I was delighted to receive your message; and I hesitate to try to answer the format point because there are so many good options. And here are some:
A Christian Fellowship meeting – some of which are in progress in Oroville, Brentwood, Livermore, Huntington Beach, Escondido, and Glendora. And they all differ somewhat, but here is their general approach: (a) Limited, brisk, Christian singing and music. (b) Open with genuine Christian prayer “Heavenly Father, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ…..” (c) A speaker who can explain how he hit his low, how he determined to quit for good, how he decided for Jesus Christ, how he realized that the new birth was just the beginning of learning God’s truth both by revelation and from the Bible, how he tries to walk by the spirit each day, and how he seeks to serve and glorify God by bringing others to Jesus Christ, helping them turn to God for healing, and lead the abundant life that Jesus came to make available. (d) Close with prayer.
A Christian Recovery Fellowship meeting – embracing the learning of: (a) Origins of Christian recovery in Bible healings, in the work of Christian organizations in the late 1850’s [Salvation Army, Rescue Missions, Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, Evangelists (b) Learning the Christian upbringing of both Bob and Bill. (c) Learning how the first three AAs got sober without steps, traditions, Big Book, drunkalogs, or endless meetings. (d) Learning the essence of the original Akron Christian fellowship: Prayer meetings, Bible studies, Quiet Time, acceptance of Jesus Christ, fellowship, and witnessing. (e) Learning how to recognize and repudiate today’s idolatry which comes from higher powers, “spirituality,” New Thought ideas, and “not-god-ness.” (f) Learning that, whatever the treatment or fellowship program, Christians need to understand their roots, turn to God for help, and grow through prayer, Bible, revelation, fellowship, and witness.
A full fledged Christian recovery program: (a) Reaching out to newcomers with programs that are A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, History Friendly, and Newcomer Friendly. (b) Teaching all the elements of Christian recovery: assessment, detox, counseling, true Christian treatment, Bible study, Christian fellowship meetings, emphasis on newcomers, daily fellowship and communication, prayer meetings, fitness, nutrition, employment, housing, education, vocational training, wholesome recreation, and striving for quality achievements. (c) Encouraging a seven-day-a-week effort involving such things as daily prayer, daily Bible study, church or Bible fellowship attendance, eating together, recreating together, witnessing and fellowshipping together. The Book of Acts is the theme.
Frankly, Mario, the longer I research, write, study, and remain sober—and see others in action—the more I favor what we did both in Marin County and then in Maui: (a) I would find a newcomer at an A.A. meeting and qualify him to the end of sponsoring him. (b) I would insist, as did Dr. Bob, that he believe in God, come to Him through Jesus Christ, and study the Bible. (c) Not discourage him from attending A.A. or counseling, but making sure he put God first. (d) Holding regular—sometimes almost daily—Bible fellowships where we would sing together, pray together, hear Bible teaching together, eat together, go to meetings together, go to the movies and the beach and retreats and seminars and musical events together, and work with newcomers. (d) Here some of the A.A. ideas were vital: assessment, detox if needed, commitment never to drink or use again, dealing with temptation, dealing with idolatry, dealng with atheism, and emphasizing victory in the spiritual battle.
Here I will once again have my son Ken send you our materials on participation in the International Christian Recovery Coalition www.ChristianRecoveryCoalition.com; and establishing a Christian Recovery Coalition Resource program. The latter is important because it provides the class, the recovery guide, the handbook for centers, and a plan for networking and referral.
I trust this is not too big a mouthful, but I like to think we are growing instead of merely establishing. And the growth has come in the last two years of seeing what works with others who share our common emphasis on the role of God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible---and healing! Each of our participants seems to take part, but they don’t leave the rest. And we encourage them to start where they are.
Please ponder what Ken is going to send you now. And soon, also, you can get small chunks from my new short YouTube presentations on “dickbchannel.” Should you find yourself able to fund and support a trip by us to speak to your group and/or leaders, we would consider that. This is what we did in California and Oahu in some 23+ meetings, seminars, and conferences.
Author, 42 titles & over 500 articles on A.A. History
Exec. Dir., International Christian Recovery Coalition
Christian Recovery Resource Centers - Worldwide
PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
Ps 118:17 (NJB):
I shall not die, I shall live to recount the great deeds of Yahweh.