Five minutes with Mike Emlet

We are thrilled that Mike Emlet will be joining us to speak at our April 2016 conferences. To whet your appetite, we thought we’d spend a little blog time getting to know him better …

Mike, tell us a little about what you do for a day job.

Originally I trained as a family physician (GP) and practised medicine for over a decade, but I’ve spent the last 14 years on the faculty of CCEF, where I teach courses/modules like “Counselling and Physiology” and “Biblical Interpretation” to our onsite and online students. I also counsel regularly, mentor counselling interns, write, and speak. I enjoy the varied ministry opportunities I have at CCEF.

What excites you about teaching?

It’s a huge privilege to help people grow in their love for God and others through their engagement with Scripture. I’ve seen in my own life what a difference it makes when my sin and suffering are carefully addressed in biblical ways. Equipping other people to interpret God’s word and apply it wisely to difficult struggles genuinely brings me great joy.

So, is the application of Scripture in counselling what you write on too?

It’s certainly one of the areas I’m passionate about, which is why I wrote the book CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet. It’s so important to be able to apply biblical passages in Christ-centred ways to the complexity of life’s struggles. Looking ahead, I hope my next major writing project will be a book on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I especially want to include help for those who struggle with religious obsessions and issues of assurance. In the meantime, God willing, I am planning to write a shorter resource on psychiatric disorders and psychoactive medications.

What will you be speaking on in April?

I’m very much looking forward to being in the UK next spring and to speaking at both the residential and day conferences being run by Biblical Counselling UK. The residential conference is going to focus on how we use Scripture wisely in ministry. For example, how do we use the Bible to encourage a person’s identity in Christ? How do we bring comfort to someone in the midst of suffering? How do we employ Scripture to bring challenge and perspective in the midst of sin?  The aim of that conference will be to inspire an ever-deepening confidence in Scripture and to equip us all to handle God’s word well when we are counselling others (and counselling ourselves!). The day conference will look at the topic of addiction and will identify and address common themes and issues that underlie all addictive behaviours, whether associated with alcohol, food, porn, or other things.

What can we be praying for you as you prepare?

Thank you. Please pray that I will be humble, faithful, prayerful, clear, biblical and practical in all that I say and that my own walk with Jesus would be nourished in the midst of my preparations. And you and I should pray together that as we gather for the conferences, and learn from Scripture and each other, we will all become more Christ-like and better equipped to point those who are struggling to their loving Saviour, in whom restoration and transformation are found.

And what will you be doing when you’re not preparing to teach us?!

When I’m not working I love to spend time with my family – I’m married to Jody and we have two teenage children. I’m also very involved in my local church as an elder. I’m a bit of a potter, too, when I can find the time to go into the studio. Of course, I will continue watching Premier League Football with my son on the weekends. And at the risk of bringing division among God’s people … go Spurs!