Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
“You can quench the Holy Spirit, you can ignore your Bible, but you cannot get away from your friends.” This was the central thesis of a sermon I preached several years ago about the power of the local Church.
Seems like Churches everywhere nowadays are more like second rate talent shows, serving bad coffee and giving little attention to the power of the life-giving word (the Bible) with a healthy dependence on the life-giving Spirit of God and the almost ZERO mention of the most prevalent New Testament metaphor…the FAMILY OF GOD!
The Spirit-Empowered Community
The interesting part about the metaphor of family is that has serious connotations about how we should relate in this new “Spirit-Empowered” community, the Church;
- Family means I don’t perform or pretend to “look the part”.
- Family means that I am accepted and working “from a position” not “for a position”
- Family means I am connected to my brothers and sisters so my relationship is deeply familial, not just random strangers I see on Sunday.
- Family means that when someone else hurts that I hurt with them, it means that when someone else rejoices I rejoice with them.
Coming to Church After Addiction
So as you come to your church after a season of addiction, relational neglect, and self-induced hell how to do you do it?
- You actually got to come…..like get out of bed, put some clothes on get your body to a local Church. It’s hard for your mind, heart and spirit to get fed unless you put your rear-end in a seat.
- You come with no masks, no pretense, no appearance of having it put together. You come broken, limping, and weak but you come as you are.
- You come looking for mercy, for encouragement and for strength. God uses His people (His Church) to share His heart with His people.
- You come not just looking to be served but come ready to serve. Part of your addiction is tied up to a false belief, “I’m worthless”, “The world would be a better place without me”, “I’m a failure”, etc. One of the ways to correct this false thinking is to serve in meaningful ways. When you start experiencing the joy of serving you’ll find new capacities of depth and joy that you never knew were possible.
There Are Those Who Will Walk with You
Probably the most important thing I can tell you in this article is simply this (and I share this with you as a local Church Pastor who shepherds real people with real messy lives)- “When you are working through addiction, your Church, your leadership and your friends want to walk through this with you! No pastor is looking for perfection or a bunch of awesome people…most of us are just looking for willing, authentic and broken people.”
So we will end just like we started…” You can quench the Holy Spirit, you can ignore your Bible, but you cannot get away from your friends”
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been your experience with church and addiction recovery? In your eyes what would have made this transition of going back to church easier for you?
About the Author:
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 19th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com