Frequently Asked Questions
Who is CR for?
CR is for anyone struggling with life. If you have ever had a hurt, if you have ever had a hang-up in life, or perhaps you have struggled with an addiction, then this ministry is for you. We all share one thing in common: hurt. Click here for a detailed list of hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
Have you ever felt:
Helpless and hopeless in your circumstances?
Overwhelmed and out of control—that your life was unmanageable?
Frustrated that you have failed again — for the “umpteenth” time?
So discouraged that it is hard to put one foot in front of the other one?
“I hate myself”?
Alone and crazy?
Embarrassed and ashamed that you can’t stop_______________? (you fill in the blank)
Faulty and that you are a failure?
Scared and paralyzed to do anything about “it”?
No one could possibly understand your situation?
You can’t tell anyone about _______? If they knew that they would not like me.
No one cares about the incredible pain I am in?
If you feel any of these things, you are not alone.
What is CR?
Celebrate Recovery is a safe place, a refuge, a place of belonging, a place to care for others and be cared for, where respect is given to each member, where confidentiality is highly regarded, a place to learn, to grow and become strong again, where you can take off your mask, a place for healthy challenges and healthy risks, a possible turning point in your life.
We are NOT: a place of selfish control, therapy, a place for secrets, a place to look for dating relationships, a place to rescue or be rescued by others, a place of perfection, a long-term commitment, a place to judge others, a quick fix.
So how is AA (and other 12 step programs) different than Celebrate Recovery? The principle difference between AA (and other 12 Step programs) and Celebrate Recovery is that Celebrate Recovery focuses on Jesus Christ as the true Higher Power, uses God's Word as its guide, and there is a large group worship time to help connect with God and prepare for the message of Christ-Centered recovery. Celebrate Recovery's 8 Principles written by Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, intersect perfectly with the 12 Steps by connecting the core principals of recovery to Jesus’ teachings from The Sermon on the Mount, found in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5-7
The 12 Steps were adopted from Alcoholics Anonymous and the biblical comparisons are used to support how each step connects directly with the scriptures. Although these are not the only verses which speak of recovery, they represent well the core principle of the corresponding Step. AA pioneers Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob stated many times the basic ideas of the AA program came from the Bible itself, primarily from the Book of James, 1 Corinthians and the Sermon on the Mount.
Who leads CR?
Celebrate Recovery is led by trained Christians in recovery who have worked through the 12 Steps themselves. We serve alongside many others on the road to recovery who volunteer in the ministry as part of their long term recovery. We understand. We come from a wide variety of recovery issues and backgrounds… All have a heart for CR. We have been trained at New Hope and at National and Regional and local CR training conferences and through the Celebrate Recovery Advanced Leadership training guide. We are not perfect but have a wealth of experience to offer those in recovery.
How do I get started?
The entry point for Celebrate Recovery is to come on Friday night starting at 7 pm. After the Large Group Meeting, we recommend you go to the Newcomers101 group if you're new to CR. This will give you a little history about CR, who we are and what to expect if you decide to go one of our groups next time you come. All you have to do is show up and we will walk you through everything.
What can I expect?
We like to think that CR is like a home....a place where there is real life happening. A place where we can feel safe and loved by your “Forever Family”. A place where we can relax and know that great things are getting ready to happen. CR is one of the most loving and accepting environments you will be a part of. Everyone here is on the same road and though our issues may be different, we all are seeking God's truth in the same way. This is a safe environment where we can take our masks off and be who we are.
A typical Friday night for Celebrate Recovery at New Hope Church looks like this:
7-8 pm - Large Group Meeting in the auditorium. Our large group meeting is a time of worship, teaching on the Recovery Principals or 12 Steps, or a testimony and other program related announcements and readings. The purpose of this time is to set aside the worries and stress of the day and allow music to help connect with God. The lessons are from the CR Participants guides (link to Official CR web site) and help you understand what the program is and how to work it in your life. We alternate each lesson with a live testimony showing how the program has worked in the lives of those who are fellow strugglers and how they experienced Gods grace and healing in their lives. We also offer Recovery Coins for periods of recovery, take up an offering, and make announcements.
8-9 pm - Open Share Groups are offered each week following the large group meeting. (We encourage you to attend the Newcomers 101 group before attending Open Share Groups.) These issue and gender specific groups are designed to allow you an opportunity to share about your struggles and victories without interruptions or comments from others. Everything shared in the group stays in the group. Please check group guidelines for more information on confidentiality and anonymity. (Link to guidelines here) You will find the groups with their room location every week in the program. The Life issue groups have a wide range of issues including anger, co-dependency, survivors of sexual abuse, food issues, grief and loss, etc.
