Dick B. Radio Interview of Christian Recovery Leader David P. of
Rock Recovery Ministries, San Diego, on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
You May Hear This Radio Interview Right Now
You may listen to Dick B. interview Christian Recovery leader David P on the July 3, 2012, episode of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show here:
Episodes of the "Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B." show are archived at:
Synopsis of David P. Christian Recovery Radio.com Interview
I’ll depart from my usual summary format for three reasons: (1) You need actually to listen to David’s radio interview because it shows how a lay recovered Christian leader has worked up a Christian Recovery Ministry at a very large church (13,000 every Sunday at Rock Church in San Diego) and still managed a hands-on ministering day in and day out to still suffering alcoholics, addicts, and others with life-controlling problems. (2) It will help demonstrate how a vibrant and successful Christian Recovery program—dubbed “Faith Based”—can reach out to newcomers regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of belief, utilize the important fellowship aspects of Anonymous 12 Step Fellowships like A.A., and also offer a clear-cut option to old school A.A. of the Akron Christian Fellowship variety of 1935 while applying those Christian techniques and using A.A. “Conference-approved literature” (3) It makes clear that a group can attain a high recovery rate based on performance and results and the attraction that such a program brings.
Each of our interviews has offered listeners a unique look at the varied Christian recovery programs which are succeeding with an “A.A. Friendly, Bible Friendly, Recovery Friendly, Newcomer Friendly, Friendly Friendly” approach that affords newcomer Christians and non-believer newcomers alike an opportunity to get well and utilize God’s help if they choose. It’s not a “Christian-Track” approach. It’s a solid “faith-based” offer of help of the upscale variety that can avoid relapses, achieve sobriety, and establish a relationship with God through Jesus Christ as well.
I want to take the time to recount several of David’s highly useful quips and suggestions:
Not conditioning admission on one’s religious or Christian faith or convictions: As David put it “Jesus collected the fish and cleaned them up later!” David told of a Christian lady who had failed in another treatment program and persistently sought admission to a Rock Recovery Ministries facility. Then she took David aside and declared: “Do you know what these women are saying and doing. They are not Christians.” In substance, the answer was: “We don’t require people to be Christians in order to seek recovery here.” And then the Jesus fish-cleaning tale.
Handling the critical old-timer who objects to the words God or Jesus or Bible. As David put it, “There are times when a speaker will get up and tell in a meeting how the Big Book and a few verses in the Bible have inspired him.” A “generic” remark, said David—not one designed to evangelize. Then a long-sober “bleeding deacon” may get up and declare: “If I had heard the words God and Bible when I came into the program, I’d have left the rooms and gotten drunk.” The man may have been well-intentioned. But, as David put it: A cloud descends on the room. What can you say? You may give this appropriate answer after the deacon has retired from the pulpit—saying to the group assembled: “I appreciate those views, but A.A. literature says. . . . “
The Big Book view of the integrity of Conference-approved literature. Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., 2001, at page xxiv, points out David, declares this: “. . . our literature has preserved the integrity of the A.A. message. . .” And very often the “wisdom of the rooms” can and should yield to what A.A. literature itself has to say about God and the Bible. For example, A.A.’s own DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers contains innumerable comments about how God and the Bible and Jesus were studied, stressed, and discussed in A.A.
The speaker talk in the rooms didn’t have enough teeth for David. Then he met a happy, crippled newcomer who quietly showed him the way. David entered the rooms as an alcoholic and a court card person. But he was motivated. After his first meeting, he never had another drink. But he had the feeling that he needed messages with more teeth. However, at 90 days of sobriety, he met a very happy young man—a waiter by trade—who had a birth defect that left him with a deformed arm that looked like a wing. They called him “Winger.” David thought to himself, “How can this guy be so happy. If I had such a physical disability, I’d probably be drinking and in self-pity.” But for the first few encounters, the young man would say the usual to him: “Don’t drink. Go to meetings, Get a sponsor,” etc. He kept thinking there was something more to this man’s life that he was not telling. He saw a “light inside the man.” David kept asking, and the routine answers were the same. Finally, the young man simply said to him in substance: “I go to the Horizon Church where Pastor Miles is. He’s an addict and has been sober a long time.” Nothing more. No witnessing. Just a statement. But David looked up the church, went there; and when Pastor Miles established Rock Church, David attended there. He was asked by an A.A. friend who was one of the pastors if he would lead a recovery ministry. David said he thought the A.A. meetings were weak, and the pastor agreed. Finally, David—though repeatedly asked, repeatedly said he wasn’t qualified. Then he concluded, “I’d rather fail with the Lord than succeed on my own.” He relented and began leading the seven day a week ministry we described in the preview and he tells about in his interview. Don’t miss it.