Jesus did it! He told the story so eloquently in a short, concise, and caring manner in a simple parable:
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one he has lost? (Pause) Now why would he do that - because one is important. He had ninety-nine good obedient sheep but the shepherd went after the sheep addict because he was lost. He did the same thing eating with tax collectors and wayward sinners. I would bet he went one on one with many of them.
And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father's will that even one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:12-14
We can, as evangelists, leaders, business owners, preachers and recruiters go after the ninety-nine for volume, but it is the one that matters most to our Lord, the one who is lost, and the only way to keep that one in the flock is to go one on one with it to teach it how to remain with the flock, or in today's jargon - stay connected. It got lost because it got disconnected.
The opposite of addiction is connection and at ATB we will always be about the one, because we have a whole bunch of ones. Therefore, we can develop Strategic Plans, Business Plans and all other kinds of plans, but I personally believe that we should follow the growth blueprint Jesus gave us, and engage other volunteers to spread the message of hope as he did with the Apostles.
We have some incredible numbers in our 9-10 meetings a week, but we measure our success in one's. They need the connection, we need the connection, and we all need to be connected to the One who does not want any-one to perish!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.