- Celebrate Recovery is based on God’s Word, the Bible.
When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, He began by stating eight ways to be happy. Today we call them the Beatitudes. From a conventional viewpoint, most of these statements don’t make sense. They sound like contradictions. But when you fully understand what Jesus is saying, you’ll realize these eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual maturity.
- Celebrate Recovery is forward-looking.
Rather than wallowing in the past or dredging up and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future. Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help make those changes.
- Celebrate Recovery emphasizes personal responsibility.
Instead of playing the “accuse and excuse” game of victimization, this program helps people face up to their own poor choices and deal with what they CAN do something about. We cannot control all that has happened to us, but we can control how we respond to everything. That is a secret to happiness. When we stop wasting time fixing the blame, we have more energy to fix the problem. When we stop hiding our own faults and stop hurling accusations at others, then the healing power of Christ can begin working in our mind, will and emotions.
- Celebrate Recovery emphasizes spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ.
The third principle calls for people to make a total surrender of their lives to Christ. Lasting recovery cannot happen without this step. Everybody needs Jesus. Celebrate Recovery is thoroughly evangelistic in nature. In fact the first time Rick Warren took the entire church through this program, over 500 people prayed to receive Christ on a single weekend. That is an amazing spiritual harvest! And during the ten week series that he preached to kick off this program, his attendance grew by over 1,500! He says, “Don’t be surprised if this program becomes the most effective outreach ministry in your church.” Today, nearly 73% of the people who have been through Celebrate Recovery have come from outside the church. Changed lives always attract others who want to be changed.
- Celebrate Recovery utilizes the biblical truth that we need each other in order to grow spiritually and emotionally.
It is built around small group interaction and the fellowship of a caring community. There are many therapies, growth programs, and counselors today that operate around one-to-one interaction. But Celebrate Recovery is built on the New Testament principle that we don’t get well by ourselves. We need each other. Fellowship and accountability are two important components for spiritual growth.
- Celebrate Recovery addresses all types of hurts, hang-ups and habits.
Some recovery programs deal with only alcohol or drugs or another single problem. But Celebrate Recovery is a “large umbrella” program under which a limitless number of issues can be dealt with. At Saddleback Church, only one out of three who attend CR are dealing with alcohol or drugs.
- Finally, Celebrate Recovery is a leadership factory.
Because it is biblical and church-based, CR produces a continuous stream of people moving into ministry after they’ve found recovery in Christ. 85% of the people who have gone through the program are now active members of Saddleback Church, and an amazing 42% are now using their gifts and talents serving the Lord in some capacity in the church.