Dr. Joe & Tara Miller
OIC Japan National Coordinator
Region of Service: Japan
As active members of a local church, both Tara and I possess a combined ministry experience of over forty years. We are convicted that every New Testament church, both locally and globally, should be centered on and dedicated to the absolute authority, sufficiency, and inspiration of Scripture (Psa 19:7-11; Rom 12:1; Gal 3:10; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12; Rev 22:18-19). Such a commitment to equip the saints in the transforming knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word will inevitably give churches a great opportunity to create a culture of soul care, which focuses on biblical discipleship, counseling, and fulfilling the “one-anothers.”
We are passionate about providing soul care to God’s people. We have been privileged to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in seventeen countries around the world. Through OIC, we desire to come alongside and assist local churches in the Japan to establish a culture of soul care.
The goal of OIC Japan is to come alongside pastors and other church leaders and train them to build biblically based, Christ-centered counseling ministries within their churches. We train them to train other brothers and sisters in Christ to adequately provide effective biblical counsel for believers struggling with various spiritual heart issues. This soul-care training enables local churches and individual believers to effectively reach out into their communities to bring help and hope to the lost and suffering. Each soul care provider points them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Word, and Spirit… the only true source for lasting change that glorifies (Isa 43:7) and pleases God (2 Cor 5:9), and produces lasting joy in every believer committed to a Christ-centered life (Ps 37:4).
In addition, as the OIC Japan Director, I prayerfully reach out to network with other churches that are interested in biblical counseling training. I am also committed to challenge, motivate, recruit, and equip other ministry partners to continue to invest in biblical counseling training and teaching in other churches.
As the Lord provides new short and long-term avenues of ministry, both Tara and I remain committed to seeking out more effective biblical means to enhance OIC Japan. We desire to remain aware of and evaluate the current trends affecting OIC Japan and any partnering local churches.
We are also committed to continually raising awareness of OIC among U.S. based churches by participating in local church mission events and conferences. The hope is to increase partnerships, financial support, and prayer support among various churches and age groups.
I came to saving faith at a young age. After an arm injury the summer before college, my dreams of playing baseball ended. I received a B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles and went into sales. During 10 highly successful years in food sales/management, the thrill of earning money decreased and the love for sharing the gospel increased. Tara and I met and married in my transitional year, 1997. By 1998, I began serving the Lord full-time. After more than a decade off from educational pursuits, I headed back to school to earn my M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, CA. Out of frustration with how to practically apply the Bible to many counseling scenarios that I faced as a “well-trained” pastor, I pursued a Doctorate in Biblical Counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, KY. I completed my Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) certification in 2015, and in 2016, I became certified with International Association of Biblical Counselors.
Over the last twenty five years, I have strongly advocated the sufficiency of Scripture to effectively and permanently change lives and hearts –“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17 ESV).
Over the years in various positions, from lay ministry to my service as a youth pastor, singles pastor, missions pastor, senior pastor, and discipleship-counseling pastor, the Spirit and the truth of God’s Word has established a conviction and commitment to train others, who will in turn, provide biblical soul care to God’s people, both locally and globally.
I was “born again” by God’s grace in 1995 after I could not unearth any lasting hope for change from my Masters in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from the University of Southern California. Through many unsuccessful years attempting to bring lasting help through secular humanism, by God’s grace, I turned to the Bible and discovered lasting help and hope. Ever since, from the overflow of my heart, I have been sharing the gospel of Christ Jesus and the transforming truths from the Scriptures with other women and children.
In 2006, I began training in biblical counseling with the National Association of Nouthetic Counseling (NANC), now called the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). I disciple and counsel in the local and global church. Currently, Joe’s mom, who has dementia, lives with us. I assist Joe in caring for her. In my spare time, I am working toward completing my ACBC certification.
We were married in 1997 and committed our marriage to ministering in Christ’s church around the world. In addition, we have been blessed with four children, Huntington, Dakota, Skye and Liberty, and a Bernese Mountain Dog. We are joyfully endeavoring to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
Our oldest son, Huntington, has come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, while his three sisters are in the process of learning about what it means to love Jesus and possess a saving relationship Him. Huntington loves every sport under the sun, but is focused on golf.
Dakota, Skye, and Liberty play violin and golf, ride their bikes, swim, and mostly enjoy organizing/decorating and making gluten free cupcakes.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Cor 4:16-18).