A Recovery Church

Where can pastors turn when they’ve been wounded by their church? Pastor John Richardson leads a “recovery church.”

A recovery church is based on understanding and caring for pastors who have been wounded in ministry. Pastors may need a recovery church if they’ve experienced the following:

  • Burnout 
  • Brokenness 
  • Conflict 
  • Moral failure

A recovery church provides a way for pastors to step away from ministry. It’s a place to process the wounds, a place to heal, and a place to grow.

In the recovery church program, only a specific group of people know why the pastor’s family is there. These individuals are directly involved in caring for the wounded pastor and family. This group of people helps the pastor’s family

  • find a place to live;
  • find a job;
  • get their finances in order;
  • seek out counseling;
  • build relationships within the recovery church; and
  • figure out the next steps to take.

Many different denominations have a variation on the recovery church program. Many parachurch organizations offer this kind of support, too. 

Thought Starters: 

  • What support services is your church currently offering to wounded ministry workers? What might you offer in the future?
  • How can you let ministry workers know that your church is a place for support and healing?

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