- Check out the "Church Interest Information Packet." Pray about your involvement in CR, for God to bring others to this effort in your church, for your pastor’s support and involvement and that your church would be a safe place for healing people. Set a time to meet weekly to pray. (Ephesians 6:18)
- Preparing to start a CR includes (1) building a support system/team; (2) learning the details of CR by networking with others and by reading and studying all materials; (3) training leaders as you work the 12 steps using the Participants Guides, Leaders’ Guide and the Advanced Leadership Training Guide; and, (4) planning the details of your CR program.
- Put an invitation in your church newsletters and/or bulletins asking people to attend a meeting to learn about a 12-step recovery ministry preparing to begin in your church. (Make every attempt to get as many people as possible involved at this point. Network, communicate, and advertise within your church, about this
- Go to www.celebraterecovery.com online, read everything on the website and purchase the CR Kit. Read the Leader’s Guide and the Participant’s Guide when they arrive, paying particular attention to the “90 Day Kick Off Strategy”. A good suggestion is to also purchase the Advanced Leadership Training Guide as soon as possible. In the “ALT” you will find all materials needed to train open discussion groups and step studies.
- Online, go to “Global Locations” and locate your state representative. Contact your state rep and those in your state and city who are on the website. Attend every CR that models Saddleback’s CR. (If there is a CR in your city, you might want to inquire about joining a step study with their church in order to be trained in the process. Develop relationships with other ministry leaders, praying for one another.) Ask your state rep to recommend CRs to visit, as you don’t want to model a ministry who is not modeling Saddleback!
- Study the “CR Trademark Statement” and begin to understand all it means to model Saddleback’s Celebrate Recovery. Understand that if you choose to call your ministry “Celebrate Recovery”, you must model Saddleback’s CR!
- Begin to make arrangements to attend the Summit taking as many people with you as can attend. Make arrangements for your pastor to attend, as well. Your pastor’s support is critical to the success of your CR. Attending the Summit will give you and your leaders the training needed and all the tools and motivation you need to start your CR and open it up to the community and church family. Check online and attend any One Day Seminars in your area, understanding that attending a One Day Seminar does not replace the need to attend
- At your first meeting, explain the ministry and show the video in the CR Kit. Explain that the first thing that must be done is to take as many people as possible through the steps. Choose an evening and make plans to start step study groups, dividing men and women. (You will need 2 leaders trained for each step study group you will be starting.) Explain that everyone must, at least, get through Step 4 before you begin your “Main Event Night” (or, everyone can complete the steps before your start CR). If your group is small (10-20) you can begin with mixed issue groups, but separate for men and women.
- When you start taking your first groups through the steps, you will not advertise, except within the church, that you are starting CR. You are actually taking your initial group(s) through the steps, who may be your facilitators/leaders when you open your CR up to the community and church, in the near future. It is very important to have your facilitators trained during this preparation phase, as well as when you start your CR. The Group Guidelines must be read at each week and followed, small groups led consistently and trained facilitators in place who can immediately take people through the step studies when you start your CR Main Event Night!
- You will need to order materials. Each person participating in CR pays for his or her own materials. (Some churches may choose
to have scholarship funds available for those who can’t afford
- Begin to meet weekly to work through the first Participant’s Guide, Stepping Out of Denial Into God’s Grace, together. As you are working through the first Participant’s Guide you will be praying about a date to start your CRs Main Event Night. Determine a meeting night and location for your CR program. As you plan, understand the night you have your “Main Event Night” is the night you have dinner, large group meeting, open share groups and a coffee shop. (You might choose not to have dinner and coffee shop in the beginning.) Your open share groups will be an “open share time” and do not use the Participant’s Guides. You will have “step study groups” on an additional night of the week, using the Participant’s Guides. At the Summit (and in the Advanced Leadership Training Manual purchased) you will receive formats and training to learn how to lead the “open share time” the night you have your ”Main Event Night” and the “step study groups” the additional night of the week.
- Begin to put your TEAM together, using Saddleback’s model for the TEAM Strategy, explained in full in the Leaders Guide or ALT. You will also need team leaders for other possible teams who serve: BBQ Team, Coffee Shop Team, Prayer Team, Worship & Sound Tech Team, Usher Team, Greeter Team, Set Up Team, Newcomers 101 Team and CR Inside Team.
It is possible for this preparation to be done in 90 days, but many have taken over a year preparing to start CR. Some have considered the 90 Day Kick Off Strategy to be 90 days before the Main Event Night.