Celebrate Recovery Frequently Asked Questions


(Frequently Asked Questions)

We’ve hurt ourselves and hurt others too. Some of us are still carrying around hurts from years ago and time often makes things worse. Most people are familiar with the classic 12-Step program of AA and other groups. This program is unlike any other recovery program.


1. What is Celebrate Recovery?
2. What happens at Celebrate Recovery each week?
3. What is Recovery?
4. Is Celebrate Recovery for me?
5. How does Celebrate Recovery deal with past hurts?
6. What types of issues does Celebrate Recovery address?
7. What is the difference between AA and Celebrate Recovery?
8. What is a Step Study?
9. How is an Open Share Group different than a Step Study group?
10. Is Celebrate Recovery confidential?
11. Do I have to share?
12. Does it cost anything to attend?
13. How do I get started?
14. Do I have to be a member of First Baptist Church of Lexington to attend?
15. Who are the leaders of Celebrate Recovery?
16. How often does Celebrate Recovery meet?
17. What if I can’t make it every week?
18. Is there child care available?


1. What is Celebrate Recovery?

Celebrate Recovery is a program adopted from a church in California called Saddleback Valley Church. John Baker, a believer who struggles with alcoholism, found help through Alcoholics Anonymous and began healing. He found emptiness at AA because he could not refer to his personal Higher Power, Jesus Christ. He presented a plan to start a Christian 12 Step Recovery program to his pastor, Rick Warren. Pastor Rick said, “Do it!” John did and Celebrate Recovery was born. Celebrate Recovery is based on God’s Word, the Bible. When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, He began by stating eight ways to be happy. Today we call them the “Beatitudes”. From a secular standpoint, these statements don’t make sense but when you realize what Jesus is saying, you’ll realize that these eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth and spiritual maturity. top

2. What happens at Celebrate Recovery each week?

We meet on Thursday nights from 7:00 to 9:00 with fellowship, worship, teaching and testimonies.  Gender specific open share groups that provide a format for open sharing meet from 8:05 to 9:00.  Solid Rock Cafe is from 9:00 to 10:00 where you may stay, share in some snacks and more fellowship.top

3. What is Recovery?

In physical health, recovery refers to the process of moving from illness to wellness. Our hurts, habits and hang-ups are like an illness and using the tools of Celebrate Recovery we begin to move toward wholeness. Some might say from bondage to freedom in Christ. Others might say from self-reliance to faith in Christ.top

4. Is Celebrate Recovery for me?

Celebrate Recovery offers a person the opportunity to participate in a group where love and hope combine with God’s purpose to mend our lives. Ask yourself:

• Are there things in my life that I do that hurt others?
• Is there something I wish I could live without?
• Is it time to crack my denial and admit I am not in control of my life?
• Do I have a painful habit or hang-up from which I need to be freed?

If you answered “yes” to any of these statements then we urge you to attend a Celebrate Recovery meeting to see if it is for you.top

5. How does Celebrate Recovery deal with past hurts?

Celebrate Recovery is forward looking. Rather than wallowing in the past or rehashing and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future. Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help make those changes.top

6. What types of issues does Celebrate Recovery address?

Celebrate Recovery addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Some recovery programs deal only with alcohol or drugs or another single problem. A wide variety of hurts, hang ups and harmful behaviors are represented at Celebrate Recovery. Examples include dependency on alcohol or drugs, pornography, low self-esteem, need to control, depression, anger, codependency, depression, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, perfectionism, broken relationships, and abuse.top

7. What is the difference between AA and Celebrate Recovery?

The principle difference between AA (and other Twelve Step programs) and Celebrate Recovery is that Celebrate Recovery focuses on Jesus Christ as the true Higher Power and uses God’s Word as the authority in relation to the Twelve Steps. The Twelve Steps have a Christian heritage as they were modeled after the Oxford Society. In order to reach people who would be offended by Jesus or the church, AA focused on a Higher Power. But Celebrate Recovery’s 8 Principles to the Road to Recovery tie the Twelve Steps to Jesus Christ’s teachings known as the Beatitudes given in The Sermon on the Mount.top

8. What is a Step Study?

Celebrate Recovery uses the Twelve Steps and its related Scripture as the biblical model for living your life. A Step Study is a personal journey though each of these steps in a confidential group lead by a facilitator who has completed a study. We use Celebrate Recovery’s four Participant books. 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 12 months to complete the study. After completing the Step Study, we hope you will join with us as we help others dealing with their hurts, habits and hang-ups. We do have guidelines for the groups. All Step Study meetings are gender specific.top

9. How is an Open Share Group different than a Step Study group?

These groups focus on many types of hurt and habits. You are not required to share in the discussion in these groups. You can pass anytime you wish and for as long as it takes for you to become comfortable with participating in the discussion.top

10. Is Celebrate Recovery confidential?

Yes, Celebrate Recovery maintains strict confidentiality. This promotes an atmosphere of trust and enables recovery. We are diligent about confidentiality and anonymity. The guidelines/rules protect all of us from judgment and being “fixed”. In a “safe place” you can take off your “mask” and be real and honest without fear. You are 100% in control of when and how much you participate.top

11. Do I have to share?

In the 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.top

12. Does it cost anything to attend?

Celebrate Recovery does not charge for this ministry. Our Celebrate Recovery is self-supporting. Workbooks are utilized in the Step Studies and are available at the Resource Table on Saturday evenings.top

13. How do I get started?

Just show up! We meet at sojourn church, Mall of the Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA.top

14. Do I have to be a member of sojourn church to attend?

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, hang-ups habits and addictions. There are attendees who are not members and/or do not attend sojourn.top

15. Who are the leaders of Celebrate Recovery?

The leaders of Celebrate Recovery are men and women who have gone through similar addictions, hurts, hang-ups and harmful behaviors and have been through this or a similar Recovery Program. Leaders are not counselors and do not offer any professional clinical advice. If professional advice is required, referrals may be made.top

16. How often does Celebrate Recovery meet?

Celebrate Recovery meets every Thursday. The meetings are designed so that a person may begin on the road to recovery at anytime; you need not wait for a start date to begin your recovery.top

17. What if I can’t make it every week?

You are welcome to come when you can for worship, large group 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.top

18. Is there child care available?

No, we are unable to provide child care at this time.top

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