Many pastors feel ill equipped to address the family issues, the addictions, the pain of abuse and loss, as well as the myriad other secrets that people in their churches and communities hide in their lives. Church leaders know they have a message that offers hope and healing, but they struggle to put structures in place that allow for focused recovery care. Recovery ministry is uncharted territory for many churches, but the need for it isn't going away any time soon. Churchgoers who struggle with personal pain, in the meantime, begin to wonder if they are slipping beyond the power of God.
Ministries of healing and renewal are the bridge they need to access God's boundless grace and the encouragement of a life-giving community that can offer support and counsel. Liz Swanson and Teresa McBean share their extensive experience working with recovery ministries and tell the stories of success and failure. They show how churches and leaders are providing recovery assistance to hurting individuals and how the ministry of recovery is being used for kingdom purposes, providing lost and hurting people with a bridge to the healing power of hope and forgiveness found in the gospel of God's grace.
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Customer Reviews for Bridges to Grace: Innovative Approaches to Recovery Ministry
Review 1 for Bridges to Grace: Innovative Approaches to Recovery Ministry
Book Review: Bridges to Grace
Date:August 5, 2011
Ministry Design Coach
Book Review: Bridges to Grace: Innovative Approaches to Recovery Ministry by Liz Swanson & Teresa McBean The authors ask the question: “…where is the church in the world of recovery”? They answer their own question by providing the reader with 9 examples of churches that are addressing the brokenness of sin in their communities, drugs, gambling, sexual and various other addictions that cripple people from all walks of life. They state “we need a realistic understanding of how to work through our issues, our struggles with sinful behavior, so we can experience more than just relief from our struggles. We all need recovery in different ways, for different reasons, but we all want to see lives restored and healed by the grace of God.” Their collaboration of research and experience are put to good use revealing one example after another of innovative approaches to recovery ministries developed by churches. They clearly realize that there are different approaches to recovery ministry in the church today and there is no “one size fits all” pattern for effective and transformative ministry. Each church must go on their own journey to discover and develop God’s plan for their particular situation. “Instead of simply highlighting one or two models for ministry, this book shows the remarkable diversity of church recovery models, making it a unique resource unlike any other work written on the subject of recovery.” I believe you will find this book challenging, inspirational and educational. That is the author’s purpose and I believe they have accomplished that in this book that is written in story form. They address the book to pastors, ministry and recovery leaders hoping to answer the following questions: • Why do churches start recovery ministries? • How do we begin this type of ministry, and what are the options? • What have other churches learned that might help us? I would encourage you to go on this journey with the stories of these nine churches that stretched themselves to serve the Lord in a difficult and much needed area. Perhaps the Lord would have you to be stretched as well. One that provides for others a “place of hope, healing, and transformation, a true bridge to grace”.