How Celebrate Recovery Started
Celebrate Recovery started 1991 at Saddleback Church. At that time the church was meeting at a high school gymnasium. After John Baker was unable to share openly about Jesus Christ in his secular recovery meetings and was uncomfortable sharing about his struggle with alcohol in his men’s Bible study, John wrote Pastor Rick the now famous concise 13-page single space letter outlining the vision God had given him for Celebrate Recovery. Pastor Rick said, “Great John, do it.”
The first night 45 people showed up and Celebrate Recovery was born. With only four groups, men’s and women’s chemical dependency and men’s and women’s codependency, the ministry has grown from those four groups to the twenty open share groups we have today. Thousands of people have gone through the workbooks and are now serving in CR and the church. Celebrate Recovery has become the number one outreach at Saddleback Church, with over 70% of its members come from outside the church.
“Welcome to the ‘Road to Recovery.’ You are in for an exciting and amazing journey as you take the hand of the true and only Higher Power, Jesus Christ, and walk with Him toward healing and serenity.”
— Pastor John Baker
Celebrate Recovery Small Groups Can:
• Provide you a safe place to share your experiences, strengths, and hopes with others who are going through the “Principles” in a Christ-Centered recovery.
• Provide you a leader who has gone through a similar hurt, hang-up, or habit that will facilitate the group as it focuses on a particular Step each week. The leader will also keep Celebrate Recovery’s “FIVE RULES.”
• Provide you with the opportunity to find an accountability partner or sponsor.
• Encourage you to attend other recovery meetings held throughout the week, if available.
Celebrate Recovery Small Groups Will Not:
• Attempt to offer any professional clinical advice. Our leaders are not counselors. We will provide you with a list of approved counseling referrals.
• Allow its members to attempt to fix one another.
“I do all this for the sake of the Gospel ….” 1 Corinthians 9:23