12 Steps


12 Steps

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviours. That our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18 )

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13 )

3. Made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1 )

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40 )

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16 )

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

7. Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Colossians 3:16)

12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 )

– All scripture quoted from the New International Version.

8 recovery Principles

8 recovery Principles

1. Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” Matthew 5:3

2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.

“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

“Happy are the meek.” Matthew 5:5

4. Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself and to someone I trust.

“Happy are the pure in heart.” Matthew 5:8

5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” Matthew 5:6

6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful” Matthew 5:7 “Happy are the peacemakers” Matthew 5:9

7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this good news to others, both by my example and my words.

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.” Matthew 5:10


General Questions

General Questions

Q: What is Celebrate Recovery?

A: The following is a list of things we ARE:

  • A safe place to share
  • A refuge
  • A place of belonging
  • A place to care for others and be cared for
  • Where respect is given to each member where confidentiality is nonnegotiable
  • A place to learn
  • A place to grow and become strong again
  • Where you can take off your mask
  • A place for healthy challenges and healthy risks
  • A possible turning point in your life

The following are things we are NOT:

  • A place for selfish control
  • Therapy
  • A place for secrets
  • A place to look for dating relationships
  • A place to rescue or be rescued by others
  • A place for perfection
  • A long-term commitment
  • A place to judge others
  • A quick fix

Q: How can I find a Celebrate Recovery near me?
A: Celebrate Recovery has a national website telling where groups meet all over Canada: www.celebraterecovery.ca   

Q: Do I have to belong to the same denomination to go to Celebrate Recovery at the church where it is held?
A: No, everyone is welcome at Celebrate Recovery, no matter your denomination. You do not have to belong to a church to come to Celebrate Recovery.

Q: Do I have to be a Christian to attend?
A:  No, all you have to do to qualify is to have a hurt, hang-up, or habit and a desire to get well.

Q: I am not an addict. Why should I attend Celebrate Recovery?
A: Celebrate Recovery is for any kind of struggle in our lives. Less than a third of the people who attend Celebrate Recovery struggle with substance abuse—the rest may come for anger, marriage struggles, adult children on drugs, overeating, you name it! Many of us come because someone in our family is struggling. If a family member is struggling, it is affecting the whole family—and we need support too! Everybody needs recovery!

Q: Do I have to sign up to come to Celebrate Recovery?
A: No, just show up. You are welcome to arrive early if you would like to ask some questions before the group time starts. If not, we have a group that is offered for all first-time attendees. It tells a little about who we are and gives the participants a chance to ask questions.

Q: Are your leaders trained counselors or psychiatrists?
A: No. The group leaders are those who know what it is like to be lost, broken, or hurting. Your leaders have overcome the same issues that you are going through. They now are committed to helping you and others find hope and healing as well.

Q: How long will I need to attend Celebrate Recovery to find healing?
A: Healing from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits is a journey. If we surrender our lives to Christ, He saves us (Principle 3). The twelve steps and the eight principles help us work through the issues we face. For some, the journey lasts a year. For others, the journey can last a lifetime. The length of time depends on the depth of your hurts, hang-ups, and habits. Remember, that your hurts, hang-ups, and habits occurred over a long period of time. They will not go away overnight!

Q: I’ve heard people introduce themselves in a very different way at Celebrate Recovery than at most secular programs. Why is that?
A: In Celebrate Recovery, you will hear folks introduce them-selves like this: “My name is _______ and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with ___________________.”

We do this in order to emphasize that though we do still struggle with hurts, hang-ups, and habits; our identity is in our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the one and only true Higher Power.

Q: How do I know which group to go to?
A: Upon your first visit to Celebrate Recovery, it is highly recom­mended that you attend the ministry’s Newcomer 101 group in order to get an overview of the program and an orientation to what groups are available.

Q:  Is it okay for me to be in the same small group as a family member?
A: No, we feel that it is easier to be in a separate group so that you can feel safe to share more deeply. Sometimes we hold back when our family members are with us.

