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Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.

Watch these videos to learn about who attends celebrate recovery and why...

Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a safe place for adults to share struggles, strengths, hurts and hopes in a Christ-centered recovery process. It is for everyone who wants to take off their mask and experience acceptance, compassion, love, freedom and life-change.

One of our ground rules is “anonymity and confidentiality are required.”
We respect each other’s confidentiality and seek to keep CR a safe place for everyone. Additionally, Celebrate Recovery is for ages 18 and over only. For younger programs, please contact us for referrals.

Questions? First, try the Frequently Asked Questions list below. Click HERE to email Celebrate Recovery. Your question/inquiry will be kept confidential and will go directly to a Celebrate Recovery leader.

Additional Information

  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. We 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. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills 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. We 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. We 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 5:16)
  6. We 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. We 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. We 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. We 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. We 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. We 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. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Colossians 3:16)
  12. Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to 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)

It’s not a parenting class… but it made me a better parent.

It’s not marriage counseling… but it has made me a better spouse.

It’s not a Bible Study… but I am in the word more than ever.

It’s not a prayer education class… but I am talking to the Father every day.

It’s not a spiritual gifts class… but I am using them more than ever.

It’s not a communication class… but it has made me a better listener.

It’s not a boundaries education class… but I now set healthy boundaries.

It’s not a leadership class… but it made me a better leader.


“My habit was addiction to pornography. During Step Study, I found someone I could trust to listen to all my junk, and when I shared, there was no judgment, only acceptance and freedom from my secrets that had made me so sick in the past.”


“My hang-up is codependency. Through Step Study, my circumstances did not change, but I changed. Somewhere along the way, God replaced my fear with faith. He returned joy to my life.”


“My hang-up is control; my habit was alcohol. Step Study helped me break free and trust Christ. I stepped out of my own uncomfortable boat into the deep waters with Jesus. He brought calm to me amidst the rough waters of my life.”


“My hurt is childhood rape. Step Study brought that painful secret from my childhood out of the dark and into the light of Christ’s love and healing. Once I allowed the light of Christ into that dark place, His light began to spread, and He is healing and filling all of me.” (see Ephesians 5: 8 – 14)


“My hang-up is codependency. I learned in Step Study to evaluate my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who had hurt me and offer amends to those I had harmed … this lead to freedom and life change.”


“My habit is food addiction; my hurt is physical illness. Step Study drove God’s Word into my heart like nothing I’ve ever done. I’ve taken Bible Studies for 40 years and thought I knew scripture. But in Step Study, the Holy Spirit brought scripture alive in me, and I began to let God’s Word change me.”


“My hang-up is codependency. Step Study provided me with the discipline and accountability I needed to complete the steps, starting a process of self-discovery.”


Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
“Happy are those who know that 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 myself, to God, and to someone 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 and humbly ask him to remove my character defects.
“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, except when to do so would harm them or others. “Happy are the merciful.” (Matthew 5:7)

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

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

You may be thinking that recovery is only for those with alcohol or drug problems. This could not be further from the truth. Celebrate Recovery mentions “recovery from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits.” But what does this mean? A hurt, habit or hang-up is something in you or your life that hinders your walk with God and others. THESE LIFE PROBLEMS CAN BE STUMBLING BLOCKS OR STEPPING STONES!

If you suffer from one or more of the effects defined in the following, Celebrate Recovery can offer a solution of healing for you.

Hurt: to experience physical pain caused by yourself or another; to feel emotional pain; undergo or experience difficulties or setbacks. The feeling of being hurt is an emotional reaction to another person’s behavior or to a disturbing situation -(e.g., abuse, abandonment, codependency, divorce, relationship issues, etc.)

Habit: regular repeated behavior pattern. An action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody, although he or she may be unaware of it. Addiction, such as an addiction to a drug, food or some other stimuli that deadens ones feelings. A habit is an addiction to someone or something (e.g., alcohol dependency, drugs, food, gambling, sex, shopping, smoking, etc.).

Hang-Up: a psychological or emotional problem or fixation about something. An issue that causes persistent impediment or source of delay. Hang-ups are negative mental attitudes that are used to cope with people or adversity (e.g., anger, depression, fear, unforgiveness, etc.)

Healing and growth are possible by applying the principles of Celebrate Recovery to your life!

