At Redemption: Twin Cities, a guiding verse for ministry and Christ-like care is 1 Thessalonians 5:14: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” This verse provides biblical categories that help us care for people, meeting the needs of the moment. At some point we will all be in each of these categories, and sometimes all three at once. I love this verse because it shows us precisely how God cares for us in any of these three categories. The verse ends with an important reminder: no matter what we are doing, “be patient with them all.”
At a macro level, we see R:TC providing this care to God’s people in two main ways. First, we care directly for the individuals. We seek to provide care in a Christ-like and patient way to all people, no matter their struggle. Over the past year, we hired two new counselors to care for counselees through individual, marriage, and group counseling. We counseled individuals near and far from over sixty-five churches all over the Twin Cities and around the world. We counseled people on six continents, such as missionaries who serve in hard to reach corners of the world and need help. In our efforts to care for those in oppressed relationships, we spent hundreds of hours directly counseling women experiencing abuse. We have come alongside pastors and churches to help develop plans of care and immediate assistance. We ran two cycles of Men of Peace, which provides group counseling for men who struggle with abusive or manipulative behaviors. We started Covenant Mercy for Men, a new group for men who struggle with sexual addictions.
New Counselors: We are privileged for Josh Anderson and Sara Jacobson to have come on board this year as part-time counselors.
Second, we are privileged to serve the church through our equipping ministry, which provides training for how to care for one another. After much testing in 2018, we rolled out a new lab-based training, Taste & See Together. It is a one-day intensive training to help people in the church get a taste for what a 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ministry looks like not only in theory but in practice. At the end, participants indicated in a survey that they left encouraged to better care for others, inspired to ask more curious questions, and practically equipped to have better small group conversations. We offered two consultation groups for current Westminster and CCEF counseling students, providing a place to receive mentoring and support as they begin biblically counseling others.
As we prayerfully look forward to 2020, we aspire to be faithful to God’s calling as we provide counseling and equipping ministry to our community. We want to be people who admonish, encourage, and help wisely and patiently as we join this effort with local churches. As we turn the page into 2020, here are a few of our hopes and dreams:
Care for Pastors & Ministry Leaders: One area that we have seen an increasing need is care for ministry leaders. Pastors and their wives often feel the pressure to “have it all together” and as a result don’t reach out for help when they need it. In 2019, we started offering ministry marriage checkups to pastors and church leaders, and have seen a growing need to proactively care for church leaders. Going forward, we would like to offer more support to marriages in ministry so that they can have a safe place to discuss the struggles of life and ministry openly and honestly.
Training: We continue to see a growing need for church-based training in challenging areas such as abuse, suicidal depression, and sexuality. In 2020, we hope to begin offering trainings in these areas, in addition to continuing to offer our new small group training curriculum, Taste & See Together. Also we want to provide further training and consultation groups for beginning and lay counselors in local churches.
Group Counseling: We desire to increase the number of group counseling opportunities we provide, such as Men of Peace and Covenant Mercy for Men. Additionally, we would like to begin offering group counseling for women.
Church Consultations & Partnerships: We want to connect with churches and deepen partnerships with churches. Our desire is to serve the church as it cares for and equips its people. We hope to provide consulting services to churches starting counseling ministries, and to offer new trainings to equip leaders to wisely care for difficult people through church-based counseling ministry.
Individual & Marriage Counseling: We hope to hire new counselors this year to meet our ever-growing demand for individual and couples counseling.
As 2019 comes to an end, please consider how you can partner with R:TC to accomplish the important work God has blessed us with. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Pray for us. Pray we will be faithful and hopeful. Pray for the plans we have mentioned in this letter.
- Help us connect to churches. We would love to serve your church. We are setting up appointments to collaborate and discuss ideas. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join us as a monthly partner. Your gift directly enables our counseling and equipping ministries by covering 30% of the costs.
To provide greater, wider, and deeper care, however, we need you and your church’s prayers and help financially. We want our ministry to better serve you and your church body. We want to join you as you equip your church to be a safe place for the oppressed, a church with a caring culture, where shame over sin does not reign and where people meet God through the love of one another.
Would you consider giving a Year-End gift to R:TC by clicking the link at the top right of this page “Give to R:TC”
Thank you for your support of R:TC.
Grace and peace,