I've been really thinking about "Recovery Ministry". It's a wonderfully powerful group of people who have amazing stories of God's grace. And if you want to find a dynamic, alive, and trusted friend, "recovery ministry" is a great pool to go fishin' in.
But I've witnessed something, that with a slight tweak, could radically impact the church. We've categorized recovery issues at the peril of us all. We see alcoholism, drug abuse, anger, sex addiction and a few others as bad enough to warrant help. Here's the problem, it can create a sense of, "those poor recovery, folks". This is dangerous for two reasons. 1. We begin to look down at others and think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Pride is what created evil. 2. We lose the potential of everyone receiving the help we all need, and we all truly need it.
The solution is slight but holds big results. We need to embrace the realities of life in a sinful and broken world. We all have sinned (I read that somewhere), we are all broken people, and by God's grace, we are in the process of changing (sanctification). But the full change is down the road...so...we're all in need of recovery ministry. Some flaws are more visible, but maybe they're better to have because of the built-in accountability factor. Here's the point: We will all get better together when we stop trying to handle things on our own. This is good news for serial gossips, leaders who are hooked on wine and call it liberty, recovering perfectionists, drive-by accusers, professional victims, and self-elevating embellishers. It's good for all of us!
I've had the joy of seeing movements of God a couple times. A chief characteristic was a humble need for God without any judgment. We were so overwhelmed by God's grace we were rather underwhelmed with ourselves. It created a momentum that was undeniably out-of-this-world. God's been etching this in my heart, as a core truth to lead a church, when that time comes again. It's simple: When the church believes that we're all in recovery, we'll have a growing ministry, because the gospel will have fresh credibility.
II Corinthians 4:7 (read and meditate on this one for a bit)
Note: It's almost time to roll! We'll be launching a church very soon in Chicago. We're looking for people who believe what I wrote above. Prayerfully consider joining us in this adventure. Click this link for more information and bring a friend.