Partial list of hurts, hang-ups, and habits:

  • Abandonment
  • Abuse – Physical, Sexual,
  • Emotional
  • Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
  • Adultery
  • Alcohol Dependency
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Codependency
  • Controlling Personality
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Drug Dependency
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fear
  • Food Addictions
  • Gambling
  • Grief
  • Guilt
  • Same-sex Attraction
  • Insecurity
  • Loss of Relationship
  • Nicotine Dependency
  • Obsessive-Compulsive
  • Behavior
  • Overspending
  • People-Pleasing
  • Perfectionism
  • Pornography
  • Rage
  • Rejection
  • Relationship Addiction
  • Sadness
  • Sexual Addiction
  • Shame
  • Workaholism

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it;

Trusting that You will make all things right

If I surrender to Your will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


– Reinhold Neibuhr, 1934


Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings.
Not your spouse’s, boyfriend’s, or your family members’ hurts, hang-ups and habits, but your own. Focusing on yourself will benefit your recovery as well as the ones around you. Stick to “I” or “me” statements, not “you” or “we” statements. Limit your sharing to 3–5 minutes, so that everyone has an opportunity to share; and to ensure that one person does not dominate the group sharing time.

There is NO cross talk.
Cross talk is when two people engage in conversation excluding all others. Each person is free to express his or her feelings without interruptions. Cross talk is also making distracting comments or questions while someone is sharing, speaking to another member of the group while someone is sharing or responding to what someone has shared during his or her time of sharing. Additional types of cross talk would be handing a tissue or tissue box while someone is crying during their time of sharing. This interrupts feelings. Remember, there is healing in tears!

We are here to support one another, not “fix” one another.
This keeps us focused on our own issues. We do not give advice or solve someone’s problem in our time of sharing or offer book referrals or counselor referrals! We are not licensed counselors, psychologists, or therapists, nor are the group members. Celebrate Recovery groups are not designed for this. It is up to the participants to include outside counseling to their program when they’re ready.

Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements.
What is shared in the group stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others. We are not to share information with our spouses/family/coworkers. This also means not discussing what is shared in the group among group members. This is called gossip. Please be advised, if anyone threatens to hurt themselves or others, the Small Group Leader has the responsibility to report it to Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader.

Offensive language has no place in a Christ-centered recovery group.
Therefore, we ask that you please watch your language. The main issue here is that the Lord’s name is not used inappropriately. We also avoid graphic descriptions. If anyone feels uncomfortable with how explicitly a speaker is sharing regarding his/her behaviors, then you may indicate so by simply raising your hand. The speaker will then respect your boundaries by being less specific in his/her descriptions. This will avoid potential triggers that could cause a person to act out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Celebrate Recovery is a ministry to hurting people. It’s made up of people who are on a journey toward wholeness; seeking recovery from and celebrating God’s healing of life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits. Trained leaders provide safe, confidential, Christ-centered groups where people can grow. They offer their stories as fellow travelers on the journey to healing.

In physical health recovery refers to the process of moving from illness to wellness. Our hurts, hang-ups and habits are like an illness and using the tools of Celebrate Recovery we begin to move toward wholeness. Some might say from bondage to freedom in Christ. Others might say from self-reliance to faith in Christ.

Celebrate Recovery offers a person the opportunity to participate in a group fellowship where love and hope combine with God’s purpose to mend our lives. Ask yourself:

  • Are there things in my life that I do that hurt others?
  • Is there something I wish I could live without?
  • Is it time to crack my denial and admit I am not in control of my life?
  • Do I have a painful habit or hang-up from which I need to be freed?

If you answered “yes” to any of these statements then we urge you to attend a Celebrate Recovery meeting to see if it is for you.

One in 3 attend Celebrate Recovery for alcohol and drugs. What else brings people to Celebrate Recovery? Depression, divorce, anger, pornography, unforgiveness, stress, infidelity, people pleasing, childhood abuse, anxiety, codependency… life’s hurts, habits, hang-ups.

Celebrate Recovery is for everyone who wants to take off their mask and experience acceptance, compassion, love, freedom and life-change. There is no need to sign up, just show up!

Anyone (inside or outside the church) who struggles with the kinds of hurts, hang-ups and habits described on this Web site can benefit from CR. Do you struggle with a particular issue that seems to have such strength and power over you that it has prevented you from experiencing any real victory? Have you been secretly hoping for a safe place to share your struggles and get healing? Celebrate Recovery is for you!

Yes. Celebrate Recovery also ministers to people who are affected by others who are battling addiction or some other destructive behavior. You are welcome to join us and gain support and wisdom.