Q: Is it okay for me to take notes?
A: It is okay to take notes during the large group portion. We do, however, ask that during open share group you refrain from bringing out any note-taking materials, because it is distract­ing to others.

Q: Why do I have to go to the large group? Can’t we just go to an open share meeting and eliminate all of the singing and lessons and testimonies? What’s the point of all that stuff?
A: The Celebrate Recovery large group time is structured to pro­vide a starting place for the night. This time allows us to start the process of clearing our minds and preparing our hearts for the message or testimony that will be delivered that evening. It also gives us a time to connect with others before going into the small groups.

Q: What if I want to leave after the large group?
A: You are certainly welcome to do so—we will not hold you captive! However, it is important for you to know that this recovery process is much like baking a cake. If you leave one of the ingredients out of the recipe, it just won’t taste the same. In the same way, in recovery there is a reason we have the three ongoing groups to the Celebrate Recovery process. We encourage everyone to jump in with both feet. Many people will say that they just don’t have time to do all three components—the large group, the open share group, and the step study group. As a wise accountability partner once told me, “We need to spend as much time on our recovery as we have on our junk.” Those who work the process by doing the proven three groups really see much more significant and longstanding growth. It truly does work if you work it and won’t if you don’t.

Q: What is the purpose for separate men’s and women’s groups? Why can’t we have co-ed groups?
A: The purpose for Celebrate Recovery having gender-specific groups is that it provides another opportunity to have a safe place to share. Separate groups allow men to be open in their groups and speak freely about their issues, and the same for women. It also protects the groups from being a place for people who are looking to impress the opposite gender dur­ing their sharing by embellishing their story. And there are some people who are not comfortable talking in front of the opposite gender and will shut down and not share at all. It also eliminates a “dating” scene from developing within the groups.

Q: Why don’t you have a group for all the struggles listed in the pamplets?
A: Celebrate Recovery takes the role of leadership very seriously. Newcomers to recovery can be very vulnerable, and it is important that those leading the groups have walked through the process and found healing for themselves first. Therefore, the open share groups that are offered at an individual church will reflect the recovery journeys of the local leadership. All programs will offer a men’s and women’s group. The principles of recovery are the same for all issues, and participants can find support and help for their issue in any group. As the leadership of the program grows, more groups covering more specific recovery issues can be offered.

Q: How do I keep my attendance a secret from the rest of my family? I don’t want them to know I have a problem.
A: Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to share your hurts, hang-ups, and habits because we follow five simple small group guidelines. They make the ministry safe. We honor confidentiality and anonymity. We don’t tell others who attends Celebrate Recovery or who is in our groups. Everything that is shared in the groups stays there. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to share our struggles.

Q: Can I still go to my other secular recovery meeting if I attend Celebrate Recovery?
A: This is completely up to you. Attendance at Celebrate Recovery is a personal choice, just like attendance at any other program.

Q: Is Celebrate Recovery court-mandated approved?
A: We have found nationwide that many local courts recognize Celebrate Recovery as a proven and effective 12 Step program for alcohol- and drug-related mandates. However, we strongly suggest that you confirm with your local court to ensure that they approve Celebrate Recovery.

Q: What exactly does “codependency” mean?
A: Generally speaking, being “codependent” means that I value someone else’s happiness and situation over my own. If I constantly make excuses for a loved one’s behavior and not allow them to experience the consequences of their actions, I am operating in a state of “codependency.” This term can some-times be confused with “acting Christian,” but in Celebrate Recovery we learn how to love others as Christ loves us and allow others to live their lives with their own choices. We learn what it means to have boundary lines that foster healthy relationships.

Q: What do I do if my spouse or someone close to me relapses?
A: The great thing about Celebrate Recovery is that we are taught that we must first work on our own recovery. The hard thing to realize is that we are no good to anyone who is struggling if our recovery is not solid. We need to be supportive of our spouses and encourage them through their recovery, but we cannot fix them. Only as their relationship with God gets stronger will they be able to avoid relapse. When you come and learn all of the necessary tools of Celebrate Recovery, then you can be an example to your spouse that the program works. It can work for them too.

