This article is written by Dale Johnson and is sponsored by The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Dale is the author of The Church as a Culture of Care and Executive Director of ACBC. ACBC is hosting their Annual Conference O Church Arise: Reclaiming a Culture of Care this October in Charlotte, NC. (See below for a coupon code!)
Your church is God’s ordained center for care.
The post-fall world is filled with desperate and broken people, the very people God intends to care for through His church.
We see this pattern clearly in the early church. Sinners are confronted; sufferers are consoled. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit comforts and corrects God’s people. Believers are consistently reminded of the benefits of God’s Word and the fellowship of the saints to care for the weary, wounded, or wayward soul (2 Corinthians 1:3-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Within the fellowship of the church, ongoing discipleship draws men and women to walk more closely with Christ, and sacrificial kindness and grace can restore the suffering. The church is best positioned and equipped to bear the burden of soul care (Galatians 6:1-2).
Your church may not yet thrive in soul care, but all churches are called to be a culture of care.
I realize that churches are full of sinners, who can and do sin against each other. Far too many churches have a culture that has harbored or hidden the carnage of sin, instead of being a haven of restoration from sin’s destruction, failing to live out the charge of John 13:34-35.
But that doesn’t mean we should dismiss the necessity of the church. Instead, we need to repent and return to the purposes and design God established in order to see true restoration.
We need to hear the call of Christ to restore the brokenhearted back to the fullness of life abundant in Christ, who restores the soul (Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
Your church offers the only true answer for the care of souls.
God has not given any other institution the responsibility to minister to the problems of life (Hebrews 13:17, Colossians 1:28). The Bible presents a comprehensive approach to soul care where Jesus is at the center of restoration (2 Timothy 4:1-5, James 5:13-16).
So many of the troubles we face in life are vexations of the soul as we wrestle with the realities of our own mortality, purpose, meaning, and value. God has given his church the responsibility to steward souls by providing context for our human experiences and hope for true restoration in Christ. The Bible explains our human experiences better than any human wisdom.
May we be found faithful to love as Christ, shepherd as Christ, care as Christ, and mend the brokenhearted as Christ, to the praise of his glory.
Your church can grow together in the pursuit of care.
ACBC is committed to calling and equipping the church to grow as a culture of care.
One way we do that is through our Annual Conference. There’s still time to get signed up for this year’s conference in person or online. Use code CHALLIES to save 10%.
We’re also offering a deeply discounted group rate and additional resources for churches with a group of 10 or more who will watch the conference together. Check out the Group Watch option.