A wide variety of hurts, hang-ups and habits are represented at Celebrate Recovery. Examples include dependency on alcohol or drugs, pornography, low self-esteem, need to control, depression, anger, co-dependency, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, perfectionism, broken relationships, and abuse.

A hurt, hang-up or habit is anything that hinders your walk with God. They postpone or prevent genuine fellowship with Him and your loved ones.

No, Celebrate Recovery is a ministry outreach for anyone who is interested in a Christ-centered recovery program that will enable them to recover from life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits. Many attendees are not members of Custer Road UMC, but it is encouraged to be a part of a local fellowship.

We meet once-a-week, 52 weeks a year.

You are welcome to come when you can for worship, Large Group and Open Share Groups. However if you join a Step Study, you are expected to come each week until you complete it. As with any endeavor, the more effort you put into Celebrate Recovery, the more benefit you will gain.

Large group typically lasts one hour. It includes Worship and either a teaching or testimony. Open share groups follow for 45 minutes to an hour. Groups are gender specific. We conclude fellowship and coffee afterwards. Step Studies are offered as well. A Step Study is a long-term commitment to the members of the group. It will typically take eight to twelve months to complete the study.

We do not currently offer on-site childcare.

Celebrate Recovery insists that certain guidelines apply during Open Share Groups and Step Study Groups. The guidelines are distinctive features of the ministry designed to create a safe environment for participants to share.

We are diligent about confidentiality and anonymity – what you hear and who you see at Celebrate Recovery stays here. The rules protect all of us from judgment and being “fixed”. In a “safe place” you can take off your “mask” and be real and honest without fear. You are 100% in control of when and how much you participate.

These groups meet for one hour on Tuesday nights following Large Group where you can share your experiences, strengths and hopes. Open Share Groups are gender specific.

Celebrate Recovery uses the Christ-centered Twelve Steps and Eight Recovery Principles as the biblical model for living your life. A Step Study is a personal journey though each of these steps in community with a group lead by a facilitator, who has completed his or her own Step Study. We use Celebrate Recovery’s four participant guidebooks. When you finish a Step Study you will have worked your hurts, hang-ups and habits through each of the Christ-centered Twelve Steps. A Step Study is a serious commitment to yourself and the other members of your group and typically takes about 12 months to complete.

You will never be required to share in the Open Share Groups. You can take as long as you need to feel safe enough to share. In the Step Studies, however, everyone is required to share as the group moves through the questions in the curriculum books.

We all meet together for the Large Group meeting and then dismiss into the Open Share Groups, men with men and women with women. All Step Study meetings are gender specific.

Celebrate Recovery groups are not lead by pastors, teachers or counselors. Instead, CR groups are facilitated by compassionate volunteers who have, by the grace of God, walked through a process of recovery from their own hurts, hang-ups and habits.

The leaders of Celebrate Recovery at Custer Road UMC are men and women who have experienced their own hurts, hang-ups and habits and have completed at least one Celebrate Recovery Step Study. The leaders are not counselors and do not offer any professional clinical advice. If professional advice is required, referrals may be made.

At Celebrate Recovery our Higher Power is Jesus Christ and the Word of God is our authority. Our Step Study guidebooks refer to scripture references for instruction. Every Large Group meeting begins by worshiping our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through music and prayer.

Celebrate Recovery incorporates the Christ-centered Twelve Steps with a distinctly Christian approach. We also address many more issues than just alcohol abuse.

While most 12 Step groups are not Christian, you will find that many Christians are participants. Most meetings are also focused on specific issues and you will find fellow strugglers that have experience dealing with your issue. They can be very helpful.

Sponsors are an optional component of the Large Group and Open Share portions of Celebrate Recovery though we do encourage participants to pair up with a person of the same gender within their small group, who is actively working the program and can serve as an encourager and prayer partner. Sponsors become a mandatory component of a Celebrate Recovery Step Study as you progress through the Step Study. Sponsors must have completed their own Celebrate Recovery Step Study and generally have a minimum of one year of recovery over a habit, hurt or hang-up.

John Baker, a believer who struggles with abuse of alcohol, found help through Alcoholics Anonymous and began healing. He found emptiness at AA because he could not refer to his personal Higher Power, Jesus Christ. He presented a plan to start a Christian 12 Step Recovery program to his pastor, Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in California. Pastor Rick said, “Do it!” John did and Celebrate Recovery was born.