Imagine a young person, a good kid who has caring parents, sitting in church on Sunday morning. Last night, he was out with his friends, and the group started passing around marijuana. For a year he has turned it down, but last night he tried it for the first time. Sitting now in the worship service, he is afraid of his family finding out and even more afraid of what he might do the next time. His concern is real, and he is a member of your church.
On the other side of the sanctuary, a business executive is worried that his social drinking is getting out of hand. Last night, he got lost on the way home and was afraid that he would be arrested and charged with a DWI. He is afraid of what could have happened and what might happen the next time. His concern is real, and he is a member of your church.
The reality of addiction in the United States is that on any given Sunday morning, there are significant numbers of people in church who are dealing with substance abuse issues, either their own or a family member’s. In a recent survey, an estimated 15.9 million Americans twelve years or age or older are identified as current drug users. In addition, almost half of all Americans twelve years of age or older (109 million persons) are current drinkers. Behind every statistic is a person who is loved by God and who may be looking for answers.
What can a church do? Most importantly, don’t pretend that substance abuse is not a real issue in your congregation. Move from denial to action. Create an atmosphere of loving acceptance which invites people in need to seek help.
This article is available to be used by churches as a bulletin insert for Recovery Sunday and can be downloaded from the CLC web page.
Recovery Sunday Ideas
- Pastor preaches a sermon on recovery.
- A testimony is shared about recovery in the worship service.
- The youth minister utilizes “Pathways to Prevention” and has a Bible Study about a prevention issue.
- The church could pass out Red Ribbons to the congregation in support of Red Ribbon week.
- The church could do a focus on Red Ribbon week and be supportive of students and teachers in the public school system.
- Hand out drug education fact sheets to parents of youth.
- Invite a counselor or drug prevention speaker to a special forum for youth parents.
- Include a bulletin insert about Red Ribbon week and/or Recovery Sunday.
- Have a copy of the 12 steps put in the Sunday bulletin.
- Provide drug prevention information in the hallway for church members
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