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    Entries in State Representatives (6)


    Celebrate Recovery State Reps Are Here to Serve

    Many thanks to Pastor Gary and his ministry leader (and MN State Rep) Wade, for an outstanding job of hosting the One Day Seminar and Advanced Leadership Training at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, MN last weekend. Everyone had a great time, and the church and recovery community provided wonderful volunters to host the event.

    One question surfaced in conversation that lead me to believe many local Ministry Leaders somehow missed the help and support available through the CR Regional Director and State Representative system that has long been part of our structure. On occasion in other parts of the country I've heard similar remarks, and thought I better address it here.

    I talked with several folks attending their first training event who mentioned "I did not know I had a state rep!".

    As a ministry leader in your local church and community, help get the word out to new and potential new ministries. Let them know Celebrate Recovery provides training through One Day Seminars and the Summit, and a support system through recognized leaders, to help start and grow a successful CR ministry. While it is great a nearby church may visit your group to understand the "how to, or why" of running a successful model of recovery, it is vitally important you help connect others to the system of support and connection that our representatives provide.

    Our Regional Directors and State Reps are here to serve YOU. Don't hesitate to call or e-mail any of us with questions about growing this ministry in your church.

    Speaking of networking - in 72 days, there will be awesome networking opportunities with people from across the country and around the world. Recovery leaders and potential recovery leaders will soon be gathering on the campus of Saddleback Church for the Eleventh Annual Celebrate Recovery Summit.

    The Network Connection Tents will be set up and we will have representatives from the six regions of the United States, Celebrate Recovery Inside, and Celebrate Recovery International available to answer any questions you have concerning the growth of this Christ-centered ministry in your part of the world.

    Come now and make plans now to join us for the WORLD -WIDE CELEBRATION of recovery that is found in Celebrate Recovery. Drop by and say "Hi!". Pastor John, Cheryl and the rest of the team are looking forward to seeing you there.

    Celebrating Recovery - each day in Christ! - Jim


    Celebrate Recovery Ministry in the Local Church - Church Membership Required???

    I was recently going through some of the cards that were handed back at the T.E.A.M. Network Connection on Wednesday night at the Celebrate Recovery Summit a couple of weeks ago.

    There were many questions concerning different areas of concern to a Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader, and I thought responding to some in this blog would be of assistance as you start or grow the recovery ministry of your church. The category that drew most of the questions had to do with training, equipping, motivating, and leading the ministry TEAM and volunteers.

    How about starting with this one?

    Question: Do the leaders have to be members of the church that is hosting Celebrate Recovery?

    Answer: We believe that Celebrate Recovery functions best as a regular ministry of the local church. The best way to insure the character and growth of any leaders in the church is to interact with them through regular participation in the local church. Many churches require membership for leaders to be active or serve in Sunday School, choir, children, youth, or adult ministries of the church.

    If your CR leaders only function at church is recovery, you miss out on seeing if they are consistent in other areas of their lives. In my experience at church - there are many leaders I've had the opportunity to interact with in Sunday School, men's ministry, married couples events, and even cycling. I'm not left to evaluate their ability as a leader on one facet of our relationship, but I get to know they are persistent in their spiritual walk and recovery through other parts of our spiritual journey together.

    While church membership and commitment to spiritual growth is required to serve in leadership of Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church, we realize implementing membership as a requirement for leadership in any ministry is up to the local church.

    As a ministry leader, we hope you are leading this ministry under the authority and with the support of your senior pastor and church leadership. Serving as a regular ministry of the church bears the responsibility to function as any other ministry of the church - including membership, if that is a requirement enforced equally among those serving the church.

    The national ministry of Celebrate Recovery has established a ministry, templates, and leaders to help you start this Christ centered ministry in your church and community. It is your duty, ministry leader, to mold this to the structure and polity of your local denomination - and maintain an accurate representation of the model at Saddleback.

    One area we see where "church membership" is not the standard or best practice tends to be in rural communities. This occurs when limited resource or personnel requires two or more churches to band together to operate the ministry of Celebrate Recovery. This often requires one church to host, while leaders are recruited from other churches to man and operate the ministry.

    If you have questions about church membership as a requirement for leading at Celebrate Recovery, please check first with your senior pastor to determine the guidelines in place at your church. I also encourage you to check in with your CR State Rep or Regional Director. Members of this national team can answer questions you may have about starting or growing your Celebrate Recovery ministry.

    Celebrating Recovery - each day in Christ! - Jim


    Recovery Foundations - Follow the Model

    Luke 6:48
    He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

    Deck building is not something I do often - well not at all, actually. Yesterday, I was helping my friend Greg replace a deck at his home. While I do not have previous deck building experience, I was able to add some muscle to the project, and he was grateful for help in moving some sixteen foot posts that were to be support for the new structure.

