What Is Celebrate Recovery?

Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory. 25 years ago, Saddleback Church launched Celebrate Recovery with 43 people.  It’s designed as a program to help those struggling with hurts, habits, and hang-up by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process.




The DNA Of Celebrate Recovery

1. Jesus Christ is the one and only Higher Power.  The program is a Christ-centered ministry.

2. The Bible and Celebrate Recovery curriculum consisting of the Leader’s Guide, four Participant Guides, and the Celebrate Recovery Journal are to be used exclusively.  The Large Group lessons are taught from the Leader’s Guide, keeping at least the acrostic and the Scriptures as the key points in the lessons.  This is to keep consistency within groups, allowing teachers to be creative with the introduction and conclusion of each lesson.

3. The ministry is “group based.”  All groups are gender specific and use the “Five Small Group Guidelines” and format.

4. There are NO online Celebrate Recovery groups.  Face-to-face group meeting ONLY.

5. The Celebrate Recovery “Five Small Group Guidelines” are implemented and followed every time.

6. We expect each group to be accountable to Christ, the local church, and the model of Celebrate Recovery established at Saddleback Church.

7. Celebrate Recovery is a ministry of a local church.  For 24 years Celebrate Recovery has not, and will not, attempt to dictate any doctrine or policy of a local church.  It is the position of Celebrate Recovery that a local Celebrate Recovery ministry should follow the policies of their local church, and continue to be thankful for their continued support.

The 12 Steps Of Celebrate Recovery

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.  I know that nothing good lives in me, this is, in my sinful nature.

“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” ~Romans 7:18

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” ~Philippians 2:1

3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – This is your spiritual act of worship.” ~Romans 12:1

4. We made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” ~Lamentations 3:40

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” ~James 5:16

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” ~James 4:10

7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

“If we confess or sins, He is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~1 John 1:9

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all.

“Do to other as you would have them do to you.” ~Luke 6:31

9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your bother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” ~Matthew 5:23-24

10. We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” ~1 Corinthians 10:12

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” ~Colossians 3:16

12. Having has a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” ~Galatians 6:1

The 8 Principles Of Celebrate Recovery

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)

“Happy are those who know that they are spiritually poor.”

Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)

“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)

“Happy are the meek.”

Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 & 5)

“Happy are the pure in heart.”

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 & 7)

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires”

Evaluate all my relationships.  Offer forgiveness to those who hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to other when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 & 9)

“Happy are the merciful.” “Happy are the peacemakers”

Reserve a 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 & 11)

Yield myself to God to be used to bring Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.”

Questions About Celebrate Recovery?

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about CR.  Just fill out the contact form below and someone from our leadership team will get back to you soon.