Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to help develop a Christ centered, 12 step small group support ministry at a local live in transitional home for recovering addicts.
We had been talking about doing this for a while but I really was surprised it came together so soon.
My friend Scott took a part-time Director role at this particular mens home and has done a magnificent job of bringing a fresh vision and mission to that program and to those that live there.
It is no longer about helping men just cope with life – but now it’s about mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation through Jesus Christ. I am blessed to be a part of that.
Scott and I, in a lot of ways, have been cut from the same cloth when it comes to our style of ministry. We both have come through our own personal issues with addiction, and we both shared the same mentor, Dr. Daryl Pitts from Thomas Road Baptist Church. Daryl was a gentle, caring, and often brutally blunt man. Considering those he was working with though – he needed to be.
Daryl was the first pastor that ever told me, “You don’t need more of Jesus – Jesus needs more of you…”
While I am very excited about our new ministry at the Gateway – I am honestly, also scared to death. It’s one thing to minister to individuals within the church, (which I have done for almost 15 years now), but its a whole different thing to take the truth of His message to where the broken people are at. Where they actually live.
It isn’t comfortable, it isn’t always safe, and it lies outside the perceived saftey net of the church. However I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
We started this ministry three weeks ago and I am already amazed at what God is doing in that short time. Not just in the lives of those we reach out to – but in my own life as God continues to show me His true character and nature.
Already there are bonds being formed with these men. It didn’t take long to realize that I share much more in common with these men than many within the church itself. Unfortunately – sometimes the church in general is the least safe place to be open and transparent about what is going on within the deep dark recesses of your soul… and it shouldn’t be that way.
What is our goal with ministering to the men at the Gateway? It’s simple really, and is summarized by Colossians 1:28.
“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” Col. 1:28
Till next time…