In God’s world He is about heart transformation.
John and I were asked to recently to participate in a short interview:
What will success look like for this ministry in 6 to 12 months time?
Success is a difficult thing to assess, especially as a Christian, because what we are really asking is where is God leading this ministry. In God’s world He is about heart transformation. If hearts are beginning to change and the kingdom of God is growing then that is success. On a practical level it would be good to see a fully functional Recovery Course in progress, including a possible weekly fellowship group and one on one mentoring, with a view of a second one beginning, perhaps at All Souls?
What would be the greatest support that the church family can give you?
The first thing that comes to mind is prayer. One of our goals is to have a very strong prayer ministry backing this work. Some might even consider coming along during the meeting itself and praying in the background. Others might like to sign up to receive requests and pray at home. As the ministry grows we will need more volunteers, especially those with a heart for people struggling with addictions. Also, the church family can refer those struggling with addictions to us so we can plug them in to get the best possible help.
From your experience, are there any common characteristics of those who have addiction issues/problems?
The first characteristic that comes to mind is that of denial. The admittance of the fact that I have a problem is a difficult step to take. Each person struggling with addictions is trying to change the way they feel and they are also playing god. They are trying to feel differently in the way they want to do it, whether to deaden pain or to relieve boredom, to give a couple of examples and not surrender their wills to a “higher power, ” known in our world as Christ. Another way of saying this is idol worship. Those with addiction issues, who desire to be free, need to come to the point that their lives have become out of control and that they are powerless to do anything about it. There also needs to be a desire to change. In fact, if we were all honest, we all have rebel tendencies that are not too far away from real addictive issues. I, Sally, am very aware of the use of food or even shopping as a “comfort” when life becomes a little tough. John is fond of saying that sin itself is addictive. We all need a Saviour.
First impressions of ASLAN as a ministry? Any tips as to how we might be more effective as a ministry in All Souls?
We are very impressed with ASLAN. The warmth and caring shown toward those struggling is refreshing. The volunteer base is the most extensive we have seen so far. As for effectiveness, I would simply like to say that a dream one day might be to have a vulnerable guest sitting at the same table as a top professional, sharing on the same level about their addictive issues. By the way, we are having this experience on Christianity Explored. Somehow the barriers between people need to be dissolved and courage to interact vulnerably with others encouraged even when it is not all that comfortable at first.
What might be the barriers that will stop people with addiction coming to the recovery course?
One of the hardest things is to let the mask down; be vulnerable and transparent. To admit you can’t do it yourself. This can be terrifying. We have already mentioned denial. There is also the sense that this is just another thing to try; nothing has worked so far so why should this. Also, it is a biblically based course. Our “higher power” is Jesus. There will be Bible verses, biblical principles and prayer. However, only Jesus can bring true freedom and we are not ashamed of this.