Steve Barnett’s Testimony of Transformation
For our 20th TAC Podcast, we have a special edition featuring Steve Barnett’s testimony of transformation. Steve shares a powerful picture of how disciple-making in an addict’s life is the catalyst for how Jesus Christ can transform a person’s heart. It is a wonderful example of the truth of the TAC slogan:
“Connecting the Hope of the Gospel with the Heart of Addiction.”
You don’t want to miss this 35-minute testimony of the transformational power of God in one man’s heart, which applies to all who struggle with any kind of addiction.
This recorded testimony was given by Steve at the 2019 Counseling and Discipleship Training event in Florence, KY, hosted at Grace Fellowship Church in Florence, Kentucky (GFC), where I serve as the Director of Counseling. Steve currently serves as an elder there, and he actually helped to start it.
In his testimony, Steve describes his life in high school in the 1960’s — his use of amphetamines, weed, drinking alcohol, LSD, barbiturates, cocaine, percocet, demerol, opioids. He also mentions selling drugs, and selling to those who would sell drugs to others. Some of the very vivid visual memories of the first four months of his time in the Kentucky State Penitentiary as an 18 year old are riveting to the listeners. Steve then talks about the time he was transferred to a minimum security institution, and his subsequent meeting of a guidance counselor there, who asked him, “Do you have a Bible?” and then, “Read the red.”
God began to soften his heart.
A preacher visited the prison one day and Steve received God’s forgiveness in Christ. He then began aggressively pursuing Jesus through the devouring of God’s Word daily while still in prison. Steve’s testimony will encourage any heart, especially the heart of the addicted. His experience serves as a reminder that God is in the business of saving lives and transforming the desires of His children.
For biblical counselors, Steve Barnett makes four key points:
1. If you have a choice in who you will be assigned to counsel, be sure to think, pray, and be sensitive to God’s Spirit in how He is leading your desires on whom to counsel. AND, if someone is in charge of assigning you the people whom you will counsel, then TRUST that God is IN that process.
2. Listen carefully. Ask questions of those whom you counsel and listen intently to the responses. Try to discern what’s been going on in that person’s life so that you get a sense of their struggles and needs.
3. Steer those whom you counsel toward God’s Word. Use God’s Word in your counseling sessions and as reading assignments between counseling sessions.
4. Pray, pray, and pray like crazy. Pray like your life depends on it because it does.
The audience, who had the blessing of hearing this testimony LIVE ,consisted of people who are eager to learn about “how to help real people with real problems by using their Bible.” (quote from Pastor Brad Bigney – watch the video that explains GFC’s passion for biblical counseling here.)
Currently, the plan is to host a fall conference in 2020 like this one where Steve Barnett spoke. Find out more about 2020 Counseling and Discipleship Training when it becomes available here.
Subscribe to the TAC Podcast here and don’t miss Steve’s testimony on Saturday, April 18, 2020, our 20th TAC Podcast.
To find a disciple-maker like Steve described, (one who uses the Scriptures as the basis for counseling an addict) go to this link of Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselors in various places around the world.
You can access more sessions from GFC’s Counseling and Discipleship Training conference archives, for FREE by visiting this site: https://www.graceky.org/sermons/series/cdt/