The Recovery-Minded Church: Loving and Ministering to People With Addiction, By Jonathan Benz alt

The Recovery-Minded Church

Loving and Ministering to People With Addiction

by Jonathan Benz
With Kristina Robb-Dover

The Recovery-Minded Church
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: December 08, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 9939
  • ISBN: 9780830899395

*affiliate partner

You want to have vibrant and healthy relationships with those who struggle with addiction in your church and community. But you find yourself wondering how to meet their needs in a wise, helpful and God-honoring way.

The Recovery-Minded Church addresses the pressing questions you are facing in ministering to those with addictions. Here you will discover a clinically informed, biblical and theological framework to love the addicts in your midst and also practical tools to help you succeed in doing so, including discussion questions after each chapter for use in small group settings.

God desires to welcome his prodigal children with open arms and a spirit of celebration. We need to reflect this same kind of grace and mercy in our ministry to those with addictions, to move our churches from being recovery-resistant to recovery-minded.

"This book is a must-read for every pastor and ministry leader who wants their church to exhibit the heart of Jesus. Infused with the grace of the gospel, it brings healing and hope to the hearts of Christ-followers and those we are called to love."

Shayne Wheeler, senior pastor, All Souls Fellowship, author of The Briarpatch Gospel

"I have been hoping for a book like The Recovery-Minded Church—one that could find the wisdom of recovery and its necessary revelation to all people, and also articulate the hurt of those in recovery addiction as its own particular malady. Jonathan Benz's book provides the roadmap through the wound of addiction into recovery and healing while also making the journey accessible and relatable to all of us. We all hurt and are wounded. In this book Jonathan bridges the gap between 'addicts' and the rest of us in a way that calls us to the sacred mission of including all God's people in the ministry of the church and finding the golden nuggets of strengths specific to those in addiction recovery. He weaves together his understanding as both provider in recovery and human who clearly understands hurt and healing, along with biblical references to illuminate the sacred path. This is a guide for professionals in the helping fields and pastoral contexts to understand addiction, understand those who suffer from this wound and connect back with the biblical contexts that call all of us—providers, sufferers, humans—into dynamic relationship with the 'first shall be last and the last shall be first' credo of ministry to all who suffer from addiction."

Teresa B. Pasquale, licensed clinical social worker

"The Recovery-Minded Church might be the most timely and important book I will ever recommend. Many of us who struggle with an addiction turn first to our faith communities for help and hope—and too often fail to find it. The powerful insights and gentle truths of this message, if implemented, can transform our churches, save lives and ripple outward to change the world. Bravo!"

Heather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies

"The Recovery-Minded Church is an invaluable resource for communities seeking to be transformed by the prodigal love of God."

Bryan Dunagan, senior pastor, Highland Park Presbyterian Church

"The Recovery-Minded Church is essential reading for every leader who wants their church, ministry or spiritual community to be on the front lines of cultural relevancy and spiritual usefulness. Marked by sound theology, biblical wisdom and practical application, this is a good and necessary book for our time. Please read it, use it and share it with others."

T. C. Ryan, author of Ashamed No More

"This is a resource every church needs because no church is exempt from responsibility toward people with addictions. This very practical book will help churches take their rightful places as centers for support, unconditional love and redemption. It's best to approach this resource with humble Christian theology firmly in place, ready to be equipped not just to respond but to engage with people who are just like the rest of us—unrighteous beneficiaries of God's lavish love and grace, ripe for transformation."

Amy Simpson, author, Troubled Minds

"If you are a pastor, chances are your formal training did not prepare you to serve those with addictions you meet in your church and your community on a daily basis. Nor did it foster the kind of vulnerability and rigorous honesty that your own ongoing transformation demands. Jonathan Benz and Kristina Robb-Dover offer a challenging, inspiring and eminently practical guide for becoming a 'prodigal church'—a hope-full community where the grace of God brings healing to those of us willing to tell the truth about our addictions, brokenness and sin, as well as a place to celebrate the freedom we have found."

Sean Gladding, author of The Story of God, the Story of Us and Ten

"The Recovery-Minded Church inspires congregations to take radical steps in response to those with addictions in their midst. It offers an important critique of current churches’ denial of our own brokenness, including addictive tendencies. It offers a wonderful vision of an open spiritual community where we recognize that we are all broken, all in need of healing, sharing the good news that we are all loved as we are, supporting one another in informed ways while confident in God’s healing."

Dorothea Crites, Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, 71(2)



Section 1: Tools for Loving People with Addiction
1. Responding to Addiction
2. The Intervention
3. Myths About Addiction

Section 2: Tools for Creating a Recovery-Friendly Church
4. Cultivating a Culture of Long-Term Sobriety
5. Ending the Shame
6. The Practice of Attentive Listening
7. The Practice of Healing

Appendix: Resources for Ministry


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Jonathan Benz

Jonathan Benz (MS, Palm Beach Atlantic University) is a clinician, public speaker, ordained minister and certified addictions professional who serves the recovery community nationally. As a leadership consultant to various agencies in the United States and United Kingdom he specializes in teaching team leadership, task efficiency, crisis management, and conflict resolution to people in the midst of life transitions. He is the author of Live A Legacy: Spiritual Principles for Strategic Living and resides in South Florida.

Learn more about Jonathan's addiction recovery counseling at