Fellowship & Networking

Support Groups in the ChurchPremium Content

How do "support groups" help church members who are struggling with addiction and other life issues?

    A. "Support groups" are not a new idea for the Church -- John Wesley's "Rules for Small Groups," written in 1816, is an outline that embodies "the Method" from which the name "Methodist" came. This method resulted in one of the greatest revivals the world has ever known. Believers gathered together in small groups, sharing honestly, becoming accountable to one another, asking probing questions, praying for one another with a deep knowledge of their mutual needs and struggles. Any believer can benefit from this type of gathering. It can be a tremendously healing and encouraging experience for those in recovery.

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Aftercare for Recovery ProgramsPremium Content

For Christian programs that work to help addicts, the primary goal is to help them to become integrated into two vital communities -- the Church and the recovery community. If our goal is truly to work ourselves out of a job, then we must make sure we are spending enough time and energy preparing our clients for life after our programs. If we don’t, we have done them a great disservice. No matter how success we are with newly sober clients, they will still leave or programs as struggling baby Christians. We must be sure that these new believers knows where to find help when they experiences struggles, even 2, 5, 10 years and more in the future, no matter where they live.

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When You Have No Sponsor or Recovery BuddyPremium Content

It is OK Not to Have a Sponsor
Not everyone in recovery has a mentor all of the time. It is OK not to have a sponsor or recovery buddy! It is important for you to have a special rapport with the person who is going to be your recovery buddy or sponsor. Do not try to rush the process The more time you spend finding an appropriate person the more likely you will find someone who is a good listener and communicator. Not everyone is able or willing to commit to being a good sponsor. They may have other obligations that prevent them from being an effective mentor.

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When a Sponsor/Sponsee Relationship Goes BadPremium Content

Everyone can benefit from a good Sponsor/Sponsee relationship. It can be invaluable to have a recovery buddy with whom you are accountable. There are many benefits of sponsorship. A sponsor/recovery buddy should be an emotional safe haven who provides support and guidance.

Some recovery relationships simply peter out because of family obligations, conflicting goals, stress at work or lack of shared values. Others might be destroyed by deceit or manipulation on the part of one or both parties.

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Benefits of Having a Sponsor/Mentor/Recovery BuddyPremium Content

Would you like to have someone to talk to who can relate to what you're experiencing? Perhaps you would like to communicate with someone who has been through eating disorder recovery or other difficulties, but has made it to the other side. Maybe you desire some added support and encouragement.

Many in eating disorder recovery benefit from having a mentor, sponsor or recovery buddy. While mentoring is appropriate for basically any reason the one being mentored would like to have one, listed below are some common circumstances under a person might seek a mentor during eating disorder recovery.

1. While seeking diagnosis and treatment.

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Sympathy in One Another's Joys and Sorrows

Elizabeth's neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they rejoiced with her." Luke 1:58

We see here a striking example of the kindness we owe to one another. It is written that "they rejoiced with her." How much more happiness there would be in this evil world, if conduct like this was more common!

Sympathy in one another's joys and sorrows costs little, and yet is a grace of most mighty power.

Walking in His PurposePremium Content

“Today, if you will hear His voice…” (Hebrews 3:7, NKJV).

I am constantly amazed at the precious people who say to me, “I wish I had a ministry like you.” Have you ever said that to someone? Thought it? Really? Because the truth is, we all have a ministry, a calling, a purpose. And we’ve all been called to fulfill it—today. Not tomorrow or next week or next year. Not after the kids are grown or we pay off all our bills or get a degree or move to a different location. We are called to hear and respond to God’s voice TODAY.

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Hope: Stories Worth Telling (Part 2)Premium Content

I believe your story might be your greatest gift.

We all live in stories. God reveals Himself through stories. Your particular story incorporates a unique combination of experiences and relationships. It’s a gift, and the highest use for any gift is to enjoy it and share it in service to others.

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Our Lives Should be More Like JazzPremium Content

I don’t know much about jazz except that I usually like it, especially live. I’m thinking that our lives might be a little richer if they were a little more like jazz.

Jazz music is sort of unscripted. Each song has a basic melody and sometimes words, but the performance is spontaneous. Real jazz isn’t rehearsed like a lot of other music—it’s more of a live interaction between the musicians. They practice and develop their individual skills, but the music happens when they play off one another.

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Don’t Make Me Your ProjectPremium Content

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. Saint Augustine

“I hate feeling like I’m someone else’s project!”

I’d just finished sharing part of my story with the group. I expressed my gratitude for the people who wove the story of Relentless Grace and my belief that God sent this small circle of folks who refused to let me quit on life.

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