February 3rd, 2011 at 6:00 am
During January, we have talked about addictions and how Christ followers can reach out to help those caught in addictions. Before we move on to February’s overlooked people group, I wanted to leave you with a few resources to help you and your church host an addictions ministry.
The first group is Celebrate Recovery. This is a effort started by Saddleback Church in California in 1991 to take the foundations of the12 step program Alcoholics Anonymous but add a Christian emphasis, recognizing Christ as the only higher power. The program’s foundational steps are based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.
The program is forward-looking, emphasizes personal responsibility, spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ, utilizes the biblical truth that we need each other in order to grow spiritually and emotionally, addresses all types of habits, hurts and hang-ups and produces lay ministers.
The program is group based, having a large group worship time at each meeting and then breaking up into gender specific support groups based on hurts, habits and hang ups. For those who wish to dig deeper to the root of their problems, there is a one-year step study that walks through the 12-step recovery process.
To find a group near you, click here.
Then there is Faith Partners. The organization’s goal is to Christ followers in developing “caring communities” that promote substance abuse and other addiction prevention and where addiction recovery is valued and fostered. The main effort the organization shares is being a resource house to churches. They have state and national connects that can help train churches in addiction ministry and prevention efforts.
Participating congregations will be connected to a local, state and national network for help and on-going support. This approach helps establish the following:
- It builds on congregational strengths by involving lay members with special expertise and a passion for this work
- Clergy time, energy, and involvement are carefully utilized
- Teams are trained in prevention, early intervention, referral assistance, and recovery support, choosing programs that meet the needs of the congregation
- Teams network with other teams and utilize community resources, keeping their efforts focused on the congregation’s mission
- This ministry cultivates a compassionate response to all human problems, creating long-lasting change, making the congregation a safe and hospitable place (Taken from faith-partners.org)
And lastly, there is the Life Recovery Bible effort. A great example of this ministry is First Baptist Church in Bonham, TX. There is a state prison facility near the church and the staff saw that there was a need for a recovery group to help the inmates stay in recovery once they finish their time in the prison. The church had little budget to put towards a recovery program, but they still felt the call to begin a group. Their answer – the Life Recovery Bible.
The program is based on this Bible that was published with commentary specific designed to speak to the heart of an addict. The biggest cost to the program is purchasing the Bibles, which run about $25 each. If you would like to know more about this effort, contact Pastor Morgan Malone at FBC Bonham – email@example.com.
If you know someone who needs more extensive help than a recovery group, contact Carrie Beard, the Texas Baptists substance abuse specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before the Civil War, the average cost of a slave was about the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s currency. Today, a person can be purchased for about $90. And the number of slaves in our world today is much higher than it was at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade years ago. Something must be done to change this dark reality.
Though their ministry is not specifically to women caught in trafficking, Brett and Emily Mills, founders of Jesus Said Love, have come across trafficking rings as they have been about caring for exotic dancers and strippers and sharing the love of Christ with them. Their belief is that Jesus loves all people, yes, even strippers and that the church should be reaching out to them out of love. Below is a story originally published in Oct. 2012 that shares about what God is doing through the faithful obedience to love the women He has placed in their lives.
Human trafficking depicted through film, art and literature can assist you and your church in grasping the scope of this issue. Below is a list of books, films and documentaries to help in your learning journey.