The Church as a Culture of Care: Finding Hope in Biblical Community
We all know people in our world are struggling—eating disorders, addictions, depression, sexual issues, marital problems—the list goes on and on. Can the church help or is that an outdated concept that no longer fits modern problems? In The Church as a Culture of Care, biblical counselor Dale Johnson explains that the church is still the primary place where those who struggle can receive lasting hope and healing.
Pastors and lay leaders in the church often feel inadequate to address certain needs and are unsure of how to help. This book is designed to help erase the stigma of “mental health issues” in the church and to present the church as the primary haven for answers to deep-seated human problems. Readers will learn that God has designed every function of the church to be an integral part of soul care. God has provided the church with the necessary resources for us to care well for one another. Prayer, the Word, the work of the Holy Spirit, and Christian community are God’s provisions to lead all of us to Christ—even those with the deepest struggles.
Counselors, ministers, and lay leaders will be empowered to have confidence in God’s purpose for the church, the power of his Spirit, and the sufficiency of his Word for soul care.
“Historically speaking, the church has been the place where people in need of care received care. Toward that end, Dale Johnson has written a brief but powerful call to the church to reclaim this essential mission. As a pastor and counselor, I was encouraged and reinvigorated for this important work. If there were any doubts as to the church’s role in this vital work of counseling ministry, look no further than Dale’s excellent primer.”
Jonathan D. Holmes, Pastor of Counseling, Parkside Church; executive director, Fieldstone Counseling
“Dale Johnson shows that a high view of Scripture leads to a high view of the church and its essential role in soul care. He rightly contends that Christ is both true standard of what God intends to be ‘normal’ for humanity and the model for elders/pastors in caring for the sheep. I am hopeful that this book will contribute to the restoration of biblical soul care in the church.”
Jim Newheiser, Director of the Christian Counseling Program, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC
“Dale Johnson has written a very compelling book to show pastors and others how, by God’s grace and in love, to help those in their church become more like our Lord Jesus Christ. Many seminaries and pastors have embraced the world’s philosophies on how to help people solve their emotional problems. People are in pain and are seeking relief, but only giving them the world’s opinions on how to solve emotional problems robs them of the joy and peace that can only be found in Christ. Johnson has clearly, thoroughly, and biblically laid out his case. This book is amazing, and I highly recommend it not only to pastors but to anyone seeking a Christ-centered, God-glorifying view of the responsibility of the local church to shepherd its flock.”
Martha Peace, ACBC certified counselor; author of The Excellent Wife
“In this excellent work, Dr. Dale Johnson reestablishes both the care and the competency of what Jesus Christ intended for the church in discipling and counseling the deeper hurts and sinful failings of the soul. The Church as a Culture of Care thoughtfully illustrates how the church should be focused not only on the public but also the private ministry of the Word (Acts 20:20). It is the responsibility of the church, with complete reliance on the full sufficiency of the Word of God, to minister the whole counsel of God to the man or woman of God (Psalm 1:1–2; 33:4). Only within this ecclesiastical caring context will the suffering Christian receive true hope and help from God’s absolute and authoritative Word. This book is a must-read for any Christian who desires to disciple and counsel others, especially pastors, elders, and church leaders. It is a gold mine of insight!”
John D. Street, Chair, Graduate Department of Biblical Counseling, The Master’s University & Seminary
T. Dale Johnson Jr., MDiv, PhD, is the Executive Director of The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and the Director of Counseling Programs and Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as an associate pastor and continues to seek the strengthening of the church by training pastors and members to minister in their local churches. He is the author of The Church as a Culture of Care. Dale and his wife Summer live in Kansas City, Missouri with their six precious children.