WARSAW — Every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. individuals gather at New Life Church to gain support from others struggling with addiction. The group began with around five members now has 40 regulars who attend the weekly meetings for a time of learning and finding community with others in the same journey of recovery.
Stoney Craft, ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery, is a recovered addict himself. Previously, he struggled with alcohol and drugs, but now uses his experiences as a way to help others along in their journey of freedom from addiction.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step program which began in 1991. Rick Warren and and John Baker started the program and continue add curriculum to expand the help they can offer members. While this is similar to an AA 12-step program, Celebrate Recovery strives to incorporate a Biblical principles into the program.
The motto of the group is to deal with the, “hurts, habits and hangups” of life. The groups meets weekly for a time of worship, a lesson and end by separating into small groups. Individuals are able to get time to talk with small group leaders who have had experience recovering from addiction. Each small group leader has been through the Celebrate Recovery program themselves.
While the group is designed to help with people overcome addiction, a common misconception is addiction on refers solely to drugs and alcohol Craft mentions. Craft explains anyone struggling with any addiction is welcome to join the group. Craft stated only 33 percent of the people in the program struggle with drug and alcohol. The group is also a safe place for those struggling with depression, eating disorders and sexual disorders.
Craft explained many people feel as if there isn’t a place in the church to talk about the addictions many people face. He emphasized this program is a place for people who feel they are not understood or are unable to talk about a problem to find a safe place to discuss to find help. This is a place to talk about the things, “No one’s talking about,” said Craft.
The schedule of the meetings varies from week to week. Twice a month, meetings consist of a lesson and small group. Once a month, they have a dinner to fellowship. Also, once a month members can be encouraged by listening to a testimony of a recovering addict.
Those interested in learning more about the program can call Craft at (574) 202-3989.