Recovery ministry at The Connection Church has been an amazing ride. If you are looking for a program or ministry to help you recover from any addiction, Celebrate Recovery is here for you. We started recovery ministry at The Connection Church in 2007. Without a leader, you really don’t have a ministry, and God has supplied the leaders all along the way. When one leader moved on, another leader stepped up. Eventually, I was able to suggest to one of our leaders, “Hey, let’s consider doing Celebrate Recovery,” and through that, we stepped into Celebrate Recovery. Since then, it’s just been fun to watch the progression along the way.
The story of Johnny and Chanin Young coming to be with us at The Connection Church and lead our Celebrate Recovery program is one of the most amazing miracles that we’ve experienced. Through a process that was very difficult, God did something truly amazing. We love our Celebrate Recovery leadership here at The Connection Church.
I highly value our Celebrate Recovery ministry. I want to champion this ministry and share ten reasons why I believe in Celebrate Recovery.
1. Celebrate Recovery is biblical.
There are a lot of self-help programs out there. There are a lot of psychological ideas that people follow. In contrast to those programs, Celebrate Recovery is not man-centered. It is God-focused and it is Biblical. It’s Bible-centered. I am not denying that the twelve steps have been so helpful in so many people’s lives to lead people toward freedom. But, if you go back to the Bible and you look at what Jesus said, he actually said them in the Beatitudes and in that same order. These are biblical ideas. As believers and followers of Jesus, we are People of the Book.
The Bible is the authoritative and unfailing Word of God. 2 Timothy. 3:16 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” The Word of God doesn’t change. Psychology and ideas about how to get healthy, all of those are going to change, but God’s Word stays the same. If you want to build your life on something solid, you’ve got to build your life on the solid foundation of the Word of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” God’s Word is still as true today as it was when Jesus said this, and it will continue to be true for the rest of your life. No matter what changes around us and seems like our world is changing rapidly. We have to build our lives on a solid foundation, and we have that in Celebrate Recovery.
2. Celebrate Recovery is hopeful.
It is not just hopeful, but full of hope.
In life, we’re either going to move forward or we’re going to be looking backward. And it’s good that in your car, you’ve got a big windshield in the front of your car and you’ve got a small rear-view mirror. You want to be focused on what’s ahead, you can glance at what’s behind you, but if you just look in your rear-view mirror, you’re going to drive off the road and crash. You’ve got to keep looking forward and Celebrate Recovery is all about Progress over Perfection.
We know that life has dealt us some hard blows, and there’s been some problems and some challenges. But there’s a difference between mourning and moaning. We need to grieve those losses from the past, but we don’t want to get stuck there. What we’ve found is that we need massive doses of hope in order to cope. We’re looking forward. We’re looking ahead to what God has in front of us.
In fact, Paul said this in Philippians 3:13, “I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; forgetting the past, looking forward to what lies ahead.” We know God has some great things ahead for us, and Celebrate Recovery looks ahead to the great future that God has for you.
3. Celebrate Recovery emphasizes personal responsibility.
We can’t expect somebody else to fix our problems. There may be other people that have heard us, and that’s what happens in light is, you’re going to be hurt by other people. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes we hurt people intentionally or unintentionally, but we’ve said many times that when you blame, you will be lame. You are being lame when you blame!
In Celebrate Recovery, one of the things I really appreciate about our leaders is that they do not take responsibility for your issues. Your issues are your issues. Some of us that struggle with codependency a little more and we want to come along and we want to take responsibility for others’ issues. Ultimately, they’ve got to take responsibility. Celebrate Recovery is all about personal responsibility. One thing I’ve discovered in my own life is that, as I look at all the problems in my life, I am the common denominator in all of my problems in my life. No one else can do the work. You’ve got to do the work. And you’ve got to take responsibility.
4. Celebrate Recovery is centered on Jesus.
It’s all about Jesus. We talk about Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery groups, and those are good and maybe you even go to your AA meetings, but there’s no mystery about who the higher power is. Our higher power is not a tree or a rock.
