Thursday, January 14, 2016
What's Our Business And What's Next?
"and the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the the least of My brethren, you did it to Me."
Seems to be a change taking shape when it comes to recovery meetings as a whole.
Some are shutting down....
Some are seeing their numbers fall....
And a lot of people are asking "what is going on?"
Now let me clarify my statement..
When I say "recovery" meetings, I am speaking specifically of those who are sponsored or conducted by churches. One of my viewpoints that I have held to for a number of years is that everything is not forever. By that, I mean that meetings (including churches) are formed and started to meet a need for a season, or period of time.
Does this mean that we are seeing the end of a season where God was pouring out great favor on those in addiction? No. But I do believe that we may be at a point where God is saying, "Take stock of your ways, count the cost of what you've done". In other words, if we want to continue to hold our meetings, we need to consider the total picture of what we're trying to accomplish.
In talking with a friend who heads up a recovery meeting, he shared with me his greatest concern. He told me that the initial impact of recovery meetings...the latest "NEW" thing that attracted people is over. Most meetings have been going for a number of years, and what we are seeing is that we're losing people. We don't really see the numbers of people who are truly changed and find the path to this new life and relationship with Jesus.
My friend went on to say, "We're getting the people into the meetings, but we're losing them on the back end." By that, he meant that people were excited when they encounter their first meeting. The fellowship....the music...the sharing....but if they are not pointed and encouraged to take that next step, they tend to fall away. The new wears of the meeting they attend. I use to put it like this....There is a song that most CR's play to open their meeting with..THE ROAD TO RECOVERY! Now, it is a kicking song and will get your blood jumping when you hear it. But it looses its impact after you've heard it 1500 times. Get my drift?
We, as a recovery community, have got to help those who attend our meetings get to the next part in this thing we call recovery. We've got to give them the message that they have got to get plugged in so they can grow spiritually and emotionally. We've got to do a better job of conveying the need to own their recovery, and to be willing to do the work necessary for their survival. We've buried far to many who have filled up our meetings. People who came, sang the songs....ate the food that was provided in the meal before the meeting......got their court card stamped......and after a few months, went right back out into the darkness....back to the old life...and wound up dead.
So instead of patting ourselves on the back because of the good job we've done, maybe we need to be on our faces asking God, "What would you have me do now?"
We do not have the luxury of doing business the same way week in and week out. We have got to listen every week for direction that God wants our meetings to move toward.
We cannot keep doing the same thing over and over if people are still falling through the crack.
This is not an indictment against anyone or any meeting. I have been in prayer about the direction God wants for Vineyard ReCovery Church. I am all too well aware that from the very beginning, God told me that this was HIS meeting and I was to simply follow instructions. That is what I desire to do more than anything.....get out of His way.
We've relied far too long on the programs and agendas of man. It's time that we truly humble ourselves and ask God for fresh vision and fresh fire of His Spirit to go into the darkness and shine the light of salvation on those who are dying of addiction.
But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
God on you....
Step # 1 We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable. Romans 718 - I know...