Episode 16: The Difficult Topics of Abuse and Suffering, Part 1 (with Mike Wickens)

by | Feb 27, 2024

FYI: This episode does contain mentions and stories of mature topics and includes references to sexual abuse by family members.

Abuse is an issue that’s becoming more and more prevalent for pastors to need to navigate. My conversation with Mike Wickens is geared toward pastors who find themselves providing support in these complex, heavy situations.

Mike has been studying in the biblical counseling realm and soul care space for many years. Since 2017, he has served as Associate Pastor of Biblical Counseling at Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL. He’s also the director of the Springfield Center for Biblical Counseling, which is a certified training center for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Since starting his counseling journey in 2010, Mike has experienced the burden and reward of shepherding people who have experienced abuse. Through our conversation, he shares practical advice and resources for those on the front lines, providing support in these challenging circumstances.


Key Takeaways

  1. In an abusive situation, the church must deal with it and not sweep it under the rug. This includes gathering data from both sides, remembering that abusers are often masters of deceit, and ministering to all parties involved. Maintaining confidentiality for the victimized is very important. Pastors should always have another person assisting in this.
  2. The darkness of abuse represents a spiritual battle. We are all sinners, and we must choose to put on the armor of God to withstand the schemes of Satan. God is sovereign, wise and good, even in the heaviness of this problem. God is in control even when you see sin out of control.
  3. Pastors don’t have to start from ground zero; there are resources to help. The ACBC offers certified pastors specific guidelines and questions to consider when addressing a situation of abuse. Each situation is complex, but there is always hope. Pastors should know the mandatory reporting procedures. Our 5-Project Biblical Counseling Customized Blueprint Solution™ is another great resource as you seek to create a culture of SoulCare™ within your church as a way to help you carry the burden of developing your congregation.


Meet Mike

Mike Wickens has dedicated years to studying biblical counseling and soul care. He serves as Associate Pastor of Biblical Counseling at Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL, and directs the Springfield Center for Biblical Counseling, an ACBC-certified training center. Previously, Mike spent 38 years as a Site Manager at various parks in Illinois before retiring from IDNR. He holds a Masters in Biblical Counseling from Faith Bible Seminary and is ACBC-certified. Married for over 40 years, Mike has three daughters, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren.

Related Episodes