Freedom is a Biblical concept; over and over, the Scriptures teach its importance. With America’s overdose epidemic at an all-time high, many churches and faith-based organizations desire to help those who are literally dying for lack of freedom.
Our founder and Executive Director, Isaac Stooksberry, recently appeared as a guest on the Pinnacle Leaders Podcast with Dr. Randal Langley to talk about how church leaders can combat the crisis. Watch the full interview below to learn how your church can help combat the overdose crisis.
Show the love of Christ to people in addiction.
The most important thing the Church can do is show Christ’s love to people struggling with addictions.
“A lot of times,” Isaac says, “people in addiction feel like they’re marginalized or maybe they wouldn’t be accepted by the church or church people.”
It’s vital that we show everyone, including and especially addicts, love and acceptance. Without making excuses for sinful behavior, we need to communicate that “what you’ve done is no worse than what I’ve done.” At the root of everything, we all have one thing in common: a need for Christ’s redemption.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” — John 8:36
Get involved in a group for recovery.
Recovery requires a support system, and the church can foster and support groups for recovery. Small groups can be a great environment for this kind of community. Many churches offer Celebrate Recovery, curriculum from Freedom Groups, or other kinds of community support.
Here at Big Fish Ministries, we also offer weekly “GRO Services” for our recovery students, their families/support system, and community members. These services are faith-based recovery worship gatherings that start with a meal and connection time, then transition to worship and teaching. Recovery gatherings like this are often a perfect fit for the resources churches can offer.
Volunteer with a recovery ministry in your area.
Your church can partner with a recovery program — faith-based or secular — in your area. With a little investigating, you can discover what your local recovery community needs. Then, take your church on a “local mission trip” to bring the love of Christ to an existing recovery program.
It’s often a great idea to cross “church lines” and work hand-in-hand with other churches, as well. Spread your passion for rescuing people from overdoses and addictions! Unite your Jesus-loving brothers and sisters by volunteering with local recovery ministries.
Broadcast the resources available.
“Addiction is the plague of our time,” Isaac states, pointing to the horrible number of drug-related deaths. He adds,
“That’s just the people who are overdosing. That’s not even talking about the amount of people going to prison, the broken lives, the broken families, the divorces it causes… As missional Believers, we need to know what resources are available for someone looking for recovery.”
With just a little effort, churches can identify local resources for combating addiction and make them well-known. If in fact your area lacks recovery resources, pray about bringing them to your community. When approached by someone asking for help, the Church ought to be able to say a resounding yes.
Contact us to learn more about how your church can help combat the addiction and overdose crisis. We can provide resources, guidance and support to churches who are interested in starting a recovery ministry.