Diocese Launches Addiction Recovery Ministry
Informing, Educating and Equipping Congregations
By The Rev. Ed Dyckman, Chair, Department of Social Ministres and Peter Rothermel, Coordinator, Department of Christian Faith Formation
The Department of Social Ministries and the Department of Christian Faith Formation are joining forces to launch the Addiction Recovery Ministry (ARM). Together they will help provide churches with resources for adults, teenagers, and children who are seeking help, providing them with Christian-based education, prevention, intervention and treatment resources.
Several months ago the Department heads (Peter Rothermel and Ed Dyckman) met to talk about the Addiction Recovery Ministry for our Diocese. They identified several areas of need as well as some key resources and a partnership emerged.
Men from Benjamin’s Way Attend Christian Men’s Conference
Their first step together was to offer scholarships for 12 men from the Benjamin’s Way Ministry (a newly formed recovery ministry for men) to attend the Christian Men’s Conference at St. Christopher’s Camp and Conference Center. A key part of Recovery is connection to God and connection with people and community. Isolation often keeps people in bondage. In February these 12 men joined over 250 men for worship, teaching, fellowship and small groups. It was a blessing for all.
Benjamin’s Way is a growing ministry in North Charleston but has recently gained another property in Columbia, SC. It is a joy to partner with this growing ministry. ARM also purchased 12 Celebrate Recovery Bibles and a Celebrate Recovery Program Kit with workbooks for Benjamin’s Way.
What is Celebrate Recovery?
Celebrate Recovery is a biblically based program launched 25 years ago by Saddleback Church with 43 people in attendance at the first meeting. Designed as a program to help those struggling with “hurts, habits and hang-ups” by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process, Celebrate Recovery has helped more than 17,000 people at Saddleback Church alone — attracting over 70 percent of its members from outside the church. Eighty-five percent of the people who go through the program stay with the church and nearly half serve as church volunteers.
This ministry is offered in churches throughout the United States and is effective in helping people find recovery from various addictions through the power of Jesus Christ and a 12-step model. Through Celebrate Recovery people gain a connection to Jesus and develop a strong community of support. This ministry is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than on psychological theory. Celebrate Recovery is now in over 29,000 churches worldwide.
Celebrate Recovery in Your Church
Recently we asked Tom Brown, the Senior Pastor at James Island Baptist Church, to offer workshops about Celebrate Recovery during this year’s Christian Men’s Conference. Brown and his church have been offering Celebrate Recovery for over five years. They have offered to help any of our churches get a program started. We look forward to seeing this ministry grow in our diocese.
Sexual Addictions and Pornography
Another area of growing concern has to do with the sexual temptations that are quietly destroying relationships, marriages and churches. Pornography has become a growing problem due to the easy accessibility through technology. The average age for a young person to be exposed to pornography is seven. We believe we need to help parents prepare for and deal with these growing areas of addiction.
We have identified several key resources not only for parents but also for men, women and marriages struggling with these temptations. X3church xxxchurch.org provides resources for awareness, prevention and recovery. They provide online courses for parenting, marriage and marriage preparation as well as accountability courses and software for men and woman. Covenant Eyes, covenanteyes.com provides online accountability and tracking resources. This software enables parents to see where their kids go online. The accountability resources help reduce internet temptations for adults, protecting marriages.
With the legalization of marijuana in some of states has come a growing confusion among our young people and even many of our adults on how to deal with it. There is also the growing alarm of the misuse of opioids. Heroin addiction and opioid abuse are on the rise in many places around our country. We hope to help churches by addressing these topics and providing resources to help fight addiction in our churches and in our communities.
Addiction Recovery Ministry’s Aim
Our hope is that the Addiction Recovery ministry will inform, educate and equip our congregations so that through the transforming power of Jesus Christ, many families and individuals find salvation, hope, healing and community. In the months ahead, we look forward to growing these ministries — through feedback, connection and developing a leadership team. Please contact Peter Rothermel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Dyckman at email@example.com for more information or to join in this effort.
Next Steps, (NextStepsSC.org) is an initiative of the Department of Social Ministries that helps people get the assistance they need in helping men get off the street. Through Next Steps several men were referred to Benjamin’s Way after they emerged from detox and needed a safe Christian environment in which to recover and grow in their sobriety and their faith in Christ.