Step Study Groups

Step Study Groups

Q: Why are the Celebrate Recovery step studies so important and why do they take about a year to complete?
A: We learn about recovery and celebrate our victories in the large group. Then we share our struggles and victories in the open share groups. However, the “rubber meets the road”  when we join a step study and answer the questions found in the four Celebrate Recovery participant’s guides. Given the number of participants in a step study group, the process of moving through the guides can take up to nine months to complete. The process of asking our-selves deep questions and finding healing does not happen overnight—but it does happen if we are willing to take this Christ-centered journey.

Q: Do I have to buy the Celebrate Recovery Bible for the step study?
A: Although it is not required, it is highly recommended. The Celebrate Recovery Bible is a tool for navigating the recovery principles found in your step study and in Scripture.

The Journey Begins

A Step Study is how we work through our hurts, habits, and hang-ups. We use CR’s first four Participant Guides (The Journey Begins) to direct us on a personal journey through each of the 12 steps and 8 recovery principles.

Step Study Groups are gender-specific and led by men or women who have completed a step study. They meet at another time during the week — meaning not Monday night.

When the group has completed the first Participant Guide, the group is closed to new people. New groups start periodically, so let us know if you’re interested in joining a step group.

We encourage you to prayerfully consider taking this first step. Let us know if you’d like to become part of a group.

You can start working in Participant Guide 1 — Stepping Out of Denial Into God’s Grace on your own, before the next group starts. It is not recommended that you move on to Participant’s Guide 2 without a sponsor or being in a step study.  We have the participant guides and other books and resources available every Monday night.

The Journey Continues

Celebrate Recovery recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary and introduced a new series of step study books–The Journey Continues.  These 4 books (Participant Guides 5-8) is a revolutionary new step study curriculum that is taken after completing The Journey Begins (Participant Guides 1-4).

– Participant Guide 5 ~ Moving Forward in God’s Grace
– Participant Guide 6 ~ Asking God to Grow My Character
– Participant Guide 7 ~ Honoring God by Making Repairs
– Participant Guide 8 ~ Living Out the Message of Christ

The Journey Continues includes biblically based studies filled with brand new acrostics, deeper questions, and more helpful Bible verses.

Is CR for you?

Is CR for you?

To explore whether or not Celebrate Recovery may hold some advantage for your life simply ask yourself whether you or someone you are in a close relationship with may:

  •  Do too much
  •   Owe too much
  •   Work too much
  •   Exercise too much
  •   Spend too much
  •   Lust too much or too often
  •   Sleep too much
  •   Fantasize too much/often
  •   Grieve too long
  •   Gamble too much
  •   Use illicit drugs too often
  •   Feel used too often
  •   Act compulsively too often
  •   Become sad too often
  •   Lose control too often
  •   Become jealous too often
  •   Get manipulated too often
  •   Be too early too often
  •   Feel guilty too often
  •   Feel hopeless
  •   Feel trapped too often
  •   Feel unloved too often
  •   Feel like a failure too often
  •   Eat too much
  •   Worry too much
  •   Give to others too much
  •   Drink too much
  •   Care too much
  •   Smoke too much
  •   Rush too much
  •   Obsess too much
  •   Diet too much/often
  •   Seek excitement too often
  •   Yell or scream too often
  •   Get angry too often
  •   Act sexually inappropriately
  •   Be greedy too often
  •   Feel overwhelmed
  •   Feel envious too often
  •   Be anxious or afraid
  •   Be late too often
  •   Feel resentful too often
  •   Feel lonely too often
  •   Feel unlovable
  •   Feel worthless too often
  •   Feel unattractive
  •   Feel unforgivable too often
  •   Play video games too much
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