WHY WE LOVE RECOVERY – AND YOU SHOULD, TOO! Life Out Of Control I was a good 10 years “Sober” before I realized I was an addict. For several years I suffered with what some called drug abuse, others drug addiction. Frankly, I don’t care what you call it. My life was out of control and I was powerless to do anything about it. Then a strange thing happened. I was doing my own thing and successively going further and further down the tube. Then, at just the right time, a friend sent me a gospel tract. I read it and believed – really believed for the first time. One second I was hooked, unable to get free, the next I was free indeed. My wife and I started attending church and received much love and healing. However, that’s a story for another time. This is about Recovery. A Wake Up Call Years later, someone asked my wife to pitch in as a prayer partner for this new ministry our church had begun. It was supposed to be just one night – ONE NIGHT! She went once and started going every week! “These are my people”; she said, and so naturally, I had to see what all the commotion was about. What a wake-up call. Here were people sharing the nitty-gritty of their lives – no B.S. AND, no shame. Do you know how refreshing that was? For the most part, we NEVER saw that in church. Don’t get me wrong, I love the church. Heck, we started one! However, church, as we normally experienced it, was more about playing a role. A role few had actually grown into. God forbid that you should share that you have issues with lust – that you might have a drinking problem, or that your marriage was falling apart. The one sure way to become an outcast was to admit you were broken. So of course, no one ever did. As Jan and I perceived the call to ministry, we determined early on that we would not be that church. We decided that we wanted to be a church that included all the gospel offers and to do it as well as the recovery movement. It’s been a challenge… authenticity and transparency is difficult, and its cost us in some ways, but we’re determined to carry out God’s charge to us in this regard. We think the church could be – should be – more like a recovery meeting. How so? Glad you asked. What They Get Right
- IT IS ALL ABOUT THE “NEWCOMER” – In recovery it is all about the person – stuck in their addiction or there for the first time, struggling to make sense of it all. In “church world”, we call it being “missional”, but it’s really just caring more about others than yourself.
- TRANSPARENCY – In recovery, it is understood that people are broken; that’s why they’re there! As such, there’s no need to fake it. Isn’t that just the gospel? We’re all sinners in need of a savior, so let’s stop pretending.
- ACCEPTANCE – Repeat number two above; … it is understood that people are broken; that’s why they’re there! In recovery it is recognized that one is no better and another no worse. Simply put; we’re all beggars in search of food. In “church world”, we call that grace. Too often, we don’t extend enough of it.
- TRANSFORMATION – In recovery, it is understood that it is – after all – about CHANGE. You don’t attend meetings just to have somewhere to hang. You attend meetings because you want to be differentto be fundamentally transformed. Up front, you understand that your buttons will be pushed, your perceptions challenged, and your behavior confronted. we call that sanctification. It is the process of becoming. It is a processs why in recovery they say Too often in church we give up –or that, but the truth is, that just like in recovery, there is no substitute for doing the work.
- SPONSORSHIP – In recovery, it is understood that no one who is successful (in recovery), does it on their own. It is assumed that each person will find a sponsor – someone to act as a guide – in the process of recovery, and eventually will sponsor someone else. We call this discipleship. It follows closely with transformation, because what we have said about recovery is also true about the spirit life: no one who is successful does it on their own. In the spirit life, you should always have someone you are looking ahead to; to help you on the path you have yet to travel. In the same way, you should have someone you are looking back towards, that you are guiding along the path you have traveled.
Well, that’s enough for now. Please join with us in our prayer for Open doors – Additional Hands – Supernatural Provision – and Fruit That Lasts.
Mike and Jan