New Life Counseling adds network value

By Robin Talley*, Photos by Daniel Yu | Jun 8, 2022

Jennifer Raftis, statewide director of New Life Counseling, says through the counseling journey, counselors seek to instill hope in the lives of clients.

During difficult times, people often turn to their pastors for guidance and support. The isolation, loss, division and stress of the past few years have created an even greater demand on pastors to provide counseling.

Many pastors may feel the issues facing church members today are beyond their abilities to offer quality help. Thanks to the longtime cooperation between Arizona Southern Baptist churches and

Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries (ABCS), pastors do not have to face this challenge alone.

Doing more, together

New Life Counseling (NLC), a ministry of ABCS, has been providing counseling services for Arizonans of all ages for more than a decade.

“We are unique in that not only do we use therapeutic techniques and counseling approaches, but God is ultimately our source of truth, and the Bible is still our guide,” said Jennifer Raftis, NLC statewide director.

By using the network of counselors at NLC, pastors can rest easy knowing that their church members will be receiving valuable counseling from trained behavioral health professionals who will not steer them away from biblical truth.

“The beauty of the network is that we can do more, together,” said Chris Chan, ABCS assistant executive director.

Mike Hattabaugh (right), a New Life counselor, talks with John Russo, pastor of Sabino Road Baptist Church in Tucson. Hattabaugh was the speaker for a Valentine’s Day event for married couples at the church.

Building up the body

In addition to supporting pastors by providing counseling to church members, NLC is also available to help pastors as they work to build up and strengthen the body, the church.

Sabino Road Baptist Church in Tucson wanted to encourage and support married couples in their church by hosting an event around Valentine’s Day. Pastor John Russo contacted NLC and Mike Hattabaugh, a counselor in Tucson, agreed to speak at the event.

“What a blessing it was to have an expert available to come alongside our church to provide a biblical message to strengthen marriages,” Russo said.

Sharing hope with the hurting

NLC has locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma. Video sessions are also available throughout Arizona. Pastors can refer church members to NLC to be matched with a counselor with the specific focus and training needed to provide high-quality counseling, but individuals may also contact NLC directly to begin counseling services.

“We work with people with mild to moderate issues such as anxiety, depression, family conflict, boundaries, transitions, and abuse as well as other issues,” Raftis said. “Our counselors’ hearts are to walk with clients in their counseling journey and instill hope in their lives. We long for individuals to move beyond their current struggles, find peace and healing, and hope they can create a meaningful relationship with God and others.”

Churches can also share hope by contributing to a sponsorship program that helps offer discounted rates for counseling services.

*Name changed for security

Robin Talley, longtime Arizona Southern Baptist, is a former Last Frontier missionary with the International Mission Board.

Daniel Yu, a member of Tucson Chinese Baptist Church, is owner of Daniel Yu Imaging.

Next Steps

  • Support your pastor by making him aware of the network of counselors available through New Life Counseling.
  • Pray for the counselors at NLC for wisdom and strength.
  • Pray for people in your church who need counseling. Direct them to NLC to get help and hope for their struggles.
  • Visit to find out how to schedule an appointment.

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