The Importance of Soul Care

Responsibility and Relationships


"Soul care" may sound strange, but it’s a vital component of the health of a church. Through soul care a pastor tends to the spiritual needs of the congregation. In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, Dr. John Henderson speaks on the importance of soul care in the local church.


John is the Executive Director of the Center for Church Equipping, which is a training arm of the Association of Biblical Counselors, a pastor, and author of several books including Equipped to Counsel: A Training Program in Biblical Counseling.




Church leaders and pastors carry the responsibility of caring for the souls of the people in their congregation. It’s not a task to neglect or cover up with programs. Instead, we should commit ourselves to the care of church members. 

When you hear, “soul care,” what comes to mind? Why?
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Would you say that soul care is an important aspect of your church? Why or why not?
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Ephesians 4:16 (ESV)

16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


John used Ephesians 4:16 as a model for church ministries and soul care. How does your church handle the balance between church ministries and intentional relationships? Would you describe your ministries as helping or stifling biblical relationships? Why?
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What practical steps could you and your church take this week toward growth in soul care?
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 Soul care means you tend to the souls of the people in your church. Evaluate how your church cares for its members this week. Take a look at your ministries and discern how they help or hurt relationships and community. Make changes where you see fit as you promote the health of Christ’s body.


You can find more on counseling and the church from John in the course The Church that Counsels


To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.