I received an interesting request to share information about starting a substance abuse ministry from a couple of readers who have read some of my recently published articles.
I know that there is an overwhelming demand for religious centered substance abuse programs in urban communities. Beyond requests for prayer or referrals, churches are seeking a better response to the outpouring of requests to help addicts in their congregation or community. Most of the demand is driven by the sheer volume of addicts and high risk behaviors leading to drug abuse.
Why a faith-based substance abuse ministry? It satisfies a spiritual void that most addicts are looking to fill. Unlike traditional approaches to substance abuse recovery, the faith-based substance abuse ministry connects religious approaches to tools toward recovery. Furthermore, there is a need.
Here is some information if you are looking to establish a substance abuse ministry.
Identify Your Target
Determine if you are going to focus on your congregants or include those outside the congregation. Knowing your target will help you shape your program design for one audience or two.
Set Clear Goals and Purpose
Having clear goals and purpose for the ministry are a must. Are you working with the individual or the individual and his or her family? Are you purposefully going to proselytize to non-believers? Your goals and purpose can be framed into your mission and philosophy statements.
Create A Belief Statement
The belief statement is the fundamental principle behind your substance abuse faith ministry. You can use the belief statement as an affirmation recited before every meeting.
Design An Orientation and Training Manual
You will need to have the ability to conduct orientations for participants and create training and recruiting tools to offer program facilitators.
Find Facilitators and Train Them
Look for people who are delivered from drug and alcohol addiction or have a heart for it. A person familiar with the recovery process will be best suited and will exhibit a passion for the calling. Orient and train them in the principles of the ministry and recovery services that will be offered to participants.
Advertise that you are starting a recovery program. You can advertise many ways, in your church bulletin, using social media, or by placing a banner outside of your church. Once you advertise, people will come.
Set a Date
Establish a date and time for regular meetings. Most importantly, you must be consistent because participants are depending on you and will get into a habit of attending at a specified time and a place.
Hold a Meeting
Bask in the moment of knowing that you have created a successful substance abuse ministry. Holding a meeting is one of the most rewarding moments and accomplishments in your faith.
Share the Message
Once your substance abuse ministry is running successfully, spread the good news with others. Ministry is about sharing so that others can be brought into the body. Don’t keep it to yourself.
A word of advice is that a substance abuse ministry is more than a prayer. It is a connection to recovery using faith principles. If you want your substance abuse ministry to be successful, you will need dedication and devotion.