    By the time I arrived, Greg had already demolished the old deck and had poured concrete footings for the main support posts in the deck. As Greg discovered, this was not a one man project, and the new or existing Celebrate Recovery ministry at your church should not be either.

    A firm foundation has been established in the recovery ministry at Saddleback Church, one that has stood the test for seventeen years, and has been instrumental in helping countless thousands around the globe receive God's healing grace at work in their lives.

    If you are already running a ministry and have discovered you are slightly "off course" after attending the Summit, I want to encourage you to begin to make small changes to conform to the model successfully established at Saddleback. All too often I hear of churches that wish to make sweeping changes - but that, my friend, is also a hazard! Be gentle with your ministry volunteers as you seek to more nearly follow the model we imitate. Don't be hasty to change too much - too soon!

    Work well with other members of your T.E.A.M.! It is great to have other eyes making sure the ministry you are running is an accurate representation of the model at Saddleback. This is not a ministry you run in isolation from your leaders, pastor, or church staff. Celebrate Recovery is intended to serve as another regular ministry of the church.

    For the new Ministry Leaders among us - please accurately and faithfully follow the model from the beginning. If you have any questions about the 90 day kick off, and how to start this ministry in your church, remember that we have state representatives and regional directors who are capable of assisting you. We are here to help you grow a ministry that will serve your church and community for a long, long time.

    Now back to Greg and the deck, I had to leave to take part in a Regional Director conference call. After we had the posts and main supports in place, Greg was in position to get the rest of the deck support in place on his own. While he was reluctant to ask for help at first, he was grateful to have extra hands available to assist at the key point of setting up the foundation.

    I understand there are plans for extending the deck - but that is another project, scheduled for next year perhaps.

    Don't do recovery alone - you have help available - use it!

    Celebrating Recovery - each day in Christ! - Jim


    State Rep Appreciation - Get to Know Your Volunteers

    Hi All!

    I know many already on the road or in the air on the way to South California and the Summit coming up next week. Some folks are planning vacation time that will take in Hollywood, Disneyland, or the beach - before they attend our big event of the year.

    I want to encourage the ministry leaders and their teams to give a strong and heart-felt "thanks!" to the state reps and regional directors who serve in your part of the country. This also includes many who are serving now in Celebrate Recovery Inside (our prison ministry), and in the international arena.

    Those who serve in these volunteer positions have gained trust and experience by starting and growing Celebrate Recovery in their home church. They in turn, have stepped up to serve a specific geographical region.

    As a pastor recently pointed out "Celebrate Recovery excels in serving and answering questions". That is what we are here for - to love and serve your team as you reach out to others.

    Please drop by the networking tents while you are at Saddleback. You may make - no, I'm sure you will make some new friends and acquaintances there!

    Celebrating Recovery - each day in Christ! - Jim


    Training New Groups - Helping Each Other Along this Road to Recovery

    We had a great One Day event at Bay Area Community Church in Annapolis, Maryland as Tom and his group of volunteers did an outstanding job of hosting the RECENT CR event in the North East Region.

    As I was SHARING OR TEACHING about the 90 Day Kick-Off strategy, I mentioned THAT we have observed three types of networking taking place across the country. In this post, I wish to address the second type of networking I mentioned at that seminar, the issue of a Celebrate Recovery ministry setting itself up as a “training center” for other Celebrate Recovery ministries.

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH an established ministry helping a smaller church or a satellite campus. The point I wish to make, is that by hosting ALL the CR leadership training in an area, a large church can foster AN UNHEALTHY dependence that causes the leadership of a smaller church not to GROW IN THEIR OWN ABILITY TO TRAIN AND GROW THEIR LEADERS – period.

    We believe that the Basic Leadership Kit, the Advanced Leadership Kit, and other Celebrate Recovery approved resources provide everything a leader needs to train five leaders or fifty!

    A legitimate, large, well established Celebrate Recovery ministry can help or assist new teams through inclusion in leadership training early on. Just don’t foster dependence BY doing all the training for new groups in your area. ALSO BE CAUTIOUS AND DON’T add ADDITIONAL rules or requirements to the Ninety Day Kickoff plan.

    One other note of caution to Ministry Leaders. If a trainer from a local CR ministry is offering to “CERTIFY” your team after attending so many training sessions, they are operating outside the traditional model of training that has been established.

    As always, we have a great team of State Representatives and Regional Directors who are willing to assist or answer questions, based on their experience of starting and growing healthy Celebrate Recovery ministries.

    Celebrating Recovery – each day in Christ! - Jim