Celebrate Recovery

At Celebrate Recovery, we celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through practicing the eight biblical principles and the twelve steps. On the journey of recovery, we understand that we are not alone and that we can begin to experience life again as we turn towards the plan God has for us. As we share our experiences, strengths and hopes with one another, we open the door for growth. The journey continues as we become willing to accept God’s grace in solving our problems.

By working and applying the biblical principles, we begin to grow emotionally and spiritually. We become free from our addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy, and most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others.

Though it’s sometimes difficult for us to admit, we have all lived less than perfect lives. Our good intentions have failed us again and again; we have hurt people, hurt ourselves and are left feeling like failures who are away from God.

As our compulsive or addictive behaviors progress we find ourselves trapped in habits which lead us on a treacherous path away from the peace and joy God desires for us. This may leave us feeling insecure, angry, frightened and without hope.

No matter what your hurts, habits, or hang-ups may be, there IS hope! Celebrate Recovery offers a safe, welcoming, grace filled, Christ-centered fellowship. At Celebrate Recovery you will find many who are dealing with struggles similar to your own. You will also find a group of men and women who share your desire to be made whole.

The foundation of our recovery is our one and only higher power, Jesus Christ. When we continually come back and turn our will and our life over to Christ’s care, in time our destructive behaviors lose their grip and we begin to embrace a new life, enjoy peace and serenity, we trust that God is guiding our life and our recovery.

We invite you to join us on Friday nights for inspirational teaching and honest testimonies. The open share meeting will encourage, strengthen and support you on the road to recovery! For more information contact the New Song Church Celebrate Recovery leadership T.E.A.M.

FAQs about Celebrate Recovery

When and Where

Feel free to join us on Friday nights from 7:00pm-8:45pm at New Song Church. Our evening consists of the following schedule:

7:00pm – Large Group Worship & Teaching
8:00pm – Open Share (Discussion Groups)

Join us each week where we have a time of fellowship and a Celebration Meal prior to starting the regular meetings at the “Wall Cafe”! At the cafe, individuals have an opportunity to share with those whom they feel safe. It is a time for group members to develop accountability partners and sponsorship relationships. You do not have to be a member of New Song Church to be part of Celebrate Recovery.

** Share Groups available, 8-9pm

For directions and more information please contact the New Song Church Celebrate Recovery leadership T.E.A.M.


Click here for the National Celebrate Recovery website.

Click here to order Celebrate Recovery Resources.

Click here to find a Celebrate Recovery near you.

New Song Church Counseling Ministries
Contact: K. Heather Shaheen
L.C.S.W., M.A.C.E., M.Ed.

Why Celebrate Recovery is Important

Message from Rick Warren

This Recovery Program is Based On God’s Word
This Recovery Program is Forward Looking
This Recovery Program Emphasizes Personal Responsibility
This Recovery Program Emphasizes Spiritual Commitment to Jesus Christ
This Recovery Program Utilizes Biblical Truth
This Recovery Program Addresses all Types of Habits, Hurts and Hang-ups
This Recovery Program Produces Leaders

The Bible clearly states “all have sinned.” It is my nature to sin, and it is yours too. None of us is untainted. Because of sin, we’ve all hurt ourselves, we’ve all hurt other people, and others have hurt us. This means each of us need repentance and recovery in order to live our lives the way God intended.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression that “time heals all wounds.” Unfortunately, it isn’t true. As a pastor I frequently talk with people who are still carrying hurts from thirty to forty years ago. The truth is – time often makes things worse. Wounds that are left untended fester and spread infection throughout your entire body. Time only extends the pain if the problem isn’t dealt.

What we need is a biblical and balanced program to help people overcome their hurts, habits and hang-ups. Celebrate Recovery is that program. Based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory, our recovery program is unique, and more effective in helping people change than anything else I’ve seen or heard. Over the years I’ve witnessed how the Holy Spirit has used this program to transform literally thousands of lives at Saddleback Church and help people grow toward full Christlike maturity.

Most people are familiar with the classic twelve step program of A.A. and other groups. While undoubtedly many lives have been helped through the twelve steps, I’ve always been uncomfortable with that program’s vagueness about the nature of God, the saving power of Jesus Christ, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So I began an intense study of the Scriptures to discover what God had to say about “recovery.” To my amazement, I found the principles of recovery, and even their logical order, given by Christ in his most famous message, the Sermon on the Mount.

My study resulted in a ten-week series of messages called “The Road to Recovery.” During that series, my Associate Pastor John Baker developed the workbooks, which became the heart of our Celebrate Recovery program. I believe that this program is unlike any recovery program you may have seen.

