How can churches help find a solution to the drug epidemic? It seems simple enough, Churches are focused on God, have families in their congregation that are experiencing this epidemic and have knowledge of how to practice faith in suffering. It would seem all these elements exist in what a family experiences on their journey with substance use disorder. However, even though doctors, counselors, politicians, prosecutors, mayors and treatment centers have all converged to address this issue, the churches have been the least committed to provide a family focused ministry for their large population.
This is the purpose of “ Invest in the Family Ministry”, a church-based turnkey ministry model for families experiencing the substance use disorder epidemic. What has been the case for many churches is most do not have the strategy, structure, process within their existing ministries to adapt and support the unique blend of needs required by this group. Also, these family’s needs are not only from a spiritual nature; but include education to learn about what the journey with substance use disorder will entail, how to use their faith practices in their suffering and where to find help on an “issue by issue” case, in this life long experience.
This is a complicated disease only further exasperated by a social stigma which prevents families from seeking help. It becomes more elusive when they do not know where to begin. The “Invest in the Family Ministry” clears up all these issues so the family can focus on giving this disease of the brain over to the lord.
The “ Invest in the Family Ministry” model offers a home in your church for these families by providing: 1. 32 Education Learning Seminars " Family Solution Finder Learning Seminars", 2. Spiritual Faith practice development paths, " SP~ARK's Program" and 3. Networking to support referral resources " M.O.R.E. Program" for the changing need of these family members. It is a harbor (Ark) in the storm so the family members can get educated, organized and networked. These are the key elements needed to empower a family. Because, Knowledge is Empowering. All of this is included in the model "Invest in the Family Ministry.
The Invest in the Family Ministry "Church USer Manual" book is designed to be modified so it meets the specific attributes of your faith practices. By meeting the family in their suffering and coming to their level we do God’s work better, than if we ask the family to rise to ours.
The " education seminars" and spiritual development tracks can be self-administered by the family in their home, at your Church as a monthly ministry meeting or in a large seminar where the community is invited. No prior experience is required, all needed content is provided in study guides, workbooks and on-line extended learning.
This same approach (meet them where they are) is designed in the ministry model to provide “ spiritual development” as a starting point where they current are in their faith practice. Again, not asking them to rise to where we are, but rather meeting them where they can grow best, their world. Given that every family member is different, it will be theirs to decide the best path for their family, it is our role to provide options and support them in how to move forward.
In order to move forward the family will need the assistance from community services and agencies. Here too, the Invest in the Family Minstry plays a role by Networking the Family using the Family Resource Coordination M.O.R.E. model. As a church in the community, the ministry becomes are referral network for families to find the help they need from a list of services created by the ministry.