About this time last year, our elders and ministers retreated for a time of listening and discerning. They asked a question that is simultaneously scary and exciting, both bold and vulnerable: "Father, what do you want of us? What is our next step of spiritual maturity?"
A commitment to many weeks of listening prayer and fasting followed. Then a gathering to what each "heard" and if anything common would surface. Something did.
Each felt God was calling Southwest to intentionally reach out to the recovery community of Amarillo. Last September, we shared this with all of you, along with our intent to begin building relationships with our local recovery community, and eventually design and launch a new ministry that would share Jesus with them.
I have been asked, what exactly is the "Recovery Community"? The recovery community is made up of (1) individuals committed to recovery from addiction, (2) their families, friends, and allies, and (3) the recovery professionals who provide skilled help to them all. We want to be people that offer church, and Jesus, to them.
In our desire to do this well, we have not kicked off some haphazard, even if well intended, ministry attempt. We are asking God for people who can help us. One of those people who is helping us is Adam Paa, who comes from a church that has been doing for over 15 years in Atlanta, what we are hoping to begin here in Amarillo.
Adam has spent this weekend with your elders and ministers helping with questions and designs. This morning, while here, he has agreed to speak to all of us, reminding us that while there certainly is a people group "out there" called the recovery community that desperately need Jesus, they are not so different than us "in here" because... we are all in recovery.