Bob Wood, Celebrate Recovery pastor at Fellowship Bible Church (FBC) in Little Rock and responsible for 22 other Celebrate Recovery churches in Arkansas, comments, “we’re not a hotel for saints, we’re a hospital for sinners.”
Wood, a recovering drug and sex addict himself and a Saddleback alumnus, leads FBC’s Friday night meetings which attract 200 to 300 regular attendees, many of them not regular Sunday churchgoers.
Wood’s wife, Karrie, who is recovering primarily from bulemia and physical and emotional abuse, is also active in the ministry.
While Celebrate Recovery may lose the support of some traditional churchgoers, it is attracting another large audience — the non-church goer.
Attracted to the hands-on approach and redemptive message the “unchurched” are flocking to its doors. At Fellowship, about half of those attending come from outside of the regular church-going body. At Saddleback, it’s about 70 percent.
Woods said that chemically dependent groups (those with drug and alcohol problems) represent about one-third of the participants.
“Our fastest growing groups deal with men’s sexual addiction,” Wood said, adding that “ I believe sexual addiction is going to be the addiction of the new millennium.
“We also have groups,” he continued, “that deal with overeating, shame and guilt, co-dependency, financial struggles, and love-addiction.”
Wood said that graduates of the Celebrate Recovery step studies were inclined to join the church and were quick to volunteer to serve.