Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Discipleship Standards

I was reading recently a blog post from Seth Barnes from Adventures in Missions.  He in turn was highlighting Dave Hain's (Etsah Ministries) "discipleship methods."
What follows is from Seth's blog:

How To Rescue An Addict

Life as an addict is terrible - you're estranged from family and friends, and worst of all, you're estranged from yourself. You're in a prison of hopelessness and you need rescuing. The ministry of rescuing an addict is a very relationship-intensive one; it requires you walk a demanding tightrope, placing yourself at risk in order to build the trust necessary to help those who are typically paranoid, who struggle to trust. The odds are you will fail. And while I present a set of ten steps below, it is anything but a linear process.

Dave Hain was the best I've ever seen at it. He pulled a couple of hundred addicts off the streets of Philadelphia during his time there. The addicts looked at him as their pastor. Walking with him through the crack houses was always interesting. These are some of his secrets.

1.     Relationship Initiation: Establish a one-on-one relationships by sharing God's love (rather than the judgment that those on the streets are accustomed to feeling). 
2.     Relationship Development: Develop these relationships through individual and group counseling, conversation, prayer, sharing a cup of coffee or a meal, Bible study, and contacting relatives with information.  During this phase of the process, try to earn trust by performing small favors - buying  food or conveying messages to and from probation officers, police officers, lawyers, and estranged relatives and friends.
3.     Trust Deepening: One day at a time over the course of months and sometimes years of these meetings, trust, hope and a sincere desire to change their own lives begin to form.  Until this process has progressed to the point where a critical mass of trust exists, it is very difficult to take an addict any further in the process.
4.     Hope-based Counseling: At this point the counseling begins to focus on opportunities for detox, short-term rehab and then long-term Christian rehab.  Many addicts have heard, "once an addict, always an addict." They need hope. Typically addicts will make a commitment to getting off the street well in advance of the day when they finally do take action.
5.     Intermediation: When someone is ready to take action, you can serve as his or her advocate and place the necessary telephone calls to obtain a detox bed.  This often requires assisting the addict to regain some identification papers to replace those lost on the streets.  Frequently he or she will need to be placed in interim housing over a weekend while these arrangements are finalized.  Maintain relationships with top detox and rehab centers and take time to earn their trust. Work with a number of detox centers. It will take time and communication. Always do what you promise you'll do. There may be only a few who will work closely with you to allow visits and have more relaxed entry requirements.   Key in our working with anyone to get them a detox bed is that  "the doctors and nurses can begin to treat the patient."
6.     Detox & Advocacy: While in detox we speak to the caseworker to advocate a short-term resident rehab. 
7.     Short-Term Rehab: During the time in rehab, place the phone calls to obtain a phone interview for admission into a four- to twelve-month Christian program.
8.     Transition:  When the individuals you are assisting are ready to make the jump to a long-term rehabilitation center,  help them with the logistical details and costs.  Maintain strong relationships with multiple rehabs.
9.     Long-Term Care: Our primary behavioral goal during the rehab center stay is that each person face the truth of the bad decisions they made which contributed to his or her addiction.  He or she need to begin making godly decisions to avoid relapse.  The success rates of Christian rehabs as published by Teen Challenge and others are over 70%.  With this in mind, some men and women in secular rehabs where we teach Bible studies seek a Christian rehab after their secular program is finished.
10.  After Care:  After completion of a Christian rehab, we work with the men and women who enter an after care phase, which requires months of one-on-one counseling with a pastor followed by efforts to repair broken relationships and reintegration into society.
For more information, contact Dave Hain or read about his ministry here.