Below is the 12 Step program (originally for alcoholics):
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over ________ – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Mindy and Bryan were having a conversation a while back about the 12 Step Programs and how church would probably be a much more fruitful and beneficial activity if it functioned more like a 12 Step Program. If you read the steps above they seem like a perfect path for Christians, new or old in the faith, to begin their journey. Many come to faith not as alcoholics, but as chocoholics, shoppoholics, greedy, materialistic, selfish, self-righteous, adulterous, deceptive, pious, gas-guzzling, uncaring, you pick your vice.
Could you imagine if church services where less about one message for all gathered, and more about embracing each person on their journey of faith?
I wanted to start a “Pharisees Anonymous” group at our church that would meet about 45 minutes before the service started. Folks would come together, and acknowledge their shortcomings. We would confess to one another scriptures that we were aware of that we were struggling to follow, and we would encourage one another to continue to journey. No finger-pointing, no judgment, but not a lot of “feel happy” puff yourself up stuff either. I’m thankful I live in a community that does that, now I want to spread it to the church.
Anyone else interested in starting a 12 Steps group?