S.A.F.E Counseling exists as a nondenominational lay ministry outreach because church pastors and staff should not carry the encumbrance of ministry alone and the church should minister within itself (Ephesians 4:16). God created individuals with specific gifts (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:4-8) so that they can work within ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). As followers of Christ, we are to carry on the great commission and biblical counseling is just that – evangelistic (Proverbs 9:1-6). We want to be able to provide a means of offering hope to the world.
The need for counseling is growing; the need for counselors will increase 40% more by 2020. Many today, followers and non-followers alike, have lost hope; Christ is the hope of the world (Romans 1:16, Matthew 5:13-16). What better way to assist in evangelism than providing a free service of a listening ear? Often times, the common member, within the congregation, or a member of the community would not feel comfortable talking about their issues with a pastor for a number of reasons. We want to provide a way to better assist the overall mission of the church so that all will be able to see the glory of God through counseling.
The purpose of the ministry is defined by the acrostic SAFE, as outlined below. To be secure in Christ, one must affirm that God is in complete sovereign control. In order to have fellowship within the body, we must lift each other up and, in so doing, we are edifying the church.
Security in Christ
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).
Affirmation in Christ
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:6, ESV).
Fellowship within the Body
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42, ESV).
Edification of the Body
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13, ESV).
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV).