- What is Biblical Soul Care?
- I need counselling
- What is an advocate?
- Hope Groups
- BSC training
- Ways to serve
- Upcoming events
Biblical Soul Care is more than a model of biblical counselling. It is intentional discipleship and deep, authentic fellowship, something we all should do at the level we are equipped. It is not a new idea. It’s living out the one another commands in the Scripture. It’s 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, depending on the situation. We believe the context is more about community than privacy. While we hold strongly to confidentiality and discretion, we believe in counselling in community, whether it’s in a formal setting with a trained biblical counsellor or over coffee with your small group leader. 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.
To 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 and 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 centred (Colossians 1:15-20) – The person of Christ, his preeminence, the gift of his life given to us.
Biblically grounded with truth and 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.
- 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…
Who is eligible to receive counselling?
- Any individual or couple who are already regular attendees or members of Harvest Bible Chapel and are also faithfully attending a small group
- Any individual or couple who commits to attending Harvest regularly and joining a small group
How Do I Get Help?
- 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 coach 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 705-739-8613 to talk to our intake counsellor. 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 small group, you will be asked to join one.
What can you expect from us?
- 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.
What do we expect from you while in counselling?
- Attend weekend services every week
- Be in or join a small group
- Have an advocate (see next tab)
- Complete assigned homework
- Serve here at Harvest
In addition to formal counselling, in some situations we will recommend to people that they do an intensive. This is a one, two, or three day counselling retreat, for particularly difficult issues where quick progress is crucial.
If for some reason you do not want to call the church or you have trouble connecting with us and are in an emergency situation and need help, please call 911 immediately.
We understand that it may be difficult for you to take the first step. However, we believe that this first step can be a step toward healing, reconciliation, and peace.
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.
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.
When life is hard, we need God and others to lift us up and point us in the right direction, to give us hope. If you are struggling with temptation, grieving over a past hurt or stuck in a difficult trial our Hope Groups can help you find freedom in Christ. Perhaps you are new to the faith or have lost your way and want to understand better what it means to be a Christ-follower. These small groups take a look at the problem of sin and suffering and consider how Christ changes everything, and can change us! New Hope Groups start every September and January in two different formats.
Hope Group: Recovering Redemption
The “Recovering Redemption” study will help you go a little deeper in your understanding of sin, what Christ did on the cross, and what that means for you. It looks at problems like anger, shame, guilt and fear from a gospel perspective. You will be encouraged to see how understanding and embracing who God says you are and what he did for you changes everything. Each Monday night we’ll have some large group teaching time, men and women’s breakout and prayer. The Hope Group: Recovering Redemption runs from September to December every year.
Hope Group: Steps
The “Steps” gospel centred recovery program takes people to the root of sin and suffering and leads them to embrace the freedom found only in Christ’s redemption… Most people hear the word recovery and think of major addictions. But we all wrestle with something: anger, gossip, greed… Building on the incomplete truths of traditional recovery programs, Steps helps people see these truths through the light of Scripture and a personal relationship with Jesus. This program addresses issues you may be facing such as abuse, anger, addiction, pornography, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, despair and grief.
Content of the program:
- Lay a gospel foundation
- Examine fruit through assessment in areas like abuse, anger, sex, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, and grief
- Expose the roots
- Renounce lies and replant truth
- Encourage faithful action
Hope Group: Steps runs every year from January to April.
If you are interested in mentoring or supporting those who are in the Steps program, check out our “Ways to Serve” section.
If you are interested in becoming a better disciple, friend, encourager, mentor, or advocate, BSC Foundations is for you. It’s an overview of biblical counselling with practical steps to intentionally loving others well. It incorporates Garret Higbee’s video series “Biblical Soul Care for the Local Church” and Paul Tripp’s excellent book we would commend to you called, “Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands.” BSC Foundations is formerly known as BSC Level 1. These classes are designed to equip any believer who wants to be more intentional and skilled in speaking the truth in love. This twelve week long program runs a couple of times every year. If you would like to sign up for the next block of training, check out our listing of Upcoming Events for more information.
Become an Advocate
There is no better way to learn about biblical counselling than getting some hands on experience as an advocate. Advocates join counsellees in their counselling meetings to come alongside them and provide prayer, support, accountability, and encouragement. It will give you an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ and grow more like Christ in the process. Being an advocate will also help equip you in speaking the truth in love. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17).
Uncommon Leadership 101
- Available for anyone to take
- Basic Biblical Soul Care skills and tools to be used within the small group context
Uncommon Leadership 201
- Available for small group leaders and apprentice small group leaders and anyone wanting to be trained as a formal biblical counsellor.
- How the gospel impacts discipleship, identity in Christ, etc.
Uncommon Leadership 301
- Available for small group leaders and coaches
- How to consult with, counsel, and cultivate small group leaders.
