The Dick B. Interview of Christian Recovery Leader Randy Moraitis—Executive Pastor of Ministry at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa, California--on the July 12, 2012 episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” Show
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
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Synopsis of the Interview
Our guest was Christian Recovery leader Randy Moraitis, Executive Pastor of Ministry at The Crossing Church, located at 2115 Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, California.
The Crossing Church regards itself as a “Recovery Church.” It is celebrating its 24th Anniversary. The Lead Pastor has a major focus on people who don’t know God and helping them say “Yes” to God. Randy has a lovely and supportive wife and a family of five “blended” children. He holds a degree in management and leadership. He was a businessman who sold his business, went to seminary, and there received a degree in theology and counseling. He then served at Calvary Chapel and Mariners Church and transitioned to his present leadership work at The Crossing Church. He is perhaps best known for the “Lifelines” meeting which is held each Friday in the Loft. It begins at 7:00 PM. At 8:00 PM. Then it breaks up into small groups led by licensed professional volunteers. And there are a number of activities connected with this ministry. It started twenty years ago with a small group, and now has a regular, lively attendance of between 300 and 400 people per meeting.
Randy states that Lifelines bends every effort to break the generational cycle of addiction families that are dysfunctional. The first portion of its Friday meeting is filled with clapping and cheering as the audience celebrates various stages of recovery at what can be likened to a “chip” meeting. The meetings are positive and encouraging. They include a half hour talk by an expert in the addiction arena. Dr. David Stoop, Editor of the much-in-demand Life Recovery Bible, was a recent speaker, along with other specialists such as addictionologists, treatment and counseling program directors, pastors, psychologists and therapists. And I was honored to be a speaker there on two different occasions on the subjects of Alcoholics Anonymous History, the Christian Recovery Movement, and their relationship to the Twelve Steps of recovery
Amidst the life and death effort to overcome addictions and other life-controlling problems, Lifelines experiments with many approaches. Support groups are led by licensed professional volunteers and deal with healing, connecting up, and obtaining sponsors. Relapse prevention is another group area where there is often an intervention that saves lives. For the young people, there is help for Teens, and also for “kids” (with between 30 and 40) who have parents in recovery and call themselves “Kids like me.” They learn boundaries, respect, healing, and healthy living. Lifelines partners with local recovery programs, treatment programs, and sober living entities. Many transport their clients to meetings by van. Some participants are not addicted but come because of the friendly, positive, warm atmosphere of the meetings. However, there is an understanding that “All are recovering from something.”
Three other programs deserve special mention. None is boring. One is called “Stump the Therapists.” Professionals are on stage, help members make healthy choices and honor God; and often provide answers for those with major issues but who can’t afford therapy itself. A second program is called “Recovery Trivia.” The audience poses questions of recovery, and they are often fun. With winners receiving an award of a Life Recovery Bible. The third program is called “Global Vision” which broadcasts live on the internet.
Also, like more and more organizations, The Crossing is reaching out to other countries. One is Vietnam. There is a current effort in Uganda. The objective is to help other countries counter addiction problems. Often, volunteers talk about the “12 Steps” to people who have never heard of them and want to know more.
In closing, Randy pointed to the watchfulness for trends. He expressed special concern for the surging population in Orange County, California, of heroin addicts. He mentioned the frequent deaths from overdose. Lifelines encourages people to avoid hiding their problem, to seek help, and to face up to recovery options. He made special mention of the importance of the biblical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous, keeping Christ in recovery, and the importance of interaction and reaching out to the community.
Randy became interested in our work when he was looking up the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and its Christian roots. Jim Gaffney, former recovery pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, introduced us to, and strongly recommended, Lifelines. And very recently, Randy’s church hosted a major International Christian Recovery Coalition at The Crossing Church. He is a winner!