QUESTION: Can a Christ-centered recovery ministry accomplish something a “secular” program will not?
We asked that question of one Christian with long-term recovery in a 12-step fellowship, whose answer went something like this:
You have touched on a major issue with regards to recovery and the church. I would respond with this question: If an alcoholic or drug addict finds grace, freedom, and inner transformation, is it not probable that Christ was there leading the charge and the change—regardless of the location?
The church labels as “secular” those programs that occur outside of our parameters of understanding God and off-site of our church campuses. My perspective as an addict/alcoholic who tried desperately to get sober within the confines of at least four different local congregations is this: I finally found sobriety instead inside the rooms of an autonomous 12-step fellowship.
I believe Christ was there waiting for me much like the shepherd who left the 99 to find the one. Many of us who consider ourselves to be followers of Jesus Christ have found that 12-step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon Family Groups, and Overeaters Anonymous, to name a few, are his gift to us and have served us as an anonymous ministry of the church.