportunity to help the author. With this in mind, you should be thinking about how you might answer these five questions:
- Who is this person? In answering this question the reader/counselor will be expected to be able to answer this question to the satisfaction of the person they are ministering to. The one being helped should be able to say, “Yes, you know me.”
- How am I like this person? The purpose of this question is to help you realize that except for God’s grace in your life, you could easily be just like the person you are trying to help. It keeps you humble, it helps you love the person you are trying to help, and it helps the person trust you.
- What does God think of this person? God loves sinners and he hates sinners at the same time. In this particular instance, how is God thinking about this person? Is there anything God would commend in her life? Is there anything God condemns? Is there any hope or mercy that God holds out for this person?
- What incidents in your friend’s story might you use to help them see their situation from God’s perspective? Everyone views their life through their own eyes and perspective. In order to help people they need to look through the events of their lives, Windows of Opportunity, to discover the condition of their hearts. When they understand that the source of all their problems is inside themselves, they will be prepared to submit to God and have their heart cleansed.
- How might you use these events to help your friend find peace and joy in living in Jesus? The answer to this question will take up the majority of our time. The first three questions will prepare the counselor and her friend to enter into the actual process, but the answer to the fourth and this last question make up the Windows of Opportunity process itself.
Reading List for this Conference:
Steele, Ken, The Day the Voices Stopped
Moore, Judith, Fat Girl
King, Heather, Parched
Jamison, Kaye Redfield An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Welch, Edward, Shame Interrupted
David Powlison, “How Do You Help a Psychologized Counselee?” Journal of Biblical
Counseling, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1996, pp. 2-7. You can get this article here.
David Powlison, “The Ambiguously Cured Soul,” Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 19, No. 3,
2001, pp. 2-7. You can get this article here.