That pretty much sums up the human experience, doesn’t it? People encounter pain, then their pain trickles down to the people in their lives. Unless someone or something steps in to stop the cycle, the pain keeps spreading. Who will step in? Who will extend a hand to help the hurting?
FBCA’s Pastoral Care Ministries are prepared to do just that. Take a moment right now and get an up-close look at two ministries that work hard to help people find healing, peace, and a renewed relationship with God.
Since our Did You Know? series aims to not only tell you about the ministries that FBCA is engaged with, but also to tell you where and how our World Mission Offering and the FBCA Budget is directed into ministry, let’s get started with the big picture of what part of our gifts go to Pastoral Care Engagements:
For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the total given to Pastoral Care Engagements will exceed $115,000.
Soteria Family Services: $62,910 per year
Soteria is probably not a word you run into every day of the week. But it’s a concept that resonates with everything we’re about as believers because soteria is the Greek word for salvation. That’s what our church and the Soteria counseling ministry are all about – salvation.
Soteria’s ministry vision is to provide counseling services to people who are experiencing brokenness. Sometimes, it’s offered one-on-one with a counselor. Other times, it’s a group therapy experience. Maybe it’s a child therapy session where a trained counselor knows how to “get down on their level” and help very young children talk about the hard, confusing feelings they have.
From premarital counseling for those who are ready to start a new chapter in life – to grief support for those who have closed a chapter in life, Soteria is able to provide care – and care can lead to renewed hope.
Joe Eastham leads Soteria Family Services, along with a staff that includes therapists and psychologists who are contracted with Soteria. All therapists and psychologists have extensive education and training, and each is licensed by their state boards. At Soteria, every counselor is a mature Christian who is following the Jesus way. Soteria provides professional behavioral health services from a distinctly Christian worldview.
Soteria is a 501(c)3 single-member corporation founded by FBCA in 2018, building upon the strong foundation of the Center for Counseling and Enrichment which began in July 2002. Soteria has a “working board” that includes both FBCA members and non-FBCA members. In the first half of 2018, Soteria ministered to 1,178 client unitsin settings that included:
♦ Class Style / Group Therapy
♦ Child Therapy
♦ Career/Vocational Guidance
♦ Adolescent Therapy
♦ Individual Counseling
♦ Family Therapy
♦ ADD/ADHD Testing & Therapy
♦ Marriage Counseling
♦ Premarital Counseling
♦ Grief Support
♦ Chemical Dependency Counseling
♦ Stress Management
♦ Educational Assessment
♦ Psychological Assessment
While part of its current budget is provided through FBCA giving, Soteria’s counseling services are offered on a fee basis with medical insurance and other third-party benefits accepted. The ministry’s goal is move toward financial independence so that contributions from the church are used for direct ministry-related activities, especially in areas that could reach “at risk” populations in our community. The staff at Soteria welcomes opportunities to speak to groups, conferences, breakout sessions, and other events, too.
For more information about Soteria Family Services, go to: www.fbca.org/counseling
Living Hope Ministries: $52,635 per year
Relational wholeness. Everyone wants it – but the definitive measure of relational wholeness is the hottest potato tossed around these days.
Living Hope Ministries, which began in 1989, believes relational wholeness begins not with our relationships with others, but with God’s relationship with each one of us. “Everything starts with God” is how they like to start the discussion. Before everything, there was God – the beginning, the Creator, the sustainer of life and of the universe. Then God created man and woman, both unique and both in the image of God. God had a plan for man and woman and this earth He created for them to care for and be the beneficiaries of. God’s relationship with humanity is defined by His love for us. Everything starts with God.
And that’s where Living Hope Ministries starts, too. Its mission is “to proclaim God’s truth as we journey with those who are seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
As our world and our culture has explored defining its own interpretation of what sexual expression can be (or what should be accepted as the norm), many have found that their relationship with God has broken down. Where can they look to find help for the complexity of these struggles?
Living Hope Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational, 501(c)3 organization founded in 1989. Now, almost 30 years later, Living Hope Ministries (LHM) has developed into a worldwide ministry and outreach to those who are struggling and seeking sexual and relational wholeness. LHM provides support, education, and help for:
♦ Youth/Young Adults
♦ Friends and Family
♦ Men (single and married)
♦ Women (single and married)
♦ Wives of men who struggle with same gender attractions
♦ Churches, schools, universities, pastors, and leaders
LHM provides free in-person support groups, one-on-one pastoral counseling and mentoring, online support forums, and education and training for the church and community. LHM proclaims a Christ-centered, biblical worldview of sexual expression rooted in one man and one woman in a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for life. Anything less than this ideal falls short of God’s best for humanity.
As homosexuality, gender confusion, and sexual and relational brokenness become more accepted in our culture, Living Hope Ministries serves as aresource and support for local congregations throughout the world who desire to journey with men, women, youth, wives, and families as they seek to align their lives with the truths of God’s Word. LHM’s desire is both to equip churches with a deeper understanding of sexual and relational issues and to offer specific support to men and women who are directly affected by homosexuality.
The doctrinal beliefs of LHM align with those of FBCA. Specifically:
♦ Everything starts with God.
♦ Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
♦ The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God.
♦ Bible is the word of God.
♦ The Church is the body of Christ.
♦ Mankind is inherently inclined towards evil.
♦ The Gospel is transformational.
♦ Christ will return.
♦ Salvation is God’s gift of grace through faith to all who believe.
♦ Man is created by God uniquely male or uniquely female.
♦ Marriage is between one biologically born male and one biologically born female, for life.
LHM’s vision is to develop resources and materials:
♦ for parents of children (all ages) addressing sexual and relational issues
♦ on how to identify early signs of gender confusion and how to engage purposefully for gender and sexual congruence
♦ to educate parents/educators on embracing the inherent goodness of our created selves as uniquely male or female image bearers of God.
♦ to educate churches and institutions on creating confessional environments where questions can be honestly addressed, real needs can be met, and healing can be nurtured in community.
Because of the uniqueness of this ministry and the changing cultural climate, a close partnership with FBCA is strategic for Living Hope Ministries. Thus, FBCA is a significant donor to LHM. Additional funds come through donor gifts and fees/sales of resources. Ricky Chelette, Executive Director, maintains a close partnership with the FBCA staff, which he has been part of for more 20 years.
Did you know:
♦ Living Hope spoke and taught at 11 state and/or national conferences.
♦ Taught at 10 educational institutions (Seminaries, Universities and schools).
♦ Spoke in 9 states in 42 different churches.
♦ Conducted 140 interviews with individuals for group participation.
♦ Invested over 638 hours in mentoring relationships.
♦ Spent over 1205 hours in support groups for men, women, and friends of family of those who struggle.
♦ Operates satellite campuses in Denton and Houston, TX.
Did you know that Living Hope runs the world’s largest online support groups for those impacted by same-sex attraction? These forums connect over 20,000 people in over 170 countries. The online support forums have over 1,075,000 posts from over 9,570 active participants.
Did you know that LHM sponsors a Hope House? This is a one-year discipleship program for men, ages 18-26, that focuses on accountability and maturity.
Whether the struggle is same-sex attraction, homosexuality, gender confusion, or broken relationships caused by those struggles, Living Hope brings hope through genuine care and compassionate ministries.
Living Hope Ministries offer help – and hope – to individuals and families – because everything starts with God, the source of true hope.
For more information:
♦ Download the LHM app at subsplash.com/livinghopeministries/app to access a variety of resources.
♦ Go to livehope.org