What I learned:
I’ve often said that I experience more “church” in my recovery meetings than REAL church.
I’ve also found that the recovery groups lack in ways church excels. The methods of salvation for both institutions have many similarities. For example, there is a statement of belief in something greater than ourselves. There is the essential experience of some kind of confession where-by we vulnerably lay out our true selves before God and one another. There is a period or reconciliation with those we have wronged. There is an emphasis on prayer as a way to stay strong and continue on our journey of faith. And there is the importance of passing the message of “salvation” onto those who suffer.
In many ways, the recovery groups far exceed church. Prayer and confession (admitting our wrongs) seem to be more relevant in those who strive for salvation from their addiction; but an emphasis on belief and passing on the message of grace appear to surpass the recovery groups. Of course, every church and recovery group are unique in their own identity, and my experience is limited to the churches I’ve been a part of and the recovery groups I’ve plugged into.
I think both institutions would deepen in their impact in the world if we reach out to one another and learn what we can with the purpose of taking these practices to heart. Although lately my attendance to the recovery groups I’ve attended is sparse, I have learned the seriousness of prayer and confession for my own healing from addiction and all the other ways I am broken. Practicing my faith as a Christian and passing on meaningful steps to my congregation has not only kept me from self-sabotage for three years, but I pray it has also made me better at walking with others on their own faith journey.
I’m grateful for the teachings of Jesus and Bill W. as they continue to inform me and transform me. My prayer is that I pass on these steps in a convincing way to my congregation and together we are transformed and healed from all our kinds of brokenness along the way. The goal being that we share healing Love and Light in our corner of the world.