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Biblical Soul Care

Providing Biblical counsel and support to Ascend Church and our local community

Find help and hope in Christ for your hurts and struggles.

Life can be challenging – but God’s Word has answers for what you’re going through. The Biblical Soul Care team at Ascend Church seeks to provide biblical direction and help.

We all face challenges in our lives.

Most forms of counseling provide empathy without biblical guidance for lasting change. Whether you’re struggling with sin, suffering, or direction, Biblical Soul Care is a form of counseling that will provide instruction and hope from the authoritative and sufficient Word of God, leading to life transformation in Christ.

WHY BIBLICAL SOUL CARE?

The purpose of Ascend Soul Care is to help people glorify God with their thoughts, words, and actions by the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the instruction of God’s Word.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Sex
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Finances
  • Abuse
  • Faith / Doubt
  • Other challenges

If you have trouble connecting with us and are in an emergency situation, please call 911 immediately.

What to Expect

Intentionality

Work with trained volunteers who care for your soul and show you the compassion of Christ.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is an important aspect of the counseling process, and we will carefully guard the information you entrust to us.

Practicality

Get biblical answers with practical steps on how to implement lasting change.

Our Volunteers

Depending on your struggle, you’ll be helped by one of our volunteers:

Advocate

A person who is committed to the sufficiency of scripture, supports biblical counsel, and is willing to come alongside in support of a counselee during the counseling process. Your advocate will pray with you and for you, encourage you, and hold you accountable to grow in Christ-likeness.

Coaches or Lay Counselors

A person who is devoted to the sufficiency of scripture and is willing to use their area of expertise to offer biblically-based counsel to a person in need (marriage, parenting, depression, finances, etc).

Ready to find hope and healing?

1. Apply for Counseling

Work with trained volunteers who care for your soul and show you the compassion of Christ.

2. Attend Consultation

Confidentiality is an important aspect of the counseling process, and we will carefully guard the information you entrust to us.

3. Get Care

Get biblical answers with practical steps on how to implement lasting change.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does counseling at Ascend cost?

There is no charge for our counseling services at Ascend Church. There will be charges for any materials utilized in the counseling sessions (books, pamphlets, etc).

Are Ascend counselors licensed or trained professionals?

Ascend Soul Care is not a professional service. Our counseling team consists of pastors, counseling staff, lay counselors, coaches, and trainees. The counselors are not trained as and do not counsel as licensed psychologists, licensed psychiatrists, state-certified therapists, or any other type of professional mental health care provider.

How is Ascend counseling different from secular counseling?

Biblical counseling provides a distinctive approach to sin and suffering that may look different from secular counseling. Biblical counseling is guided by three distinct principles:

  1. The Bible is God’s Word given to us. When properly interpreted, it can reveal everything we need to understand our need for Christ, how we can submit to and follow him, and how we can honor Him with our lives.
  2. The Bible is the ultimate source of truth and guides all that we do, and we reject any principles that are inconsistent with biblical teaching.
  3. Our counselors and coaches do not pretend to know all there is to know about biblical teaching and its application to life; nevertheless, they do know much and will do their utmost to help you. Biblical counseling and coaching consist of the giving of scriptural advice and the practical application of the same to each individual.

For more details on our beliefs, please visit the ACBC website.

What issues can I address with biblical counseling?

We offer premarital coaching, financial coaching, family counseling, group counseling, and individual counseling. God has answers for every issue a person experiences. We can offer biblical solutions and support for whatever you are going through.

How is biblical soul care different from secular therapy?

  • Biblical soul care relies on the Bible for God’s perspective and answers to your problem, while secular therapy relies on man’s thoughts.
  • Biblical soul care calls you to action to desire, think, and live differently based on God’s purpose for your life.
  • Biblical soul care provides support, encouragement, and accountability every day of the week through church community.
  • Biblical soul care provides real, lasting hope founded on God’s promises for you.
  • Biblical soul care is short-term because you will be equipped to navigate your current and future difficulties.

Can Ascend counseling be combined with secular therapy?

Many times, our counselees are seeing a secular therapist. Due to competing philosophies of counseling, we do not recommend someone see a secular therapist at the same time as one of our biblical counselors (this does not include medical doctors). If, however, you are currently seeing a secular counselor and want to continue to see them during biblical counseling, please discuss that with your counselor to decide the best course of action. If you do remain seeing your secular therapist, you will have to commit to following biblical instruction when it contradicts or competes with your secular therapy.

What can I expect from a counseling session?

