Biblical Soul Care
The Lord changes lives and accomplishes His purposes directly through reading and applying the Scriptures, meditating on the truths of the Scriptures, and prayer. The Lord also uses those who minister His Word as they encourage, exhort, admonish, edify, implore, reprove, rebuke, and console others toward godliness. God needs no new or unique insight into the human condition in order to change lives, regardless of whether that insight is gained through psychology or some other tool of human origin. Problems that are approached by integrating the Scriptures with psychological theories tend to deceive individuals into diminishing the God of the Scriptures and into believing that He has not provided and cannot provide sufficient truth, insight, and wisdom that will change their lives (Colossians 2:8-10).
When psychology and other social sciences step beyond observing human behavior and seek to explain the causes of human behavior, they enter spiritual territory. Only the God of the Scriptures can explain causes and offer solutions that lead to godliness and a fruitful, joyful life. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He changes us as we discipline ourselves through obedience to the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Each Christian's passion should be to become more like Christ and fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with the entire heart, soul, mind, and strength (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2, Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37-38). The Christian who learns and applies the Word becomes mature and, in turn, can help others mature (2 Timothy 2:2).
What is Biblical Soul Care?
It is not a new method or idea but is something that was commanded and practiced since early Jewish culture. Great models are the New Testament church (Acts 2) and the Puritan community. Today, you might know it as biblical counseling, intentional discipleship, mentoring, or other names. We would define it as speaking the truth in love anchored in the Word of God, depending on the Spirit of God, and practiced in a community of believers. It is more of an overarching term and a cultural philosophy of care than a counseling method.
What is the "advocate model"?
While we think counseling is highly personal, we don’t think it should be so private that it excludes those we love and do life with. Scripture challenges us to lean onto Christ and to bear one another’s burdens. The advocate model is a great avenue for encouraging community and helping hurting individuals within the church to realize they do not have to walk through their journey, trial, or crisis alone. We believe that God intended the community of believers to assist one another in making lasting change for His glory. It is such an encouragement for the person in the midst of a great burden to have a trusted friend or fellow sojourner come alongside and help bear the burden of their trial.