Church congregations look to their leaders for spiritual guidance, which is why it is disastrous for a church leader to fall into the binds of addiction. When pastors, priests or deacons succumb to addiction, they place themselves and those they are an example to in jeopardy. Addiction is an inherently selfish condition that places a substance or a behavior on a higher pedestal than God is on. This can only lead to destruction. When a church leader recognizes that they have been overcome by addiction, it is very important that they seek addiction treatment immediately before they attempt to continue their profession.
Selecting the right rehabilitation center is the first step in the recovery process for addicted church leaders. It is important to find a reputable rehab that incorporates Christian teachings into its treatment program. Christian church leaders should be aware that there are some treatment programs designed specifically for church leaders and similar professionals. Many treatment centers focus on certain groups of people, typically related professions or professions with comparable demands. There are particular addiction treatment programs for those who are in ministry such as a Christian alcohol rehab or a Christian drug addiction center.
If the addiction is to a substance, the church leader will go through a detox before beginning the psychological treatment program. This is to rid the body of toxins, reset the sleep schedule and get the body and brain alert for reconditioning. It is worthwhile to conduct this process under the care of professionals in order to prevent relapse and ease the unpleasant or dangerous symptoms of withdrawal.
After the detox, the church leader will enter into the psychological exploration of why they became addicted and how to change their thinking. Christian rehabilitation puts God at the center of all the cognitive behavioral exercises that are conducted. Dependence on a higher power for the strength to deny addiction comes back to God. Healing for the painful moments in a person’s past comes back to God. Thinking intelligently and with reverence to mental and physical health comes back to God. Clients will also have access to meditative, therapeutic recreation such as nature walks, and to spiritual nourishment and worship time through regular church attendance.