Celebrate Recovery provides support and encouragement in a church-oriented setting

Celebrate Recovery, a meeting style originated at Saddleback Church in California, is a Christian version of other well-known twelve step recovery programs. Twelve step meetings address spiritual issues, but many recovering men and woman find the more explicit Christian orientation of Celebrate Recovery meets their needs. A Celebrate Recovery meeting usually meets at a church, often with a meal before, and provides Christian fellowship and confidentiality to those facing the particularly challenging struggles of recovery from addiction and other persistent difficulties that require support and faith to master.

Start the evening with a basic meal to get people there directly and on time. They can have some fellowship over the food as well.

Have a large group meeting with singing, possibly an offering, and a testimony of someone who has been in Celebrate Recovery for some time, or a teaching on one of the steps or principles. This part of the meeting may last up to an hour.

Break into discussion groups, gender-specific and issue-specific. Leaders conduct these groups in a safe and confidential manner, avoiding "crosstalk" between members and focusing on sharing and supporting, not fixing. The leader may distribute tokens to those who are celebrating an anniversary, and lead the group in prayer before opening to discussion.

When the discussion is winding down, or an hour has already passed, close the small groups with a brief group prayer.

Have a cafe environment available for socializing afterwards.

Things Needed

  • ['Local church with Celebrate Recovery meetings or your own church', 'Celebrate Recovery leader materials', 'Celebrate Recovery participant booklets', 'Celebrate Recovery tokens']


  • Discussion groups sometimes focus on a step or principle, perhaps at the beginning of the month.

    Topics for small groups can be addictions or other challenges members are facing, or general ongoing support.

    Working from the literature can help the group develop as well as share current situations.

    If the situation warrants it, a newcomers' meeting can be held as a small group to explain Celebrate Recovery.


  • One of the benefits of Celebrate Recovery is the focus on Christian values. This means some limits are placed on what is tolerated in groups in terms of language and descriptions.