Recovery isn’t just for alcohol and drugs, and it’s not always issue-specific.
Over the years the community of Perry and Crossroads Church have learned that the steps to recovery can be the same, no matter the issue, and that many people don’t have just a single issue, anyhow. This is why Pastor Rick Gates helped implement the program into Crossroads Church.
“I’ve been very captivated by Celebrate Recovery since its beginnings in California 20 years ago,” says Gates. “I think it’s something churches can and need to do, and we feel that we’re in the right place to do it.”
For some people it can be difficult finding a place to reach out for help with the deeply personal and sensitive issues that Celebrate Recovery addresses, especially within a church. With invitations open to the entire community, Celebration Recovery, which officially began at Crossroads in August, follows the traditional 12-step program model with a perspective through the lens of Christ.
“We identify Christ from the beginning, and the program is definitely Christ-centered, but we’re definitely not going to shove it down people’s throats. We just want everyone to feel welcomed and comfortable,” says Gates.
Approximately half of the group that meets weekly are members of the congregation, and the other half are from the Perry community, which gives a wide variety of perspectives. Beginning with a potluck dinner (of sorts) every Saturday at 6:15 p.m., the large group discussion commences at 7 p.m. with a teaching or sermon. The second hour of the meeting is broken into two groups, men and women, to have a more comfortable setting for sharing.
“Some people don’t even realize that they’re not the only ones who are dealing with these things,” says Gates. “We want them to know they always have someone here who can understand what they’re feeling.”
For more information about Celebrate Recovery in general, visit the website at www.celebraterecovery.com. Men seeking guidance are welcome to call Pastor Gates at 515-979-2154, and the contact for women seeking guidance is Jen Anderson at 515-249-2358.