As sin and the common issues of a fallen world afflict God’s people, we have to consider whom he has chosen to care for them. If our deepest struggles result from a disbelief in God, then our greatest hope and healing must be found in believing God and his word for us. Who can better communicate and apply God’s word to a persons heart than his church? The church has been entrusted with the gospel (1 Thess. 2:4) and the proclamation of the wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10). It is made up of God’s chosen people whom he has given to be his ministers of reconciliation to the world, and to each other.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. – Acts 20:28

Our ultimate goal in counseling is to apply the gospel to a person’s heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible describes having the fullness of God as being “strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17). We seek to embody these wonderful truths through our care and counseling ministry. In all that we do, we are committed to creating a context in which every person coming through our doors will encounter a safe and loving place to experience the grace and truth of the gospel. We accomplish this through professional and pastoral counseling, equipping the church, and community involvement.

PROFESSIONAL & PASTORAL COUNSELING

Our professional counselors give needed insight into the psychological and mental aspects of the counseling, while staying rooted in Jesus and the gospel, while pastors provide care and counsel more informally. Both counselor and pastor work towards placing someone in need of counsel back in community where they can be loved and cared for by the church body. They also focus on developing people within the church to be ministers of the gospel to one another.

EQUIPPING THE CHURCH

To better equip the church to give wise counsel to one another, we provide training and resources aimed at growing a person in their abilities as a lay counselor. All Christians should be able to effectively “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thess. 5:11) in the truth of God’s word. We are also committed to equip local churches to respond in crisis through our well-trained staff, consultations, training events, and conferences.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

True and lasting change comes through the power of the gospel in the context of community. We aren’t meant to live in isolation, but in the presence of God and his people; this is especially true in the midst of struggle and sin. We promote an advocate model of counseling, where a person is encouraged to have another Christian come to counseling sessions with them. Advocates can help a person not feel alone in their struggle, bring additional insight into their counseling sessions, and are able to continue care after and in between sessions. Additionally, these advocates become more equipped to give wise counsel to others as they are shown how the gospel speaks to even the most difficult struggles.

Jason Schulke

Author Jason Schulke

Jason sees counseling as a form of discipleship and as an integral aspect of pastoral ministry. He is currently a Pastoral Resident at the Austin Stone, lay counselor, and serves at our South Campus. Read Jason's full bio here.

More posts by Jason Schulke