Recovery Groups follow the 12-step model while pointing those in recovery to Jesus Christ as the source of healing. We encourage all Adventist churches and organizations to form or support a Recovery Group in their area.
Recovery Group leaders should take the Facilitator training. Both the online and in-person trainings are needed, but can be taken in either order. Sign up to receive email alerts about the next training.
The following steps should be taken to start a group.
- Form a core team – we recommend three or four people.
- Talk with your church pastor or Board about hosting a group. It is important to have support from your church leadership.
- Determine a venue for the group. You can meet at the church, a local hospital, school or other public meeting place. Obtain approval to use the venue and be sure to discuss details of usage.
- Organize a team of volunteers, which may include meeting facilitators, treasurer, secretary, literature person, along with other helpful positions (greeter, hospitality person, telephone chairperson, professionals and institutions coordinator, public information coordinator). Roles can rotate periodically (six months, one year, two years) as best provides for the on-going needs of the group. Come to a mutual understanding that all members of the team are working together for their common good and recovery through Jesus Christ. All are equal. No one is there to govern or control.
- Plan to have “business” meetings with team members on a regular basis during planning of the Recovery Group. Business meetings should also be held just prior to or following the Recovery Group meetings. The primary goals of the leadership team are to ensure safety for all attendees, confidentiality of all conversations had during group meetings, continued support by the church, and maintaining the viability of the group.
- Decide on advertising strategy and potential community partners, including local hospitals, law enforcement agencies, social support organizations, etc. These should feel comfortable referring individuals to your Recovery Group, recognizing the Christ-focused nature of the group.
- Order Journey to Wholeness material for your leadership team and attendees. Items can be ordered through the NAD Health Ministries online store.
- Plan for a Recovery Awareness Day to be hosted at your church. This can include a 12-Step Sabbath School Lesson Study, Worship Service (invite your pastor or a guest to preach a Christ-centered recovery sermon), Fellowship Dinner, Workshop on “The 12 Steps”, “How the Program Works” or some related subject. Some churches like to conclude the Sabbath with a Victory Concert.
Several factors need to be taken into consideration when a church, school, or hospital considers starting a recovery group.
- Taking the NAD ARMin Facilitator training is critical and fundamental.
- A basic understanding of the principles and practices is essential and this is presented at the ARMin training.
- Attendance and participation in an established twelve-step group such as: Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous is essential. Experience working the “steps” with a sponsor will benefit the facilitator(s) and all who will form the core leadership team.
- Whenever possible, enlist the help of a trained counselor who can provide support for issues that may arise.