Vision, Mission and Philosophy
We want to be a church known for loving one another and our neighbors and that’s demonstrated in our hearts, hands and minds.
The Bible reveals God’s intention that we Christians live in vital relationship with Jesus Christ and one another. In so doing, we are committed to a life-long pursuit of becoming more like Him. We are committed to love one another by encouraging one another, supporting one another in practical ways, and providing compassionate care and counsel to one another as God’s Word directs us, thereby fulfilling the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-39).
Our vision is to serve and equip our church community in such a way that our membership will not only care for one another well, but will also have the opportunity to become a valuable resource for the DC Metro area, reaching others with the love of God through compassionate biblical care, and ultimately the Gospel, thus fulfilling 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
The Care and Counseling Ministry exists to provide compassionate, redemptive biblical care for the members of Covenant Life Church, as well as others in our neighboring community, who are suffering and in need of the gospel of grace, truth and freedom.
The Care and Counseling Team aims to oversee, train and equip church members, at differing levels, to provide biblical care and/or counsel to other members in need.
Our Understanding of Biblical Care and Counsel: Biblical care and counsel is both compassionate care and targeted discipleship occurring in both formal and informal trusting relationships. The goal of biblical care and counsel is to humbly and wisely help people by accepting them as God accepts them, affording them the opportunity to be heard and understood, and helping them to know God’s gospel and to live in light of its good. The fruit of biblical care and counsel is an increased desire for Christlikeness, as well as growth and grace as demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). We believe that Christians can be comforted, strengthened and nurtured in faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ in every circumstance of life.
The Human Condition: Our fallen condition requires the redeeming grace of the gospel to live a life that is pleasing to God. We know that human behavior is tied to the deepest motivations of the heart and sin’s physiological impacts on mind and body. Human beings are embodied souls, therefore we seek to understand and to be sensitive to all influencing factors - spiritual, physical, cultural, historical, familial - as we seek to comfort, strengthen and encourage all people in faith in Jesus Christ.
The Sufficiency of Scripture: As we read the Bible, God teaches us to see the world the way that He sees it and to see all things as they exist in relation to him. We believe the words of Bible speak to both the seemingly mundane and the extremely complex problems that are part of the fallen human condition. However, the sufficiency of Scripture is not simplistic. It means that the Bible contains everything God wants us to know and what we need to know for salvation and for trusting and obeying Him. We believe that people can also benefit from other resources in addition to the Bible.
The Work of Christ: The good news (the gospel) of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, present intercession, and promised return brings hope to any and every conceivable personal and relational difficulty. Jesus, our faithful Redeemer, enables us to persevere in the midst of our problems. We understand that traumatic or life-altering trials can bring unspeakable suffering which takes an equal measure of time to work through. We also understand that, in dealing with sin, change is often slow and difficult. Jesus promises to abide in us as we abide in him. He gives grace for healing, recovery, and growth so that we can walk in wisdom. Our spiritual union with him in His death and resurrection is the foundation of our hope and motivation for change.
The Role of the Holy Spirit: As the Holy Spirit applies the redemptive work of Christ to the hearts of His people, He draws us to Christ in faith and convicts us of sin. The Holy Spirit also works through the words of truth of the counselor so that repentance is made possible, forgiveness is found in Christ and growth in sanctification and spiritual maturity occurs. The Holy Spirit’s power enables us to walk in the Spirit, thus obeying Christ’s commands and bringing glory to our Heavenly Father. This work of the Holy Spirit is the only means by which lasting, effective change is made in our understanding and approach to issues in life, relationships and eternity.
The Role of the Church: In providing biblical counsel, we as the church are called to make wise application of biblical truths and grace to our own lives, and to others’ lives also. We believe that the church is responsible for loving graciously and wisely, speaking truth carefully, and providing wisdom from God’s Word to all of its members and to the world. Church members are encouraged to seek counsel from God’s Word and within the church, which is rich with resources and relationships that are intended to be a powerful means of grace for believers.
The Role of Specialized Care: While we believe that the church is a primary means of grace and care for its members, there will be times when the Care and Counseling Ministry of Covenant Life Church may make referrals to outside organizations and caregivers in specialized fields. We understand that those who suffer from certain mental health disorders and physiological problems which affect the brain will often require ongoing medical and professional counsel and care. We recognize these professionals as a means of God’s common grace, and support members pursuing treatment and care that does not conflict with biblical principles and that collaborates with the CLC Care and Counseling Ministry.
The Role of the Church to Counsel: While we recognize that not every church member is completely equipped to help in every situation, we do believe that the people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, can offer biblical care and counsel to one another in humility and with grace. When the church rightly understands biblical care, and biblical care is occurring throughout the church, then the church is fulfilling the call of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Caring for others as God has graciously, patiently and kindly cared for us is the privilege and responsibility of believers in ministering to one another, and the desired hope for all care and counsel at Covenant Life Church.