Uncommon Leadership 501
- Available only by invitation from a pastor, director, elder, or BSC staff
- This provides the fundamentals of corrective level Biblical Soul Care and an intro to crisis intervention
- UL 101, 201, 301 are pre-requisites to taking UL 501.
Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)
Some people choose to pursue certification in biblical counselling through ACBC. Certification is completed in stages. Phase one includes completing a training course, observing counselling sessions, and completing required reading in theology and biblical counselling. Phase two requires that students pass ACBC’s theology and counselling exams and provide an application with references and a recommendation from the church. The final phase involves completing the recommended number of hours of supervised counselling with an ACBC fellow.
Becoming a Biblical Soul Care Counsellor
An approved counsellor is an uncommon leader who has godly character, genuine commitment, and growing competence with the ability to influence, equip, and care for others. Those who desire to become formal Biblical Soul Care counsellors should pursue training by attending UL 101, 201, 301 and 501 or obtaining certification through the ACBC. Once training and supervised counselling is complete, staff and elders will make a decision on whether counsellors are approved or more training is required.
Occasionally we put together groups of people who would like to attend various biblical counselling training conferences and seminars in Canada and the United States. In the past we have attended Harvest Oakville, Faith Biblical Counselling Center in Lafayette, Indiana and the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors annual conference. These provide excellent opportunities to learn from leaders and authors in the biblical counselling movement. Information on these training opportunities is listed under our listing of Upcoming Events.
Have questions? Want to meet with a pastor to discuss your next steps?
Contact us at email@example.com.
You are already involved
Everyone at Harvest Bible Chapel does Biblical Soul Care whenever they are compassionately walking alongside someone who needs encouragement or support. It’s uncommon community in action. This often starts at the small group level. However, sometimes the need is too great or the situation too critical and it moves up to formal counselling. Here are some other ways you can get involved:
Steps mentors walk with the participant, meeting with them weekly, and walking them through the steps of assessment, repentance, and replanting. It will require weekly meetings of about one hour, and a three hour commitment in weeks five, six, and seven, a two hour commitment in week eight and regular one hour meetings in weeks nine through twelve. The mentors help develop an after-care plan for participants. They do not necessarily attend weekly meetings. Mentors will receive a mentor guide.
Advocates commit to attending counselling sessions with a counsellee. They are mature Christians who love God, believe in the sufficiency of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:3) and will regularly pray for the counsellee. Advocates intentionally, lovingly walk alongside hurting people with much grace and encouragement, but are also willing to speak the truth in love and hold them accountable. They also help provide long term support after formal counselling is finished. Advocates are often friends of the counsellee or in their small group, but sometimes we will match counsellees who are newer to Harvest with an advocate. All advocates will be provided with a brief orientation meeting to outline our goals and expectations of advocates and answer any questions they have.
We need people who are willing to help with the little details and practical needs for running events and training. This includes:
- Working at our promotions desk in the lobby as needed
- Set up/clean up for special events and training
If you are interested in serving in any of these ways, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope Groups are designed for people who want to go a little deeper in a small group study to look at areas where they are personally struggling. We offer these in two formats each year.
Our Hope Group in the fall uses the “Recovering Redemption” bible study from Matt Chandler and includes a large group teaching time, men and women’s breakout groups and prayer. Hope Group: Recovering Redemption runs from September–December.
Our Hope Group: Steps is a gospel centred recovering program that runs from January-May every year. It is a more in-depth program with a self-assessment and mentoring component as well as large group teaching time and men and women’s breakout groups.
If you want to become a better disciple, friend or mentor, or perhaps just want to know yourself better in light of God’s Word, BSC Foundations is for you. It will help you learn where change is needed in your own life and how to speak grace and truth into the lives of loved ones.
BSC Foundations provides an overview of offering wise biblical counsel. It incorporates Paul Tripp’s book called Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands. These classes are designed to equip any believer who wants to be more intentional and skilled in speaking the truth in love.
These classes run at least once every year. To get updates on when we are offering our next class, please email email@example.com or check online to see if the next event is available for registration.
Caring for One Another Events & Training
Throughout the year we host events to help equip you in loving others well. In addition to our BSC Coffeehouse every fall, we also host workshops and dessert nights that address areas of struggle or suffering in people’s lives, like anxiety, conflict, identity in Christ, parenting and difficult relationships.
Each year we have groups that attend biblical counselling training conferences in February, held in Lafayette, Indiana and in March, held in Oakville, ON. We invite you to join us for these! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACBC – Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
ACBC is the largest and most widely recognized independent certifying organization for those wanting to become certified biblical counsellors.
CCEF – Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
CCEF is a private school providing online biblical counselling classes.
Biblical Counsellor Brad Hambrick offers excellent free online video series for various counselling topics; marriage, depression, anger, sexual sin, and more. http://www.bradhambrick.com/videos/
IBCD – The Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship
Here you will find free audio teaching from various biblical counsellors on many counselling topics.
BCC – Biblical Counseling Coalition
These websites provide excellent topical articles and recommended books.