Making a Difference Chapter 15 Challenge and Goals
Lesson 31 Challenge and Goals When the Church is not sure how to help the addict and resorts to referring the addict to someone else, the Church looses the opportunity to minister to the addict.
When the local church refers an addict to an outside program or institution, it is relinquishing its responsibility of reaching a soul for Christ.
As far as many churches are concerned, addicts are “out of sight and out of mind.”
It is my conviction that all ministry outreaches are to be administered through the local church.
Why is this kind of ministry so rejected by many churches? I believe it is because of two main reasons: Fear and Lack of Vision.
Fear of the unknown is very real for many people. It has been my own observation that when a person is faced with the unknown it has a way of revealing certain emotional characteristics of the person that are otherwise securely hidden away.
The peace and grace the Lord Jesus gives to His people cannot be overlooked. II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Perhaps one of the most harmful characteristics in the Church today is the characteristic of apathy.
The correct vision of the addict is one in which the Church sees people as God sees them.
The most important vision the Church must have is the correct vision of God.
Before any local church will have the vision of dying souls they must have a vision of an exalted Saviour.
What does the story at the beginning of this chapter tell us about the challenges faced by the Church concerning addictions? This story is not uncommon. It is not uncommon because most Church leaders are not prepared to deal with the diverse nature of addiction problems.
Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by the Church today, in regard to ministering to people with addiction problems, is attitude.
There is a prevailing attitude in the Church today that an addiction is just a weakness in the life of an individual.
All addictions begin one of, or a combination of, several ways: peer pressure, curiosity or force.
Peer pressure is more commonly the strongest reason why people choose to participate in an illicit behavior.
Some Pastors simply do not want to be bothered with an addiction recovery ministry
I believe the Pastor of every local church should be equipped to give appropriate counsel in any given situation.
The qualifications for working in a recovery ministry are not as stringent as one might think. Having a genuine love for the Lord, burden for addicts, and the ability to learn and pass on simple truths, is a good start.
…the church should provide a means where those needing counsel or those attending a recovery class can meet for the time appointed.
The most important consideration for an addiction recovery program curriculum is whether or not the material is Biblically sound.
Regardless of what curriculum is chosen, the most effective application of that curriculum is a one-on-one approach.
It is far more effective to allow the program participant to move at their own pace through the course. This allows for the differences in where the participants are in their life.
It is much more effective to allow the participants to work through the material at their home and use the meeting time each week as a follow-up and supportive role.
A one-on-one approach accomplishes a couple of things that are extremely important to the success of the program.
First it places the responsibility for recovery on the participant. This is critical in teaching the addict the principle of taking responsibility for their actions.
Because every person is at a different point in their life, the second thing this accomplishes is to allow the participant to move at their own pace through the course.
Enthusiasm, a genuine love for the Lord, and concern for the addict, will go a long way in being effective in teaching an addiction recovery curriculum.
When choosing the correct person to teach the addiction recovery material it is also important that the personality and temperament of the individual be conducive to working with addicts.
The qualities of spiritual and emotional maturity are actually more important than credentials and degrees when it comes to working with addicts one-on-one.
First, it is easily segmented into even time frames for ease of scheduling. In other words, it is better to use a curriculum that has twelve chapters of content rather than eleven.
Secondly, the material should be easily followed by the participant. This means the content of the material is structured in a way that has clearly defined objectives.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the curriculum material should be Biblically sound. This means it should have two things: It has, at its core, Biblical truths that clearly apply to addictions, and it must be doctrinally accurate.
The curriculum must have the Gospel of Jesus Christ thoroughly woven throughout the entire length of the content. This ensures that the participant has every opportunity possible, and at every stage of the material, to respond to the Gospel.
The most important aspect of any addiction recovery program is its dependency upon the Word of God for its principles and assertions.
The right process for an addiction recovery program is one in which the addict receives Biblical training over a period of time that allows for the natural elimination of any chemical substances from their body.
With proper time spent in prayer, research, and training, the Church can develop a viable and effective Church outreach ministry that is cost-effective and Biblically sound.
Having a viable and effective ministry outreach to addicts is both obedient to God’s command to reach all people and fulfills a great need in most communities.
The Church is in a unique position to make a difference in our society by helping to bring the addict to Christ and by teaching them what God says about how to live a victorious and productive life while on this earth.
May the Lord richly bless all those who reach out to their own “Jerusalem” with an addiction recovery ministry.
Transformed Life Internationalworks in partnership and cooperation with local churches to start and run an effective addiction recovery ministry outreaches. The educators associated with Transformed Life are men of strong Christian character, and have both the advanced education and experience to work cooperatively with local churches simply as a resource. These educators essentially become an extension of the local churches that utilize Transformed Life and its courses. The local church is the center of all ministry outreach to their community and the world. The addiction recovery ministry is just one of these outreaches. When the local church works in partnership with Transformed Life as a resource for their addiction recover outreach to their community, they have the benefit of both spiritual and financial support from Transformed Life. For more information about Transformed Life go to www.transformedlifeinternational.com