12 Steps to Christ
Story by V. Michelle Bernad
What might Ellen White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, say to addicts today? Cheri Peters, founder of True Step Ministries, recently edited White’s classic book Steps to Christ with what she thinks is the answer to that question. “It’s crazy that nobody has done it before,” says Peters, who aimed to update the book into modern language and added specific recovery jargon to the text.
Peters, who was once homeless and on drugs for 10 years, used the parallel principles found in Steps to Christ and in Christian recovery—“God’s Love for Us”/a Higher Power; “A Sinner’s Need of Christ”/powerlessness over addiction, etc.—in her healing process.
“Stepping into the church I was this messed up kid. So all of a sudden what God shared with me in every page of the Bible, on every page of Steps to Christ, on every step of my recovery was that He was crazy about me,” she says. “It was like [I was hearing], ‘I promise you that even though you can’t see yourself, I see you and don’t look at anyone else.’”
Creating a Friendship Recovery Program
Peters hopes to see what she calls “friendship recovery groups” in each church worldwide. There are people sitting in churches battling depression, sexual addictions and other addictions, she adds. “They are ashamed. We have to have a place where we can sit in the same room and not be ashamed, to gather and heal. … I love this church, and I think the only thing we lack is the ability to be real with each other.”
To provide a framework for churches to address these problems and foster healing, True Step Ministries also released the Celebrating Life in Recovery Program, a 14-week program to help participants overcome anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and other challenges in life. Each week participants study a chapter of Steps to Christ, watch a video testimonial of that principal successfully applied in someone’s life and then discuss.
Get more information about True Step Ministries here.
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