Biblical Counseling and Community Outreach

May 27, 2013

Local Church Series - Biblical Counseling and Community Outreach
Steve Viars

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Steve Viars

Local Church Series - Biblical Counseling and Community Outreach

BCC Staff Note: You’re reading Part One in a multi-part series by the BCC’s Grace & Truth bloggers on Biblical Counseling in the Local Church. In addition to today’s post by Pastor Steve Viars, you will read future posts by Keri Seavey, Pastor Kevin Carson, Pastor Andrew Rogers, Pastor Jonathan Holmes, Eliza Jane Huie, and Pastor Deepak Reju.

Safe Haven

This past week a local family’s home was completely destroyed by a ravaging fire. The Red Cross immediately met with these displaced members of our community and began the process of helping them find temporary housing. Thankfully a new community asset was available—Safe Haven—recently completed to provide housing for victims of fire, flood, and domestic violence.

Safe Haven Ceremony 1What is especially amazing about this story is that Safe Haven’s construction costs were completely underwritten by a Japanese car manufacturing company in our town and built on the campus of Faith Church. In collaboration with our city’s mayor and dozens of local contractors and suppliers, officials from Subaru Indiana Automotive formally gave Faith the keys to Safe Haven in a recent ceremony and entrusted us to begin serving area victims at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives.

As I watched this story unfold, I was reminded of Paul’s words to the Ephesians:

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Orchestrated by God

Safe Haven Ceremony 2Only an Almighty God could lead a city’s mayor, the director of the Red Cross, and leaders from the local Japanese car plant to construct a home for disaster victims on a church’s property and then in their own words, “Hand Faith the keys and walk away.”

Oh, one more thing; I received word yesterday that the Red Cross wants to honor Faith at their upcoming annual meeting with their distinguished “Good Neighbor Award.” I chuckled as I thought about a community organization giving us an award for accepting an unbelievable gift from a local manufacturer orchestrated by the town’s mayor. Yea, God is that good.

Biblical Counseling—Blessing the Community

So humanly speaking, how did all of this come about, and why is this story on the BCC’s blog? It is because we have been trying for over 30 years now to use biblical counseling as a means of being a blessing to our town. We make between 50-75 hours of BC services available to hurting men and women from our community every week. We are not interested in being a political action committee or positioning ourselves as angry proponents of the religious right. We simply want to follow Jesus’ command to “Let your light shine among men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your God who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Over time these kinds of services start to make a difference in the community. The judges notice. The neighbors notice. The reporters notice. The educators notice. The social service providers notice. The manufacturers notice. The policemen notice.

And, of course, we don’t want them to notice us. We want them to notice the God of heaven and earth who offers hope and answers and love and grace to men and women suffering in a sin-cursed world.

Safe Haven Ceremony 3We are beyond fired up about the many ministry opportunities that will come our way as we serve these dear victims from our community. Meeting the trauma of domestic violence or the loss of one’s home with the compassion of Christ and the beauty of the gospel takes our breath away.

Our experience with community-based biblical counseling is that over time amazing things start to happen. Like a Japanese auto maker providing a community asset for a local church. All I can say is, “Yay, God. I love serving You.”

Join the Conversation

How can your church’s biblical counseling ministry impact your community with Christ’s compassion?