Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program that focuses on helping people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. Many of these people may feel broken and are looking to put the pieces of their lives back together to feel stronger again. Healing is a long process, and clients who choose to join this program, in particular, will learn to heal and recover through the higher power of their beliefs, Jesus Christ. These meetings typically take place with a Celebrate Recovery group led by a trained and experienced leader.

The leader will guide the discussion and discuss their healing from trials and tribulations with God’s help. Clients are also encouraged to break into smaller Celebrate Recovery groups of people who struggle with similar problems to build another level of support. We believe that this program reinforces the idea that change is possible with faith.

The Celebrate Recovery steps are an essential aspect of treatment. The program began in 1991 at a Saddleback Church in California. Led by Pastor Rick Warren, this created the program due to a 13-page letter written by John Baker, an alcoholic and staff member at the church. His letter outlined the format for an addiction recovery group guided strictly by Christian principles for those looking to heal. What began as a letter has developed into one of the largest addiction recovery support groups that grow in popularity. To this day, John Baker still creates the Celebrate Recovery curriculum. [1]

How This Program Makes A Difference

People who struggle with an addiction may commonly feel lost, misunderstood, lonely, or isolated. Engaging in a faith-filled program that follows the ways of Jesus gives you the direction that you need to remain centered, using your faith, on your Recovery. In addition, this program grants you the fellowship and support of your fellow believers who can enlighten you and lift you in your times of struggle. Your faith becomes your axis and your center, providing you with the strength and insight that you need while you traverse the at-times overwhelming and challenging journey towards sobriety.

How Did This Program Originate?

Rick Warren, head pastor and founder of Saddleback Church, had grown weary with the traditional 12-step methods that he saw commonly employed within recovery groups and their relatively ambiguous definition of a higher power. Though he acknowledged their success, he sought to create something different that clearly defined the higher power as Jesus Christ. He turned to the Bible to do this, looking within for concepts that could be applied to this Christ-centered Recovery, which would then become Celebrate Recovery.

As quoted within a message from him on the Celebrate Recovery website, Warren wrote: “To my amazement, I found the principles of recovery, and even their logical order, given by Christ in his most famous message, the Sermon on the Mount.” He turned what he found into a message. With the help of his Associate Pastor John Baker (also a Celebrate Recovery founder), who penned the program’s workbooks, Celebrate Recovery was born.

How Celebrate Recovery Is Different From Other Programs

Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is an all-inclusive program for individuals who may be feeling lost or broken, seeking a Christ-Centered life path

Not all recovery programs are the same. Choosing a path of recovery that is right for you is an intensely personal choice, one that can make the difference between your success and a continuing addiction.

That’s why Celebrate Recovery has been successfully helping struggling addicts overcome their addiction for the past 25 years. This program was designed to provide you with tools and skills to beat your addiction while participating in the fellowship of a program that is centered on Christ.

Within his message, Rick Warren sums up the theory and practice behind the program, stating that it is “Based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.” He also said that there are “seven features that make it unique.” You might ask yourself how this works. Here, we sum them up. Celebrate Recovery:

  • It is based on the Bible, structured explicitly off the Beatitudes. Warren speaks of this, noting that these “eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual maturity.”
  • Encourages people not to indulge in the past or let it bring them down; instead, it directs them to rely on Christ to make good decisions for what’s to come.
  • Encourages people to step away from self-blame and blame others while embracing proactive ways to change things by supporting people in learning more healthful and helpful ways of reacting to situations.
  • Stresses that for a person to be truly successful within their Recovery, they must accept the Lord as their Savior.
  • It is built off small groups that foster fellowship.
  • According to Warren, it has an enormous scope that “addresses all types of habits, hurts and hang-ups.”
  • Continues to prepare and fuel people for ministry.

A Program for Everyone

There is another facet of Celebrate Recovery that makes it stand apart from other programs—it is not a recovery program solely devoted to addiction. Rather than that, its website states, it “is a broad umbrella” software that “allows for the resolution of an infinite number of problems.” Warren adds, “Within Saddleback Congregation, the church where this program started, just one in every three Celebrate Recovery participants struggles with alcohol or drugs.”

