CHICAGO — At this year’s Vertical Church Conference, Harvest Bible Chapel has announced the rollout of ‘Freedom House,’ a ministry that offers adult men biblical, Christ-centered residential discipleship for real and lasting freedom from substance addictions.
“In our culture today, every one of us is all-too-familiar with someone who has fallen victim to the addiction of drugs and alcohol,” said Freedom House Executive Director and Harvest’s Pastor of Counseling, Dave Learned. “We have decided, on behalf of those who are fighting this battle, we are going to help take back ground for the Kingdom of God for those who feel trapped in substance addictions. The hope found in Freedom House is not in some air-tight ministry plan. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. Just as he breaks the power of every other sin, he can break the power of addiction.”
Freedom House is a residential recovery retreat for men 18 years of age and older, post-detox. The retreat will consist of 12 weeks of daily structure through group classwork, individual counseling, team-building exercises, work projects and local church worship on Sunday.
Four ministry distinctives define the vision for Freedom House:
- Community Based — Local churches serve as ‘sending churches’ for the purpose of referring and supporting their program participant relationally, spiritually, and financially throughout the program. Sending churches provide ongoing discipleship for the participant upon their return home from the program.
- Curriculum — The program curriculum is designed with vertical and horizontal learning objectives, building knowledge of God and his word with the aim toward transformation of thought patterns and associated behaviors.
- Peer Advocacy — The ministry program is designed to provide support from peer participants who serve as advocates for one another throughout the program. The goal is for each man involved to understand there is both help and healing by engaging in authentic biblical community. Each and every one of them is a vital part of the body of Christ.
- Support for Family — The ministry aims to care for and support the participant’s family by hosting a weekend retreat for spouses in month two of the program.
When asked why Harvest felt the need to get involved in combating substance abuse, Pastor Dave Learned responded, “We’ve been sending men from our own congregation to places like this for years now; a place with a new setting that marks a new season. But recently we felt convicted that we should begin to get involved ourselves. We believe the church should lead the way on this issue. We also believe that true and lasting change will only happens when it happens at the level of the heart. Our model is not a therapeutic or a medical model. Ours is a path of helping men achieve a renewed mind and a heart fully surrendered to the Lord.”
The retreat will take place at Camp Harvest, in Newaygo, Michigan. They are now accepting referrals for the first retreat, which begins January 13. Visit Harvestbiblechapel.org/
Pastor James MacDonald is an esteemed Bible teacher whose “Walk in the Word” radio and television programs are followed by millions throughout the United States and around the world. He’s the Founding and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel whose seven campuses are spread throughout the greater Chicagoland area.