If you’re looking for a support group, it’s likely you’ll find one exactly tailored for your problem.
There are Alcoholics, Narcotics, Overeaters and Gamblers anonymous. There are groups for anger management, financial mismanagement and sexual addictions. And there are still more groups for people recovering from sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
Celebrate Recovery, a 12-step Christian program, invites all sufferers to be part of one group, a practice that acknowledges everyone’s challenges without diminishing the seriousness of any individual’s struggles.
It’s a different formula that has been adopted by more than 29,000 churches around the world, and it’s one that New Life Assembly of God felt called to offer because of what it saw in its own community: an increasing number of people struggling with addiction, anger and other “hurts, habits and hangups.”
It will be the second such group in Janesville. Compass Church, 4224 Whilden Court, has offered a Celebrate Recovery group for about nine years, said Kelly Justus, Compass’ leader for the ministry.
Jim Flynn, who will lead the ministry at New Life, worked on his own personal recovery through the Compass Church program.
What makes it different from other support groups?
“I think people who have been to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings might be familiar with it,” said the Rev. Jason Karampatsos, New Life’s head pastor. “But there’s a little more structure in the flow of the evening.”
A meeting typically starts with testimony from someone in the group or a lesson. Then people break into smaller groups, where they work with others who are struggling with similar issues. The groups are also divided by gender.
How can one program work for different kinds of issues?
About 29,000 churches around the world use Celebrate Recovery. About two-thirds of the people participating are not dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, Karampatsos said.
“The great truth is that many of our addictions, whether it be alcohol or pornography or infidelity or overspending, are all tied to some underlying insecurities—we’re trying to control the world,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see individuals with different addictions all walk together. Different people choose different vices, but the power of God is greater than all of them.”