You will be cared for by a counselor who listens and considers your current circumstances. You will read from the Bible and learn what it means, the hopeful promises it contains, and how to apply it to your current problem. Lastly, you will walk out with a plan of growth. We ask our counselees to come prepared to review their progress throughout the last week, including the completion of personalized “homework” assignments. We ask you to share your goals for the present meeting and attend all scheduled sessions to the best of your ability.

How long do sessions last?

Your consultation appointment, which outlines what you can expect from the process, will last approximately 30 minutes. Each counseling session will last from 60-90 minutes depending on the schedule you and your counselor determine works the best.

How do I schedule an Ascend counseling session?

Please submit the counseling application on our website, and we will be in touch to discuss further consultations and placement options with one of our biblical counselors.

How do I cancel a session?

Please call the church office a minimum of 24 hours prior to your appointment to respect the time of the biblical counselor.

Do I need to bring anything?

Please bring your Bible (if you do not have one, one will be provided), a notebook, and any homework materials assigned during your counseling sessions.

Do I have to be a member of Ascend to get biblical counseling?

While we do prioritize individuals who are currently members of Ascend Church, we offer counseling to anyone in our church community, including those without a church home and individuals who are involved with other churches.

Is there a privacy policy?

Confidentiality is an important aspect of the counseling process. We carefully guard the information you entrust to us to the fullest extent possible. However, we do not promise confidentiality. There are times when counseling information may be shared outside the Ascend Soul Care context. Those exceptions would include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) if a person expresses intent to harm himself/herself or someone else;
(2) other credible intent to harm self or others;
(3) if there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of abuse against a minor, child, elder person, or dependent adult;
(4) the intent to take criminal actions or violence against another person;
(5) active suicidal thoughts or intentions;
(6) consult with their supervision;
(7) matters of church discipline;
(8) if a person persistently refuses to renounce a particular sin (habitual unrepentant rebellion against the Word of God) and it becomes necessary to seek the assistance of others in the church to encourage repentance, restoration, and reconciliation (see Matthew 18:15-20).

Counselors reserve the right and discretion to contact any and all appropriate entities when, as a result of the counseling, it is clear that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed or the safety and welfare of any person (including the counselee) are in jeopardy. The counselor is not required to notify the counselee in advance of any such contact with the appropriate entities.

Join Our Team

Providing help, hope, and healing to those in need of care

Volunteers are essential to providing biblical soul care to our church and community. With Ascend Church, you can train to walk with others through challenging seasons of life and point them towards the hope found in Christ.

If interested in volunteering with this ministry, please schedule a time to meet with us and discuss what role might work best for you.

Connect with Us

Counseling Opportunities

Our counseling ministry revolves around several different types of roles. Explore these roles to determine which one is the best fit for you!

Advocate

Do you: 
  • Love to encourage others and help those that are hurting?
  • Desire to see people grow and change into Christlikeness?
  • Enjoy praying for the needs of others?
Position Description: 

An advocate is a person who is committed to the sufficiency of scripture, supports biblical counsel, and is willing to commit to coming alongside in support of a counselee.  

Qualifications:
  • Communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to keep confidential and sensitive information.
  • Ability to apply God’s word to your life. 
Duties: 
  • Pray for the counselee, faithfully.
  • Help provide a biblical perspective of the counselee’s situation and the counselor’s counsel.
  • Give regular encouragement to the counselee.
  • Be teachable and willing to learn through the counseling process.
  • Attend as many counseling sessions with the counselee as you can. 
  • Meet and/or communicate (phone, text, etc.) with the counselee at least once between counseling sessions.
Onboarding Process:
  • Read and sign policy and procedures document.
  • Read and sign that you have read and understand the Advocate Manual.
  • Pass background check.
  • Discuss position with Ascend Soul Care.

Coach

Do you: 
  • Have the passion to come alongside another and help bear their burden in love?
  • Find that others come to you to get advice on how to handle life’s issues?
  • Enjoy encouraging and helping others see life’s issues from a biblical perspective?
  • Know how to teach someone to look at God’s word and apply it to their life?
  • Have the gift of discernment? 
Position Description: 

A coach is a person who is devoted to the sufficiency of scripture and is willing to use their area of expertise to offer biblically-based counsel to a person in need (marriage, parenting, depression, finances, etc).

