Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrate Recovery!

Alyssa is one of the worship leaders at our church. Like so many of us who work, or have worked, at church she has had to find ways to deal with the inevitable gossip and hypocrisy that goes on every day among God's kids. Alyssa finds strength in our church's Celebrate Recovery program.

Celebrate Recovery is a ministry for people recovering from addictions. These brave and awesome people are not recovering from just drug and alcohol addictions, but anything that has gotten in the way of life - pornography, work-aholism, emotional and physical abuse, etc... CR address all our "hurts, habits, and hangups". Alyssa just loves the openness and transparency of the wonderful, authentic attendees. Yesterday Alyssa made a statement that has really stuck with me. She said, "I go to CR on Thursday nights so I can have the strength to face the congregation on Sunday." She says that being around people who have real problems and who speak openly about their struggles is what gives her courage to face the people that "have it all together".

Shouldn't it be the other way around? I mean, shouldn't going to church on Sunday give us the sustenance and strength to go out "into the world" for the rest of the week? Shouldn't the Sunday experience be one that gives us insight into how to love and accept the addicts out there? Alyssa is right! It is when we are around authentic Christians, warts and all, that we learn to love and minister to the hurting and helpless. Sitting on a pew next to the perfectly dressed "I've got it all together and you should to" pew-sitter doesn't encourage and revive us the way honest truth telling can.

Wouldn't it be amazing if our churches moved away from the "traditional" service and into houses of real celebration! If parishioners started openly sharing their "hurts, habits, and hangups" and talking about our daily struggles AND our daily victories, our churches would be a welcome respite from an oft crazy and over-whelming life! I want to be in THAT kind of a church. Get off the pew!!

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