About: Our Story

The National Association for Christian Recovery is a not-for-profit religious organization whose passion is the cultivation and growth of recovery communities within or in partnership with Christian churches. We believe that part of the Good News that Christ brought to us was the realization that we can all bring our “problems of self” into the community of Christ and that his grace extends to our hidden wounds as well as our faith.

We encourage churches, ministry teams and recovery professionals to wrestle with what it means to obey Christ’s commandments of love and community (Matthew 22:36-40) as we serve people seeking to recover their lives.

The NACR sponsors workshops, conferences and supplies materials to groups and churches looking to inspire recovery in their community. We also offer our time on a consultative basis to groups looking for guidance when establishing, growing or reviving their recovery communities.

A little of our history will help explain who we are: In 1989, three people – Carmen Renee Berry, Pat Means, and Dale Ryan (and later joined by Dale Wolery) – began a series of meetings that led to the formation of the NACR. At the time, few churches had recovery ministries. Those that existed were mostly small, disconnected, marginalized, and confronted by resistance from elements in the Christian community. They were lucky to get a room in the basement. The NACR organized a series of national STEPS conferences, and published it’s magazine STEPS until 2010.

The past few years have seen dramatic changes, including the rapid growth of the Christian recovery movement. In response to these changes and to the evolving media landscape, the NACR has embraced a more digital focus. This allows the NACR to touch thousands of people every day through the daily e-mail meditation and the NACR website, which has received wide praise as a resource for Christians in recovery. The pioneering work of Carmen, Pat, and Dale has laid a solid foundation for us to build on.

The days of wondering if anyone will let us out of the basement have passed. Christians around the globe are asking great questions about the role they can play in the recovery movement. The question is no longer whether a recovery ministry is a viable option for a church, but how it can best be pursued: How do we respond to the families suffering from substance abuse? How do we develop healthy leadership? How do we sustain this kind of ministry? How do we find the resources we need to carry God’s message of hope to hurting people? How do we remain faithful and healthy as we serve?

In November 2010, a small group gathered in Kansas City to talk about how we might continue the pioneering work of the NACR and encourage those on the front lines of recovery ministry. The following January, Teresa McBean accepted the position of Executive Director. The mission remains the same: to provide resources, training and hope to others who share a passion for Christian recovery. Teresa and others are working to collaborate with recovery ministry leaders, pastors, therapists and others who can provide the support, encouragement and tools necessary to sustain recovery within the walls of our churches. In the near future, expect a revamped website, on-line learning opportunities, and intentional discussion communities popping up in both the virtual and real world – places for us to gather and listen and learn from one another. The team’s first conference effort (“breathe”) was held in Dallas, TX in November, 2011 – with more regional “breathe” conferences in the works for 2012.

If you would like more information about us and future events, we would love to hear from you.

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