Our higher power is Jesus Christ. It’s important in Celebrate Recovery that we come to a point of surrender, and we yield our lives as we take the surrender chip to symbolize yielding our lives to Jesus. We want to lead people to Jesus. In fact, through Celebrate Recovery, many people come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, the leader and forgiver of their lives. He is Jesus who is the name above every other name, and at that name, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. He is the Great Physician. He is the Healer. He is the One who brings healing into our lives. Celebrate Recovery is focused and centered on Jesus.
5. Celebrate Recovery emphasizes community.
It’s all about community, and it’s important that we understand that we’re not in this on our own, and if we want to get well, it takes other people. We need each other. At the Connection Church, we say all the time, “We are better together!”
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.” James 5:16
Some people say, “Well, I don’t want to tell anyone else what I’m going through. I’ll just talk to God.” When you confess your sin to God, He will forgive you. You’ll be forgiven. But if you want to be healed, you need to confess your sin to someone else because we are only as sick as our secrets.
Moss and that fungus will grow in the dark. It has power as long as we keep it a secret.
We would have a whole lot less sin to confess if we confess our temptations a whole lot more.
We would have a whole lot less sin to confess if we just confess, we’re willing upfront to confess the things that tempt us. Community is so important for our lives. When Jesus taught us to pray, He didn’t say, “My father that art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give me this day my daily bread, forgive me,” He did not say “I,” He said “our,” We think very singularly about ourselves, and Jesus says, “no it’s not about you, it’s about us, it’s about each other and, it’s just so important that we are living in community with each other. It’s about accountability.
We need accountability, and the New Testament stresses accountability.
Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing.
6. Celebrate Recovery is a pathway for discipleship.
It’s a way to grow spiritually, and the Bible talks about that, but we see there is a pathway, there’s a process and spiritual growth is a process. And we learn that in CR.
7. Celebrate Recovery produces leaders.
It is a leadership factory, and it’s so important that we are growing leaders. But the thing is, there are leaders in ministry, but if they don’t have it yet dealt with their issues, then many times that produces pride, spiritual pride, or lack of empathy. Through Celebrate Recovery, you become a leader that understands that “Hey, we don’t have it all together,” and I’m just thinking about Luke 7:47, where Jesus talks about the person who is forgiven little, shows only a little love, but the person who is forgiven much shows much love.
If God can use me, He can use anybody. You see greater potential in people. I love Celebrate Recovery leaders.
8. Celebrate Recovery understands the real condition of people.
The fact is, we’re all broken. We’re all broken people. We’re all people in need of a Savior. We’re all people in need of forgiveness, and we’re not perfect.
We understand that everybody needs this. Everybody needs Celebrate Recovery. Everybody needs recovery. Not just certain people. The Bible says, “All have sinned. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” When I point the finger at you, I’ve got three fingers pointing back at me. Celebrate Recovery has the proper biblical view of our fallen state.
9. Celebrate Recovery is a place for lasting change.
You can keep the change. It’s not temporary. If you want lasting change than you celebrate recovery is an ongoing process. It’s not just for this moment, but it’s a continued path for healing, where you’re healed, and you’re reaching out, and you’re growing. I want to share this scripture in 1 Corinthians 6, “Take heed or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God.”
We’re a bunch of “has beens.” This is what we were. I once was blind, but now I see. I once was lost, but now I’m found. I once was this, now I’m that. There’s just power for change and you can keep the change.
10. Celebrate Recovery is a Party!
It’s a celebration. It’s fun to be free! Jesus actually talked about the kingdom of God in Matthew 22, He said. “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a King who prepared a wedding party for His son.” Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a party and we have a reason to celebrate because Jesus Christ has set us free, and it’s fun to be free.
It’s a party and I love that about Celebrate Recovery. There’s a time to weep, there’s a time to mourn, but there’s a time to be happy, and a time to celebrate!
To find out more about Celebrate Recovery at The Connection Church in Hays County, Texas, visit us online here: https://theconnectionchurch.org/ministries/recovery/