Biblical Soul Care
Biblical Soul Care (BSC) is the biblical counselling ministry of Harvest Bible Chapel. It’s one of the ways we care for one another here. If you are facing a particular situation or struggle in your life that seems difficult to cope with or overcome, we want to come alongside you to help. We hope to lovingly care for you and help carry your burdens (Galatians 6:1-2; James 1:2-5) but, more importantly, point you to and remind you of the ultimate hope, Jesus Christ.
Biblical Soul Care happens as we encourage and support one another in small groups, but also in a more formal setting with mentors or trained biblical counsellors as needed. We would love to sit down and talk with you about how we can help.
Please feel free to email us or call us at (905) 475- 7695.
Click below for further details on what Biblical Soul Care is, how to get help, and much more.
What is Biblical Soul Care?
Biblical Soul Care is a cultural philosophy of care that potentially affects every part of a healthy, growing church. We would most simply define Biblical Soul Care as speaking the truth in love in your circle of influence. It is unique to the local church as it is anchored in the Word of God, dependent on the Spirit of God, and practiced in the community of believers
Biblical Soul Care is more than a model of biblical counselling. 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.
While all good biblical counselling content is the same (it is based on the authority and sufficiency of the Bible), how and where counselling happens differs. We believe the context is more about community than privacy. While we hold strongly to confidentiality and discretion, we believe in counselling in community. That can look like inviting friends into formal counselling, or doing informal counselling in a small group format.
In other words, Biblical Soul Care is not just for pastors or biblical counsellors 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 biblical soul care to the local church.
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 Centred (Colossians 1:15-20)
The person of Christ, his preeminence, 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 counsellor 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 counselling 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 to Expect?
Our desire is to come alongside you during a time of trial. Biblical Soul Care is built to lovingly care for and help carry the burdens of people (Galatians 6:1-2; James 1:2-5). The purpose of Biblical Soul Care is to engage the Body of Christ to walk and support one another by encouraging the involvement of advocates and your connection to small group whenever possible. Most importantly you can expect to be ministered towards our ultimate hope, Jesus Christ.
We all at various times have needed or will need counsel. Is your family going through a life-altering trial? Are you wrestling with an area of sin in your life? Is someone else’s sin affecting you? Are you struggling to cope with the consequences of a past you’d rather forget? Or do you just need help and hope?
Some Issues We Counsel:
- Marriage conflict/issues
- Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
- Much more…
- Any individual or couple who are already regular attendees or members of Harvest Bible Chapel York Region and are also faithfully attending a Harvest York Region small group
- Any individual or couple who commits to attending Harvest York Region regularly and joining a Harvest York Region small group
- If you are in a small group, share your situation with your small group leader(s). They may be able to give you the counsel you need to see healing, change, and victory.
- If more help is needed, your small group leader may ask you if you would like to be referred to your small group flock leader or receive formal Biblical Soul Care counselling.
- Anyone wanting formal Biblical Soul Care counselling, can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (905) 475- 7695 to talk to Mark directly. You will have an opportunity to discuss your situation and how we can help you best. If formal counselling or mentoring is appropriate, you will be matched with a counsellor or mentor after an initial intake appointment. If you are not currently in a Harvest York Region small group, you will be asked to join one.
- We are not licensed counsellors, therapists, psychiatrists, or psychologists.
- We are compassionate BSC staff and volunteers trained at various levels in biblical counselling and theology. We want to intentionally, lovingly walk alongside hurting people who are taking a courageous step of faith in sharing their problems and pain with us.
- Our counsel is based solely on God’s Word, which is sufficient to handle any issue of life.
- Attend weekend services every week at Harvest York Region
- Be in or join a Harvest York Region small group
- Have an advocate (see next tab)
- Complete assigned homework
- Serve here at Harvest
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 help 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 counsellees bring an advocate with them to their counselling sessions.
An advocate is someone who:
- Loves God
- Firmly believes in the sufficiency of God’s Word
- Cares deeply for the counsellee (Proverbs 17:17)
- Is available to attend counselling session with the counsellee
- Prays for and with the counsellee before, during, and after the sessions
- Reminds the counsellee of what they were taught
- Encourages the counsellee
- Holds the counsellee accountable
- Helps the counsellee complete the assigned homework
Advocates are an amazing addition to formal counselling. They can be a life-giving part in the change process for the counsellee as they walk through the valley alongside the hurting person. If they have history with the counsellee, they can provide important context that would otherwise be unavailable to the counsellor.
Two additional notes on advocacy:
- Our counsellors 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 counselling process. Again, our counsellors will try to discern with you if your initial choice is a good fit.