Professionals

Continuum of CarePremium Content

Many people still think of rescue missions as places where homeless people find housing, food and spiritual instruction. Yet, those of us who are involved in this field know that unless their deeper spiritual, emotional, physical, and social needs are addressed, homeless people will never attain stability in their lives. Many suffer from mental illness, addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, and various medical problems. Some cannot read, lack high school diplomas, and do not possess basic skills needed to find and keep a job. These and other complex problems keep people on the streets.

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Helping Children from Addicted & Dysfunctional FamiliesPremium Content

A. Understanding the Problems of Children from Addicted Families

In the US, twenty million children are experiencing physical, verbal and emotional abuse from parents who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. This is tragic when we consider that childhood is the foundation on which our entire lives are built. When a child's efforts to bond with an addicted parent are thwarted, the result is confusion and intense anxiety. In order to survive in a home devoid of healthy parental love, limits, and consistency, they must develop "survival skills" very early in life.

In a chaotic, dysfunctional family, the lack of external control through consistent loving discipline results in an inability to develop internal discipline and self control. They learn not to depend on their parents to meet their needs - instead, it is all up to themselves. And, because they can't trust their own parents, they become generally suspicious and mistrustful of all human beings. Yet, they are defenseless against the projection of blame and often feel responsible for parents' addiction. They become "little adults" that feel compelled to accept responsibilities well beyond their years.

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Kairos Prison Ministry

The mission of Kairos Prison Ministry is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women and youth, as well as their families, to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.

Kairos is a Greek word that means the right or opportune moment. Many in prison long for a message of love and forgiveness.

Since Kairos Prison Ministry began in 1976 in Florida, more than 300,000 incarcerated men and women have been introduced to the Christian community known as Kairos.

Kairos has been recognized as the most effective program available to positively change basic attitudes of those incarcerated.

Volunteers from a variety of Christian traditions share the love of Christ with those impacted by incarceration.

The Kairos Inside program currently operates in three hundred and fifty prisons in thirty-one states in the USA and in eight other countries.

Some Advice for Urban Ministry WorkersPremium Content

Urban mission work is certainly unique. The rewards can be tremendous, as well as at the discouragements. So, here are a few things I thought about as I looked at the new year ahead:

A. Keep a life for yourself
I often struggle to the find the balance between personal priorities and ministry opportunities. It's easy to get caught up in ministry and put my own needs on the "back burner." Because urban missions can be a very stressful place to work good, "self care" practices are essential. One of the most important of them is to cultivate a life that is separate from the mission and its staff and clients. We need to leave work stress behind and pursue our own interests and relationships. For people who live in the mission facilities, failing to develop meaningful outside relationships and activities is a sure path to "burn-out."

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Is "Special Needs" Biblically Sound?Premium Content

The more I think about it the more I’m convinced that the notion of “special needs” isn’t biblically sound.

My friend Tim pastors a church in Denver, and he talks a lot about the “Y’all Come In” mentality. In that view, if the church opens the door and puts down a welcome mat, that’s enough.

Except that it’s not enough.

At Tim’s church they send people to homeless shelters and by-the-week motels. They sit with people one-on-one, talk with them, assure them they’re valued and needed.

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Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who Wants to Help the Alcoholic or AddictPremium Content

Help for Today's Pastor, Minister, or Priest Who...

Has experience with alcoholics and addicts in his church and elsewhere; wants to be of help; has heard strange things about or has concerns about A.A.; and doesn't want expensive or expansive alternative programs? In fact, that servant wants his church active in a knowledgeable, effective, Christian recovery effort. And, here's what he or she can do.

Start with the Facts
Here is the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program - as briefly summarized in A.A.'s own literature - which repeatedly evoked the comment, "Why this is First Century Christianity! What can we do to help?"

Actual Seven-Point Original Program

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Encouragement for Pastors & ProfessionalsPremium Content

The more I think about the human suffering in our world and my desire to offer a healing response, the more I realize how crucial it is not to allow myself to become paralyzed by feelings of impotence and guilt. More important than ever is to be very faithful to my vocation to do well the few things I am called to do and hold on to the joy and peace they bring me. I must resist the temptation to let the forces of darkness pull me into despair and make me one more of their many victims. ~ Henri J. M. Nouwen

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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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A.A. - Christian Recovery Program ObservationsPremium Content

Different Strokes for Different Folks

“Christian Recovery” probably means very different things to various fellowships, groups, organizations, and individuals. And recognizing diversity is the first step toward tolerance and effectiveness.

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