Our goal is to serve people in their times of need and to partner with churches in their pastoral care. We seek to offer care that is rooted in Christian wisdom and applied to the problems of life.
We seek to be marked by three major commitments:
The Love of God. To have a philosophy of care for people requires having a philosophy of people. We believe people thrive and flourish in a loving relationship with their Maker. Christians believe that God created people with great dignity and value, but that the good creation has been deeply marred by the existence of evil. To speak of the goodness of God and the suffering of humanity leads to a place of great mystery. And yet the Bible teaches that the evil of greatest concern comes from the heart of humanity. We turn against God and against each other, and this leads to great misery. We are people who sin and are sinned against. When we are wronged or see others wronged, we are moved to anger and long for justice. Similarly, when God sees the evil in the world, he also expresses anger and will bring his justice. He wants more for His creation. Christians believe that God did not stay far from humanity in our need, but that He came close to us in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived and died for us, to take away our guilt and God’s justifiable anger, and to give us new life. This underlying philosophy changes all of life for Christians. For our core Christian commitments, see God’s Plan of Salvation.
The love of neighbor. The desire to love neighbor should drive Christians in all the work they do. We seek to care for people by learning as much as we can about the problems of life, and to care for people wisely and lovingly. Yet care that is clinically informed should never feel clinical. If you don’t know your counselor cares about you, it’s hard to build a working partnership and accomplish the goals of counseling. Love drives our efforts to constantly continue education, make every effort toward caring interaction, offer generosity of sliding scales, and abide by a high standard of pastoral counseling ethics. For a statement of our ethical standards, see the AACC Code of Ethics.
Speaking truth in love. If love of God and neighbor are to motivate a Christian care center, the end result should be wise words said well to meet the need of the moment. Love must motivate listening and collaborative exploration. Love must motivate intervening with insights and encouragements. Love must motivate the harder words of challenge. The results must be entrusted to God, but our prayer is to offer a service like we see in Proverbs 25:13: “Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.” We believe that no one counseling orientation speaks expansively enough to address the problems of humanity. So we seek to be eclectic in our approach and oriented toward Christian wisdom. For a statement of our philosophy, see the CCEF Model of Care.