The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous established 12 steps to help people overcome an addiction to alcohol. As the program gained success, various support groups for other addictions began to apply the steps for their own needs.
In 50-something places the New Testament tells Christians to do things for one another in a reciprocal way in order to help bring about our healing, recovery, inner peace, and freedom in Christ. Perhaps, based on the 12 step example, we could embrace 12 steps to help create an environment where Christ-followers can more effectively fulfill those “one another” instructions.
Here’s my attempt:
1) We acknowledged that we were powerless over certain circumstances, situations, and behaviors and that our lives had become inconsistent, painful, and often chaotic.
2) We came to believe that the risen Jesus Christ could help us recover inner peace.
3) We chose to turn our will and our lives over to the living, resurrected Jesus as revealed through the Bible.
4) We began to meet in groups with other Christ-followers in openness, humility, equality, compassion, and mutual support as prompted and directed by the living Jesus.
5) Those Christ-led one another gatherings helped us to see that, in our struggles, we have much in common with others.
6) Sharing those insights and experiences allowed us see each other’s hearts, and knitted us together in a genuine community of heart-felt caring and concern for one another.
7) We began to learn how to personally hear Christ’s voice, to obey Him, and to share what we hear with each other.
8) We began to see the risen Jesus actively working among us, in and through the faces, the sincerity, the words, and the actions of each other.
9) This made the Bible come alive in our hearts as a present day reality and we began to continually search it and read it, not as a religious rule book, but as a daily guide to help us more fully understand, hear, and obey the living Jesus.
10) Our hearts grew in gratitude and love for Jesus, for one another, and for the whole world.
11) Almost without trying, we put this love into action beginning to show more and more kindness to one another and to everyone we met.’
12) Having been spiritually transformed by following these steps, the way we lived our daily lives changed. Then we began to share the good news with people outside of our one another groups, about how our relationship and encounters with Jesus changed our lives.
I like the way you think, Steve.
I really like this take but taking out the moral inventory of step 4 cuts out a pivotal part of recovery. Its not always safe to share our deepest shame within a group and leaving this process out or lessening it hurts recovery.
Good point, cheyne. However, my focus in this post is on the New Testament concept of meeting to minister to one another in groups. The moral inventory is more effective when we do it by ourselves and then share it with one just other human being, not a with a group. So I’m not leaving it out of the recover process; just out of the one another groups.