Southern Hills is a church committed to following the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20). One of the many ways we seek to fulfill this in and through our church is our Biblical counseling ministry, known as Soul Care. If you are wondering what makes Soul Care unique from other counseling services, I would like to offer three elements that guide what we do in Soul Care. Although these are not the only elements, they are driving every part of our ministry.
Soul Care is Christ-centered. Every drop of counsel that we give is to be focused on Christ and His work. Ultimately, our goal is for all people to love Him more than anything else (see Matthew 22:37-40). And how do we believe this is accomplished? In our sessions we want to learn about Christ and develop a greater understanding of what He has done. As Shannon said on Easter Sunday, our theology is not meant to puff us up. What we learn about Christ, as well as seeing what He has done, should always humble us. If our knowing Him does not lead to humility, we should question what we know.
Soul Care is Scripture-focused. We believe that God has given us all we need for life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). His word is inspired by the Holy Spirit and able to equip us for every good work and train us in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, the Bible is without error in its claims, and is sufficient for our ministry. We do not get truth from anyone else. We believe that the Scriptures are the God-given authority when it comes to truth. We do not rely on psychology, culture, nor anything else for truth.
We are completely dependent on God for any real change to occur (see 2 Timothy 2:25; Romans 9:16). The Holy Spirit is the real Counselor, creating conviction and causing heart change. Again, this theology humbles us. In Mark 9 we see that the disciples are unable to drive out a demon, and they do not know why as Jesus has already given them the authority to do so. Jesus says, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (verse 29). This is our attitude toward Soul Care. It is not that we are in the business of driving out demons, but rather that we are in the business of prayer, so that God may do His work in all who we help.
God has changed many lives through this ministry. In Soul Care, men and women have come to faith in Christ; others have been encouraged and helped during times of overwhelming suffering; some believers have been admonished and repented; others, have more fully seen the glory of God. Soul Care is about helping others glorify God with their entire lives. God has the power (and is willing!) to change us into the image of Christ.