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  • 22 Characteristics of Recovery-Friendly Churches

    1. Recovery (from sin) is a resource for everybody – not just those who have addictions.
    2. There is ongoing promotion of recovery opportunities, with posters, printed announcements, emails, and announcements via slides during worship services.
    3. There are separate small-group options for men and women.
    4. There is a stated policy on confidentiality, and consequences for breaking confidence.
    5. Whole-person, Christ-centered recovery is promoted and discussed in community groups, Sunday School classes, and even sermons.
    6. One or more of the pastors oversee the church’s recovery ministry.
    7. The pastors are appropriately transparent about their own personal recovery.
    8. The church has a referral network of Christian professionals in the area.
    9. The church sponsors a counseling ministry, either in part or in full.
    10. The church makes professional counseling services available for free, on a sliding scale basis, or at a discount for those who cannot afford therapy.
    11. The recovery ministry offers regular opportunities for continuing education.
    12. Lay recovery facilitators work under the supervision of a pastor or elder.
    13. The sermons are centered on Christ and major themes of scripture, rather than simply being watered-down, social messages, etc.
    14. The church has one or more individuals who are equipped to facilitate interventions.
    15. The church has a clear, scriptural policy on discipline that is carried out in a balanced and impartial manner.
    16. The church actively promotes Christian maturity rather than moralism and legalism.
    17. Moral failure is handled, not simply as a moral issue, but as one that likely has psychological underpinnings as well.
    18. The recovery ministry promotes a high view of the Bible as authoritative, not merely good advice.
    19. The recovery ministry recognizes that, while addictions may have many things in common, each addiction has some core features that are unique.
    20. Spiritual disciplines and personal accountability are encouraged and expected as recovery gets underway.
    21. Recovery sponsors and/or mentors are available at each meeting.
    22. Recovery leaders are equipped to avoid burnout and encouraged to seek help for it.

     

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