In our Conversations series, we highlight six authors and the key ideas behind their new books.
The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People with Addiction
by Jonathan Benz with Kristina Robb-Dover (InterVarsity Press, 2016)
Key Idea: “Even though there are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in thousands of church basements across this country, people with addiction rarely show up on Sunday morning, let alone feel comfortable self-disclosing their addiction. This disease is still vastly misunderstood in the church-at-large. Like the lepers in Jesus’ day, our Church culture stigmatizes and shames these folks. We may know they are there but we don’t know what to do with them and certainly are afraid of getting to close.”
Why Church Leaders Should Read This Book: “I was raised in a minister’s home and served on pastoral staff in a local congregation for many years. The Recovery-Minded Church was written through that pastoral and congregational lens— offering a thoughtful spiritual, theological and clinical framework for how to respond to addicts in the pew. I believe the philosophic approach presented—alongside practical suggestions for offering spiritual healing and inclusion— will empower church leaders to understand their role in this epidemic sweeping across our nation.” —Jonathan Benz
“Pastors and church leaders will get some very practical, theologically informed tools from this book for ministering to people with addiction. It’s also my hope that these tips and insights will go a long way in helping whole church communities become more welcoming to people with addiction, with a view to finding recovery together.” –Kristina Robb-Dover
About the Authors: Jonathan Benz is a clinician, speaker, ordained minister and certified addictions professional who serves as the program director of the Three Strands Christian addiction treatment program at The Recovery Place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kristina Robb-Dover is a writer and minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and a featured columnist with the online magazine Beliefnet.