Why do you call counseling “gospel care”?
The term gospel care reflects our conviction that counseling occurs across a broad spectrum of gospel-centered relationships (both formal and informal) within the local church: from gospel conversations with a friend, to one-on-one discipleship, to small group sanctification (spiritual growth) in a CareGroup, to meeting with a more highly-trained counselor. We call this “a continuum of care” because the focus, depth, and intensity of care increases as one moves across the spectrum of gospel care.
At one end of the continuum of care is a formal counseling relationship with a trained biblical counselor. This kind of focused care is for the person who feels stuck--in a particular sin or in an unhealthy pattern of behavior or a destructive relationship or trying to heal from a personal loss or haunted by the past--or who has experienced some deep trauma--perhaps a bereavement, or a betrayal of relationship (such as divorce), or a life-threatening illness--and realizes that they need specialized care that will enable them to get back on track and live more confidently in God’s grace.
If this describes you, read below to see how you can meet with one of our staff counselors.
What role do CareGroups play?
CareGroups play a vital role in the gospel care process by functioning as a regular means by which disciples of Jesus at New Covenant experience the ministry of God’s grace in community with other disciples. Within CareGroups believers both give and receive counsel, care, and correction grounded in the truth of God’s Word and applied humbly in a spirit of Christ-like love. We firmly believe that faithful CareGroup participation is essential for every member of New Covenant and is the starting point for dealing with difficult issues in one’s life.
Click here to find out more about CareGroups.
Who can receive counseling?
Any member or regular attender of New Covenant Bible Church who is willing to prayerfully receive biblical counsel and seek to honor God by cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the process of gospel-centered, grace-motivated change.
Members of our larger community in the Fox Valley region who are not part of a local church.
What should I do if I would like to receive counsel/care?
Contact the Director of the Center for Gospel Care, Frank Chihowski, to determine who is best equipped to provide care for you given your particular circumstances. He will coordinate for you to meet with either your CareGroup leader, a lay counselor, an elder, a pastor, or a staff counselor. If it is determined that you will be best served by meeting with a lay or staff counselor, you will be asked to fill out a Personal Information Form prior to your first meeting.
Frank Chihowski can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Who are New Covenant’s staff counselors?
David Sommer - Staff Counselor
David serves New Covenant as an elder and as a biblical counselor. David also provides counseling to the local community through his counseling practice, Cross Care Counseling. If you are looking for counseling but do not attend New Covenant you can contact him at email@example.com
David has completed the Advanced Counseling program from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF www.ccef.org). He formerly served as an elder for four years at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY and was an associate pastor at New Covenant and Fox Valley Bible Church before devoting himself entirely to biblical counseling in 2013.
David was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. He has earned degrees from the University of Illinois and the University of Kentucky. It was at the University of Illinois that David’s faith in Christ was ignited. As a result he became active in campus ministry and in his local church. David met his wife Kris through the Navigators campus ministry at the U of I, and they married in 1989. In 1993 God blessed David and Kris with their son, Grant. The Sommers live in Elgin.
Karen Aldridge - Staff Counselor
Karen has served New Covenant in the area of Gospel Care since Sept. 2013. She has a passion, not only to help people connect their circumstances with what God is doing in their lives, but to encourage the one-anothering that God has called all believers to.
Karen has completed the entire certificate program offered by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (www.ccef.org). This comprehensive course of study has included courses in a biblical view of personal change, developing effective helping relationship and caring ministries within the local church, understanding counseling problems and procedures in both individual and marriage counseling, developing the essential qualities of a biblical counselor, and counseling observation.