Biblical Counseling at Harvest
What is Biblical Counseling?
Biblical counseling is an approach to helping people through dependence on, and application of, the Bible as the highest authority and sufficient source for transformation in people’s lives. Within a local church, it is rightly understood as part of the discipleship process. It could even be thought of as “intensive discipleship” - entering into difficult spaces related to one’s sin, suffering, thought life, beliefs, emotions, relationships and more, and doing so with an aim of seeing someone grow in godliness. Biblical counseling is a method of counseling that is distinct from other forms of Christian counseling and therapy. One significant difference is that biblical counseling is directive in nature, meaning the Counselor is intentional to ask questions, listen well, get to the heart of the matter (which may or may not be the initial cause of counseling) and use the Bible to instruct, admonish, reprove, call to repentance, and help the person in need.
You can read two good articles about the nature of biblical counseling here: A Definition for Biblical Counseling | Toward a Definition of the Essence of Biblical Counseling
How does Biblical Counseling function within Harvest?
Biblical Counseling is a part of what is known as Soul Care at Harvest. Soul Care as a term encompasses the process by which the souls God brings to our church are cared for and grow into the image of Christ. Soul Care specifically refers to two ministries operating together as one unit for the good of the church body: Small Groups and Biblical Counseling. A Small Group is the vital place where long-term soul care takes place. It is where you are deeply known by others and are able to deeply know others. It's a place to share struggles and victories, to repent of sin, to learn the Word, bear one another’s burdens, and fulfill the one another’s of Scripture.
But not every small group, nor every Small Group Leader, is able to walk through the myriad of issues that come up in people’s lives, and this is where biblical counseling comes in. When someone is in need of extra care and attention, an Endorsed Harvest Counselor is paired with the person to walk alongside them for a season. The Counselor enters in with love and compassion, utilizing the Truth of the Word of God in a way that helps make sense of their life, of God, their trials, and offers hope and power for change. In this way, you can think of biblical counseling as a “come alongside” ministry to Small Groups. The person in need of counsel stays in their small group, is supported by their group before, during and after the counseling relationship, and helps hold the person accountable to commitments to change that were made during counseling.
Who can become an Endorsed Harvest Counselor (EHC)?
We have a training process for folks interested in becoming an EHC. It starts with a 6 week course going through Paul Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands Study Guide book. After completion of that course, there is a curriculum we use from the Institute of Biblical Counseling and Discipleship of about 80 hours of instruction and video counseling observation. Then, an Apprenticeship is entered into where people participate in biblical counseling at Harvest and are assessed as they begin giving counsel to others. All EHCs are themselves members of Harvest and involved in Small Groups.
How does someone get counseling from an Endorsed Harvest Counselor?
Because counseling is the “come alongside” ministry to Small Groups, it is vital that someone receiving biblical counseling through Harvest is themselves actively engaged in a small group at Harvest. In rare cases, they may enter a counseling relationship without being in a small group but they must commit to entering a small group before the end of the counseling relationship. This ensures the greatest quality of care long-term for each person at Harvest.
To start the process of receiving biblical counseling, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - be sure to indicate if you are requesting counsel for yourself or seeking it on behalf of someone else, and we will be in touch with you soon.
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