There are seven features that make it unique:

This recovery program is based on God’s Word, the Bible. When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, he began by stating “Eight Ways to Be Happy.” Today we call them the Beatitudes. From a conventional viewpoint, most of these statements don’t make sense. They sound like contradictions. But when you fully understand what Jesus is saying, you’ll realize that these eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual maturity. [top]

This recovery program is forward-looking. Rather than wallowing in the past, or dredging up and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future. Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help me make those changes. [top]

This recovery program emphasizes personal responsibility. Instead of playing the “accuse and excuse” game of victimization, this program helps people face up to their own poor choices and deal with what they can do. We cannot control all that happens to us. But we can control how we respond to everything. That is a secret of happiness. When we stop wasting time fixing the blame, we have more energy to fix the problem. When you stop hiding your own faults and stop hurling accusations at others, then the healing power of Christ can begin working in your mind, will, and emotions. [top]

This recovery program emphasizes spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ. The third principle calls for people to make a total surrender of their lives to Christ. Lasting recovery cannot happen without this step. Everybody needs Jesus. Celebrate Recovery is thoroughly evangelistic in nature. In fact, the first time I took our entire church through this program over 1500 people prayed to receive Christ on a single weekend. It was an amazing spiritual harvest. And during the ten week series that I preached to kickoff this program, our attendance grew by over one thousand five hundred people! Don’t be surprised if this program becomes the most effective outreach ministry in your church. Today, nearly 73 percent of the people who’ve been through Celebrate Recovery have come from outside our church. Changed lives always attract others who want to be changed. [top]

This recovery program utilizes the biblical truth that we need each other in order to grow spiritually and emotionally. It is built around small group interaction and the fellowship of a caring community. There are many therapies, growth programs, and counselors today that are built around one-on-one interaction. But Celebrate Recovery is built on the New Testament principle that we don’t get well by ourselves. We need each other. Fellowship and accountability are two important components of spiritual growth. If your church is interested in starting small groups, this is a great way to get started. [top]

This recovery program addresses all types of habits, hurts and hang-ups. Some recovery programs deal only with alcohol or drugs or another single problem. But Celebrate Recovery is a “large umbrella” program under which a limitless number of issues can be dealt with. At Saddleback Church, only one out of three who attend Celebrate Recovery are dealing with alcohol or drugs. We have dozens of other specialized groups too. [top]

Finally, this recovery program produces leaders! Because Celebrate Recovery is biblical and church-based, it produces a continuous stream of people moving into ministry after they’ve found recovery in Christ. Eighty-five percent of the people who’ve gone through the program are now active members of Saddleback Church , and an amazing 42 percent are now using their gifts and talents serving the Lord in some capacity in our church. [top]

In closing, let me say that the size of your church is no barrier to beginning a Celebrate Recovery ministry. You can start it with just a small group of people and watch it grow by word-of-mouth. Your won’t be able to keep it a secret for long!

You are going to see lives changed in dramatic ways. You are going to see hopeless marriages restored and people set free from all kinds of sinful habits, hang-ups, and hurts as they allow Jesus to be Lord in every area of their lives. To God be the glory! We’ll be praying for you.

Learn more about weekly New Song Church Celebrate Recovery meetings.

Recovery Issues

Substance Abuse (Men’s)
Codependency (Women’s)
A-Z (General Life Issues: Women’s)

The Twelve Steps

The Twelve Steps And Their Biblical Comparisons

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors. 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 will and our lives 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 5:16a).

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.

the Word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16a).

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).

Eight Recovery Principles

Eight Recovery Principles Based On The Beatitudes
by Rick Warren

Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong things and my life is unmanageable.
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor” (Matthew 5:3).

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).

Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
“Happy are the meek” (Matthew 5:5).

Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself and to another person whom I trust.
“Happy are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8).

Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life.
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires” (Matthew 5:6).

Evaluate all my relationships; offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, without expecting any reward.
“Happy are the merciful” (Matthew 5:7).
“Happy are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

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

Yield myself to be used by God to bring this good news to others, both by my example and by my words.
“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires” (Matthew 5:10).

Celebrate Recovery Program

What is the Large Group Meeting?

The Large Group Meeting is a component of the General Meeting Night. This is a time when the entire Celebrate Recovery group gets together for a time of worship, training, lessons or testimony. Lessons are taught from the Celebrate Recovery material and include acrostics and Scripture as a part of the lesson. Open Share Groups gather after the Large Group Meeting.

What are Open Share Groups?

These groups immediately follow the large group meeting. The Open Share Groups are intended to provide a safe place for sharing for those visiting Celebrate Recovery and considering taking the next steps toward recovery. The groups are gender specific and generally issue specific. Small group guidelines are used to facilitate the Open Share Groups.

What are Step Study Groups?

A Celebrate Recovery step group helps members to become free from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits. The Step Study Group is a two hour meeting designed to work through the 12 steps and 8 principles, using the Celebrate Recovery Participants Guides. These groups work best when they meet on a different night/day than the General Meeting Night. All Step Study Groups are gender specific. The Small Group Guidelines are used to facilitate the Step Study Group.


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 highly regarded.
A place to learn.
A place to demonstrate genuine love.
A place to grow and become strong again.
A place for progress.
Where you can take off your mask and allow others to know who you are.
A place for healthy challenges and healthy risks.
A possible turning point in your life.

Things We Are Not:
A place for selfish control.
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.

For more information, please call the church office at 804.559.6064 or email the Celebrate Recovery leadership T.E.A.M.