How the Church Should Respond to People With Addictions: Q&A With Kristina Robb-Dover

Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
The Recovery-Minded Church:
Loving and Ministering to People With Addiction
by Jonathan Benz, with contributor Kristina Robb-Dover

Why do churches need more resources and a different mindset for people with addictions?

Kristina Robb-Dover: As a Christian addiction specialist, I’ve witnessed firsthand what the church and recovering addicts can learn from one another about what it means to be Christian; yet, as my survey of 100 church leaders confirmed, there remains a strong need among church leaders for more tools for loving, understanding and ministering to people with addictions. One-third of Americans struggle with some form of addiction and one in five will die from addiction and risky substance abuse, for example; but beyond a referral or hosting an AA group, many church leaders and their congregations don’t have the tools to reach them. This book meets the need for a theological, clinical and pastoral response that equips church leaders to love and minister to people with addictions, and I make the case that the church needs the DNA of addiction recovery as much as people with addictions do.

Describe how The Recovery-Minded Church helps congregations and leaders.

Kristina: The Recovery-Minded Church is an answer to congregations’ biggest questions about addiction and recovery, with engaging real-life stories, the latest insights from medical science, and a biblical framework for loving addicts into recovery. What makes this book distinctive is that it begins with the questions congregations are asking, and then answers them from the perspective of a Christian addiction recovery clinician.

What do you want leaders to realize as they read The Recovery-Minded Church?

Kristina: I want readers to understand that:

-Addiction is an epidemic in American society to which the church can and must respond.

-The church and people with addictions have much to teach one another about the sanctifying grace of God.

-Recovery-minded churches are defined by the quality of their relationships with people with addictions, rather than their programs.

-There are some very accessible ways in which church leaders can become recovery-minded communities.