Welcome to Biblical Soul Care
Biblical Soul Care (BSC) is the biblical counseling ministry of Harvest Bible Chapel.
We have provided information on who we are, what Biblical Soul Care is, how to get help, frequently asked questions, what’s going on in the ministry and much more.
If you find that you still have questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at 847-398-7024, Ext. 3100.
What is Biblical Soul Care?
Short answer: It is a cultural philosophy of care that potentially affects every part of a healthy, growing church.
It’s More Than a Model of Biblical Counseling
Biblical Soul Care is more than a model of biblical counseling. It is intentional and intensive discipleship and deep, authentic fellowship. It is something we all should do at the level we are equipped. It is not a new idea. It is living out the one another commands in the Scriptures. It has been practiced since the early church (Acts 2). It can be found in the Puritan community of the 16th and 17th century. It is our mission to restore soul care to the church.
Context: In Community
While all good biblical counseling content is the same (it is based on the authority and sufficiency of the Bible), how and where counseling happens differs. We believe the context is more about community than privacy. While we hold strongly to confidentiality and discretion, we believe in counseling in community. That can look like inviting friends into formal counseling, or doing informal counseling in a small group format.
In other words, Biblical Soul Care is not just for pastors or biblical counselors but it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer. It can take many forms like mentoring, coaching, and advocacy.
Glorify God by making disciples through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
It’s our vision to return soul care to the local church. No more “refer & defer” but carefully stewarding and caring for the people entrusted to the body of Christ.
Ministering to the hurting in full dependence on the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the Community of God to experience transforming life change.
- Christ Centered (Colossians 1:15-20) – The person of Christ, his preeminance, the gift of his life given to us
- Biblically Grounded with Truth & Grace (John 1:14) – We get principles for life and godliness from the Bible and we want to give counsel that is a blend of both truth and grace.
- Spirit-led (John 6:63) – The real counselor is God who meets us through his Spirit. We want to be careful to give heed to his guidance and not simply let our experience dominate the direction for our counsel.
- Prayer Saturated (Colossians 4:2) – Humility and dependence on God are shown most clearly through prayer. We want to practice and model both humility and dependence throughout the counseling process.
- Community Based (Hebrews 10:24-25) – God calls us to live life in the context of his people. Care, encouragement, exhortation, and healing happen most fruitfully in the church community.
What is an Advocate?
Lasting change takes place in community.
Christians were never meant to live in isolation. In fact, God intended the community of believers to assist one another in making lasting change for the glory of God (Romans 15:1-2, Ephesians 4: 11-16, Philippians 2:1-4). Because we believe that transformational change happens in the community of believers, we ask that all counselees bring an advocate with them to their counseling sessions.
An advocate is someone who:
- loves God
- firmly believes in the sufficiency of God’s Word
- cares deeply for the counselee (Proverbs 17:17)
- is available to attend counseling session with the counselee
- prays for and with the counselee before, during, and after the sessions
- reminds the counselee of what they were taught
- encourages the counselee
- holds the counselee accountable
- helps the counselee complete the assigned homework
Advocates are an amazing addition to formal counseling. They can be a life-giving part in the change process for the counselee as they walk through the valley alongside the hurting person. If they have history with the counselee, they can provide important context that would otherwise be unavailable to the counselor.
For a more in-depth understanding of what an advocate is, what they do, and what their impact can be for the community of God, please read our BSC Advocate Manual.
Two additional notes on advocacy:
- Our counselors will help with the selection of and give final approval to the advocates. Ideally, we desire advocates to get a recommendation from a leader within the community of Harvest Bible Chapel. This is important as we are looking to leverage the power of mature believers who will not judge but will intentionally pray, encourage, challenge, or even rebuke the counselee instead of being enablers, or flesh-sympathizers.
- As a general rule, first degree relatives (spouses, parents, siblings, etc.) don’t make for good advocates. We have seen that people who live both roles struggle to remain objective which may hinder the counseling process. Again, our counselors will try discern with you if your initial choice is a good fit.