Beth Farrah, SMT Writer
Bloomfield, Missouri - Celebrate Recovery recently started in Stoddard County at Living Water Worship Center (LWWC) in Bloomfield. Celebrate Recovery has been held at different churches throughout the past couple of years but LWWC anxiously took on the challenge of hosting it back in September. The group has grown since the kickoff and will continue to grow in the near future.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-based program that helps you get over your “hurts, hang-ups, and habits”. Although it is similar to a twelve-step-program, the founder of Celebrate Recovery believed that Alcoholics Anonymous was missing something: Jesus Christ. With services and minds centered on the Bible, Celebrate Recovery has a success rate of nearly 85%.
Living Water Worship Center plans to reach out and touch many lives in the local area. The leader of this program is Bryan Gentry, a former member of Celebrate Recovery, believes that the program will continue to grow and thrive in our area so that many lives will be touched and changed forever.
“My wife, Tish, and I are Ministry Leaders for Celebrate Recovery at Living Water Worship Center. CR is a Christ centered recovery program that helps people deal with and recover from all kinds of issues that make our lives become unmanageable,” Gentry explains. “Married for 28 years, Tish and I have always felt God's call on our lives to serve together in ministry. We had no idea that I would end up struggling with alcoholism that took our family to a very low place. Knowing God was the answer. He helped me make the decision to turn around. Celebrate Recovery and His Amazing Grace has kept me sober for three and a half years. God has given Tish and I the burden for others to find sobriety and healing for the entire family. With Celebrate Recovery, God will bring victory and healing for life's hurts, hang-ups and habits, including life controlling addictions.”
Living Water Worship Center reaches out helping hands to those lost or in need. With God’s grace and much needed support, many lives will be altered. Even those without “hurts, habits, or hang-ups” are welcomed and are offered a chance to have a closer walk with God. Adults, teens, and children are all welcomed to Wednesday night service because there are programs for each and every one of them.
Services on Wednesday nights beginning at 6:00pm have been going on for the last couple of months, but don’t fret! Beginners 101 Class will be held for the newcomers to explain how Celebrate Recovery works and what it’s all about. Each service begins with Praise and Worship, led by Curt Hillis, the band leader at LWWC. Later, there will be “Chip Time”, where members celebrate their clean time during their recovery by collecting chips or coins depending on the length of their recovery so far.
After a large group meeting held in the sanctuary, where Praise and Worship, Chip Time, and a testimony take place, members are welcome to branch off into different small groups. Small group meetings are broken down into chemical dependency and life struggles, each lead by a different staff member of the church. There are six different small groups: two for men, two for women, one for teens (youth group), and one for the younger children (The Celebration Station).
During large group and small groups, members have a chance to get to know each other during fellowship in the fellowship hall. Snacks and drinks will be served every Wednesday night. This allows members to talk one-on-one with other people or leaders, just in case they do not feel comfortable talking about certain topics in small group sessions.