OVERFLOW ADDICTION MINISTRY
“Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
This scripture is well known and widely used, but many still struggle to understand the burden of addiction. We have all felt overwhelmed and under prepared, but have you ever experienced when the thing which has been the solution to your problem suddenly stops working and starts killing you. This is how addiction feels.
This verse tells us there is comfort and solution in the love of Christ, but what if it’s been years or you’ve never experienced that kind of love. The realm of addiction is vast and deep. Many people who suffer its grip have never known the kind of love you find in a relationship with Christ or the acceptance found in a church like Pritchard. Before you can let go of old experiences, you must learn to trust new ones.
Overflow Addiction Ministry will be aimed to those who have never felt the kindness of the Church or had the opportunity to experience a relationship with Jesus Christ. These types of solution based scripture offer comfort to those of us who have experienced God’s love, but what if you had no understanding of it. How would you “come unto me” if you aren’t sure who “He is”? Through training and understanding of addiction, we hope to learn to meet people where they are, no matter how near or far they are from God. In learning to listen and understand our community, we will be better prepared to offer the guidance they need. Could you imagine how the Disciples felt as Jesus asked them to leave their homes and follow Him? How much fear that must have brought until they began to experience and feel the love our Savior had for them. It was through his works and the Spirit of God they began to trust in what their eyes showed them. I found the same experience early on in church, once I found the willingness to attend. That was the hardest part for me, for once I arrived I could not deny the power of His presence and works before my eyes. In creating this ministry and the welcoming environment, the hard part has already been done. When those in recovery arrive at church, they have already jumped the highest hurdle of doubt and arrived expectedly. We must rise to this opportunity and show them the acceptance Christ did. He came to save those who were lost and many who are lost will walk into our doors.
Our challenge and reward in accepting such a difficult ministry will be felt immediately. Just as the shepherd rejoiced over the return of the 1 lost sheep, we will have MANY who are lost finding their way to the doors of the Overflow Center. We must be prepared as a church to be the light for this community that suffers in the darkness, as the stigma of addiction is not yet erased. Overcoming guilt and shame, finding the energy to show up in a place that many believe means “judgment”. These are the obstacles the recovery community faces BEFORE they get here. Our assignment is in proving those stigmas to be erased once they walk through the doors. No more guilt, no more shame… only love, salvation and redemption. This is Pritchard, this is Overflow and we are the hands and feet.