Basically, This approach makes the program multi-dynamic in that it can meet any person, anywhere within their journey and life experience. It brings together people of all perspectives, experiences, and walks of life so that they may help lift each other. It helps people look at the root of the problem and tackle it with their faith and love for the Lord.

How The 12-Steps Are Different In Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery asserts their spiritual focus, stating that they are “a Christ-centered program with foundations firmly established in Biblical truth.” Contrary to other 12-step programs, they clearly define Jesus Christ as the higher power based on the steps. In addition, each of the traditional 12-steps is paired with a bible verse that further exemplifies the goal and purpose of each step, with a direct reference as to how Christ’s teachings may lead and direct you in your pursuit, thus, as noted by their website, their teachings succeed at “tying historical recovery to timeless Biblical teaching.”

Celebrate Recovery is offered throughout the United States. A person can choose to go to Saddleback Church to experience this program, or they can choose to encounter it within another church that employs and follows the teachings. In addition, celebrate Recovery provides resources to churches or other organizations that want to share its blessings.

The Road To Recovery Based On The Beatitudes

The 12-steps are further enhanced by the support and teachings of the 8 Principles. The eight principles encompass the teachings and direction of the twelve steps. The 8 Principles are based upon the Beatitudes, and like the 12-steps, they help offer personal insight and guidance towards their Recovery and direction within their faith.

Saddleback Church to experience this program, or they can choose to encounter it within another church that employs and follows the teachings. In addition, celebrate Recovery provides resources to churches or other organizations that want to share its blessings.

The Beatitudes are teachings derived from the Bible and found in Matthew. They are teachings that Jesus spoke about during his Sermon on the Mount. They declare how to follow the Lord to find salvation and peace while you contend with the adversities you might face during your time on earth. Some people may struggle with finding their meaning and equating it to Recovery. Warren acknowledges this, stating that “From a conventional viewpoint, most of these statements didn’t make sense. They sounded like contradictions.”

His passion for a faith-filled recovery led him to resolve this and bridge this gap, ensuring that people could instead make not only sense but purpose from these verses. For Christians, the Beatitudes are a unique tool and gift that the Bible offers—with the correct teaching and spiritual direction, they can very clearly and effectively help direct a person in stewardship towards God, which helps to further direct and guide them within their Recovery.

The 12-steps are further enhanced by the support and teachings of the 8 Principles.

Utilizing The 8 Principles To Support And Enhance The 12-Steps Through Biblical Teachings

  • 1st Principle: Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)
  • 2nd Principle: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)
  • 3rd Principle: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)
  • 4th Principle: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 and 5)
  • 5th Principle: Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 and 7)
  • 6th Principle: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 and 9)
  • 7th Principle: Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 and 11)
  • 8th Principle: Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)

A Christ-Centered Addiction Program

Celebrate Recovery
There are many different Christian programs for drug addiction and alcoholism.

Faith is a powerful thing and can be a sense of strength for people who are struggling. There are many different Christian therapies for drug addiction and alcoholism, but not everything will work for everyone. Celebrate Recovery, believe in exposing our clients to various Christian rehab programs so that each person can get the most out of their addiction treatment. That can be able to help in your journey to sobriety and a closer relationship with God.

Celebrate Recovery As A Part Of Treatment

Treatment should be a healthy combination of proven medical practices and spiritual discovery. At We Level Up, we want our clients to have the opportunity to overcome their addiction problems with evidence-based therapies and medications. So, start your journey to an addiction-free life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

At We Level Up Everything is Under One Roof!

As such, we are pleased to offer our treatment programs, (individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step program meetings similar to Celebrate Recovery) at the same facility. This means less headache and hassle for our clients, who can then spend more time focusing on getting better. 

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


Celebrate Recovery – https://www.celebraterecovery.com/
[1] Treatment Statistics – National Institute on Drug Abuse