Recovery Churches

The EFCA has trained a network of Recovery Churches ready to bring healing to any pastor who feels wounded in the process of serving. Each recovery church has a team of caring individuals ready to welcome and care for a pastoral family in need of help. The network stretches from the east to the west coast and from the upper Midwest to the southern United States.

Purpose of the Recovery Church Ministry

To provide a coordinated, full-orbed ministry of recovery and restoration to ministry weary pastors and missionaries. The goal is to return these servants of Christ to productivity in the cause of Christ. Unique needs arise when a person suddenly leaves the ministry. Each one must be adequately addressed for healing to begin. A healthy local church is the best community for recovery to occur.

Basic concepts of the Recovery Church ministry

Unique needs arise when a person suddenly leaves the ministry. Each one must be adequately addressed for healing to begin. A healthy local church is the best community for recovery to occur. A team approach to the ministry of caring for hurting people assures a greater level of success.

Benefits of a team approach to recovery

  • Wisely divides the care giving responsibilities.
  • Provides a variety of expertise.
  • Establishes a greater number of friendships.
  • Assures wisdom when conflicting priorities require compromises.

Expectations of Team Members

  • Love the people they have been called to help.
  • Fulfill their area of responsibility until recovery is complete.
  • Interact with team members and keep team leader informed.
  • Preserve confidentiality and build trust with recovery couple.

Expectations of the Recovering Couple

  • Demonstrate a genuine desire to recover.
  • Cooperate with each member of the team.
  • Respond to insights and recommendations of the recovery team.
  • Attend worship services and be involved in the life of the church.

The Team Members

Hospitality / Care Giver / Team Leaders

  • Willingness to love others unconditionally with "radical hospitality"
  • Ability to provide leadership and encouragement to a team.
  • Provide affordable quality housing in a restful setting, practical and supportive love especially at the beginning of the process and leadership to the Recovery Team.
  • Secure housing for the family, assure a successful move and pleasant arrival, build a friendship with the guest family and oversee the various phases of recovery to assure progress.

Vocational Care Giver

  • Ability to identify marketable vocational skills, well connected in the community.
  • Provide contacts enabling employment as soon as possible, wisdom in identifying future employment and career options
  • Help identify skills and interests of the pastor (spouse), locate employment opportunities and arrange interviews as needed, and interact with pastor as longer term employment options are considered.

Counseling Care Giver (or liason to counselor)

  • Professionally capable Christian counselor, appreciation for a team approach to recovery.
  • Provide personal insights that will foster healing of the pastor and the family and guidance to the team as they seek to understand.
  • Assess the impact of the recent crisis on the marriage and family, provide counseling sessions to address appropriate issues and report significant insights and progress to the recovery team.

Financial Care Giver

  • Reputation for integrity in handling personal finances and a love for people.
  • Provide guidance in the area of personal budgeting, guide the team in assisting the recovery couple financially.
  • Assess current financial situation of the couple, assist in establishing and monitoring an income and outgo budget, and advise the team when financial assistance is needed from other sources.

Pastoral Care Giver

  • Pastoral experience, typically a pastor on the recovery church staff, spiritual maturity and scripturally grounded views of grace.
  • Help the guest find forgiveness of sin, assurance of God's love and calling, and a daily, satisfying walk with Christ.
  • Provide opportunities to interact on the impact of being out of ministry, assist in restoring a healthy relationship with God, provide ministry opportunities when appropriate and as desired, assist in steps of forgiveness and reconciliation with others, and support efforts to return to ministry upon completion of recovery.

Prayer Care Giver

  • Reputation for supporting people and ministries in pray and capable of respecting confidential information.
  • Provide prayer support for the recovery couple and the team.
  • Get to know the couple and the members of the team and pray regularly with and for the couple and the team.

Objectives and Activities

Preparation Stage

  • Team Formation
  • Pre-arrival
  • Recruit Team Leader
  • Create and Orient the Team
  • Participant visits the recovery church
  • Secure housing (and employment?)
  • Recovery Team meets each other

Relocation Stage

  • Safety & Trust
  • First Month
  • Settle into housing and community
  • Begin employment
  • Allow time for family activities
  • Provide encouragement through interaction
  • Recovery team meets weekly

Insights Stage

  • Practical Foundations
  • Second and Third Months
  • Counseling, initial report to team leader
  • Assess financial needs and create budget
  • Connect with small group
  • Begin meeting with pastoral caregiver Recovery team meets monthly

Focused Recovery Stage

  • Adjustments
  • Fourth through Sixth Months
  • Counseling, comprehensive report to team leader
  • Adjust budget as needed
  • Evaluate housing and employment situations
  • Continue meeting with Pastoral Caregiver
  • Recovery team meets monthly

Comprehensive Recovery Stage

  • Life Begins to Return to Normal
  • Sixth Months through One Year
  • Team leader monitors progress closely
  • Consider appropriate ministry responsibilities
  • Maintain accountability to counselor and team Increased involvement in the life of the church
  • Recovery team meets as needed

New Directions Stage

  • Exploring the future
  • Year One to Two
  • Team leader monitors progress
  • Identify on-going counseling recommendations
  • Expand ministry responsibilities
  • Explore career options
  • Discipline cases report to Board of Ministerial Standing

Recovery Success Stage

Recovery success comes as we do our ministry with excellence as unto the Lord. The results are in His hands. Success can not be measured by the response of the couple.