Professionals

Creating Hope in Our ClientsPremium Content

I have often said that the residential recovery program’s first goal is to create hope in our clients. What are some ways we can accomplish this?

Before people can begin the process of change they must fully understand two basic truths;

1) that change is needed in a certain area of their lives and

2) that change is possible.

In previous articles, I have discussed strategies of breaking through the addict’s denial system, which is the starting point for his or her accepting the need for change. But if we only convince people that their lives are a mess we may leave them in a place of despair. We must create an environment full of hope where they can catch a vision for how their lives could be in Christ, along with giving the tools to build a life of faith and recovery.

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Counseling Concerns For WomenPremium Content

  1. A special strategy for people with drug and alcohol problems is essential
    Addicts have special needs that the "garden variety" sinner does not have. They can be identified by using a standard alcohol screening test during the intake process. Then we can help them to get into an active program of recovery using such activities as support groups, addiction therapy, educational activities, etc. Use community resources if the shelter's staff does not have expertise in this area. Addiction is a primary issue, so all other help giving will amount to nothing if the person cannot stay sober.

  2. The Issue of Toxic Shame
    By definition, "toxic shame" is an inner sense of being defective, faulty, unlovable, undeserving, unredeemable and hopeless. It is root problem for addicts, codependents and people from dysfunctional families. Most adults in family shelters fall into at least one of these categories. Toxic shame is the "glue" that holds the wall of denial together and prevents hurting people from accepting the help we offer them. They think - "If I admit I have problems, it proves that I am a worthless, useless human being." Addiction leads to a total deterioration of a person's moral life leading to a destructive mix of toxic shame and guilt. The Bible tells us that admitting our problems is not an admission of hopelessness or defectiveness. Instead, it is the key to forgiveness, freedom from our pasts and a new self-image.

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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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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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Learning God's Purpose for Your Life

But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves,
not having been baptized by John.
Luke 7:30, NASB

We hear a lot about the importance of “purpose-driven lives,” but is it enough to follow any purpose… or does it matter whose purpose we choose to follow?

The above verse in Luke tells us that the Pharisees and lawyers rejected God’s purpose for their lives. Why? Because they hadn’t been baptized by John. What does that have to do with it?

Do You Question God's Strength and Ability to Help You?

I will strengthen thee. Isaiah 41:10

God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this power; for He is able to do all things. Until you can drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, until you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need fear.

Confidentiality and the Christian Health Care WorkerPremium Content

The principle of confidentiality is necessary to protect information essential for intimate relationships. However, carefully timed and chosen speech used to breach a confidence may protect a neighbor's life. Therefore the difficult choice of whether to remain "silent" in maintaining a confidence or to "speak" and in so doing justly decide the appropriate person, place and time of speech, demands the wisdom of Solomon.

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Behavior or Disease?Premium Content

When is an addiction or dysfunctional behavior a "disease?"

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