Qualifications:
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to keep confidential and sensitive information.
  • Teachable and able to apply the word of God to their own life as well as use biblical wisdom to care for others effectively and help them apply God’s word to their situation. 
Duties:
  • Complete the path and/or curriculum that a counselor has determined for counseling (see attached online training guide).
  • Continually and proficiently teach and apply God’s Word to your own life and to the counselee’s life and issue(s).
  • Demonstrate the biblical character outlined in the Soul Care Ministries policies and procedures. 
  • Be available to walk a counselee through approximately 12 weeks of counsel.
  • Continue your education and training in how to give biblical counsel. 
Onboarding Process:
  • Complete reading and training in “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul Tripp.
  • Read and sign policy and procedures document.
  • Complete a background check.
  • Interview with the Director of Discipleship.
  • Input notes into Biblicare.
  • Attend quarterly Soul Care Team meetings. 

Administrator

Do you: 
  • Like to help people, projects, and processes become more organized?
  • Enjoy efficiency and effectiveness and helping people and processes improve in those areas?
  • Understand a long-term goal and can identify steps to meet that goal?
Position Description: 

A person who is gifted in administration and is willing to help organize those with other gifts and keep the church functioning at its most efficient best. This person would assist in counselee intake, assist counselors, and maintain confidentiality. They also have the ability to complete needed tasks in a timely manner. 

Qualifications:
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong computer skills.
  • Ability to handle stress and problem solve.
  • Ability to keep confidential and sensitive information.
Duties (Please let us know where you feel like your gifts and schedule fit):
  • Enter Personal Data Information into Biblicare database.
  • Send scheduling calendar invites to counseling applicants to schedule consultation appointments. 
  • Follow up with counselors to ensure counselees are contacted and scheduled.
  • Follow up with counselors to ensure counseling notes are entered into Biblicare.
  • Reach out to Advocate volunteers to assist in counseling. 
  • Ensure counseling records remain confidential.
  • Attend quarterly team meetings (may be virtual or in-person).
Onboarding Process:
  • Read and sign policy and procedures document.
  • Interview with Director of Discipleship.
  • Pass background check.
  • Complete Biblicare Database online training. 

Thank you for offering to use your gifts of administration in the Soul Care ministry. Please let us know what duties you think your gifts are geared towards. Our goal is to have multiple volunteers to meet the administrative needs of the ministry. A volunteer would have some of the duties listed, but not necessarily all of them. 

Ready to get trained to serve in our counseling ministry?

1. Connect with Us

After exploring the three distinct roles, schedule a time to meet with us to discuss the Soul Care Ministry and determine what role will be the best fit for you and your skillset.

2. Attend a Training

Each spring and fall, Ascend Church hosts training sessions to help you become equipped to serve within the counseling ministry. Additional training opportunities will also be offered throughout the year.

3. Start Serving

Once you’ve received training, you’ll be equipped to help those in our church and community who are struggling. You will also receive further training in order to help you progress through our different volunteer positions!

Who We Are

Ascend Church is a nondenominational Christian church located in the suburbs of Kansas City. We are committed to seeing lost people saved, saved people matured, and mature people multiplied to the glory of God.

Our Affiliations

Our Counselors

Chad McKinley

Director of Discipleship

Chad is the Director of Discipleship at Ascend Church, primarily overseeing the small group and soul care ministries. These two ministries are near to his heart because God uses them to transform and deepen people’s relationship with Christ.

Chad grew up in the church and, for many years, thought being a good person would get him to heaven. In 1995, God led Chad’s family to a church where he heard the gospel for the first time. Instead of good works saving him, he heard the truth that he must trust and believe in Christ and His work in order to have a relationship with Him. God opened his eyes and heart, and Chad committed to have Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Chad has a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Arts degrees in Biblical Counseling and Divinity from Baptist Bible College and Graduate School. As a counselor, he is certified through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Chad is married to Maggie, and they have three daughters (Rowan, Bristol, Isla) and two sons (Hudson, Titus). He enjoys spending time with his family, playing superheroes and princesses. He is also a lifelong Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan.

Ursla McCarthy

Associate Director – Biblical Soul Care

Ursla is the Associate Director of Soul Care at Ascend Church and a full-time biblical counselor, working to grow and strengthen our members to counsel the Word of God not only to themselves but to others.

Ursla is a Veteran spouse and after many years of trying to manage the military life outside of her relationship with Jesus Christ, God, in His mercy, brought her to a valley where her only option was to look up. She rededicated her life to living for Christ in 1997 and has not looked back.

Ursla has a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling and Christian Women Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary and College of the Bible. She is also certified through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Ursla is married to Bob, and they have 3 sons and 1 daughter-in-law. Ursla enjoys fishing, working out, and going to the range with her husband.

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