Newcomers 101 - is a group for those new to CR that explains a little history about how CR got started, how our groups work, information on resources, and what to expect the next time at our open share groups. Newcomers 101 is for first time attendees only and is held in the auditorium right after the large Group Meeting.
9-9:45 pm - Cross Talk Cafe’ in the atrium. Light snacks and beverages are provided.This is a great time to fellowship and network with others in recovery to build your accountability and sponsorship team.
Do I have to come for both the large group and small group on Friday nights?
You are not required to attend all three components of Friday night worship service, open sharing, and "Cross Talk Cafe," but we do recommend that you make it a priority. You will leave charged and refreshed through the fellowship and spiritual healing that come in the context of the Friday night experiences. That being said, we know that life happens and simply ask you to attend what is applicable and convenient for you.
Does it cost anything to attend?
Celebrate Recovery does not charge for this ministry. We take up an offering on Friday evenings. Our Celebrate Recovery is self-supporting. The Participant Guides are used in the Step Studies and are available for purchase at the Literature Table on Friday evenings or online. We have a dinner on the last Friday of each month with a $3 donation. Our CR Kids is free but appreciate donations of any amount to offset the cost of qualified workers.
What are the chips, and why are they important?
CR Recovery Chips are designed to give each person an opportunity to mark their individual recovery. If you don’t have an addiction that can be marked by sobriety easily, then we suggest you mark your journey from the day you pick up the blue chip, which is the first chip marking surrender in your life.
What is the difference between a "sponsor" and an "accountability partner?"
What is the difference between a "sponsor" and an "accountability partner?" We cover this topic in Newcomers 101, in Open share groups, Large Group time and in Step groups and in one of the CR brochures on the Literature Table . However, in short, an accountability partner is anyone that you trust that is on the road with you in life. This person will be one for you to call and check-up with periodically. They can be trusted to point you to truth, to encourage your attendance to meetings, and walk with you on the road to recovery. A sponsor is an accountability partner who has completed the recovery process. Ideally, you want the sponsor to have recovery in issues similar to your own, so they can relate to you and your journey. All accountability partners and sponsors are to be the same gender.
Finding a sponsor to help you through the 12 Steps of recovery is so important. They are further down the road in recovery and can help you as you work the steps. Click here to download the Guidelines for a Sponsee and their Sponsor.
Is Celebrate Recovery confidential?
Yes, Celebrate Recovery strives to maintain strict confidentiality. This promotes an atmosphere of trust and enables recovery. We have a saying that is repeated often in every Large Group meeting:
WHO you see here.
WHAT you hear here.
WHEN you leave here.
Hear! Hear! We are diligent about confidentiality and anonymity at CR. Like Open Meetings of AA, the large Group Meeting is open to the public in order to be of maximum help to those who are in need. Our Sharing and Step groups are strictly for those in the program of recovery. The CR Group guidelines ( Link to Guidelines here) and trained group leaders protect all of us from judgment and being “fixed”. We place a high value on trust in our groups so you can be real and honest without fear. You are 100 percent in control of when and how much you participate.
Do I have to be a member of New Hope Church?
No, Celebrate Recovery is a ministry for anyone who is interested in a Christ centered recovery program that will enable them to recover from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups. There are attendees who are not members and/or do not attend New Hope Church. You are welcomed to any of our additional weekend services- Saturday evening at 5:30 pm and Sunday mornings at 9 and 11 am.
What is a Step Study?
Celebrate Recovery uses the 4 Participant Guides as the curriculum for working through the 12 Steps and 8 Recovery Principals. Our Step Study takes place on a night other than Fridays. The CR Step Study is a personal journey through each of these steps in a confidential group led by a facilitator who has completed the study themselves. When you finish the study you will have worked your hurts, habits, and hang-ups through each step. A Step Study is a long-term commitment to the members of the group. It will typically take 8 to12 months to complete the study. After completing the Step Study, we hope you will join with us as we minister to others dealing with their hurts, habits and hang-ups. We use the CR Group Guidelines for our Step Study groups. Click here to view the Group Guidelines.
Do I have to share?
In the Open Share Groups, absolutely not . . . until you are ready.
You can pass anytime you wish and for as long as it takes for you to become comfortable.
In the Step Studies, participation is required as the questions are answered.
What if I can't make it every week?
You are welcome to come when you can for, The Large Group meeting and Open Share groups. However if you join a Step Study, you are expected to come each week until you complete it. As with any endeavor, the more effort you put into Celebrate Recovery, the more benefit you will gain.
What if I have children?
CR Kids provide a safe, loving environment for children ages 12 months through 12 years old at our Friday night service. CR Kids' is a place for the kids to go while their parents are attending Celebrate Recovery.