We left off last week talking about the elements of the problem and the elements of the solution to the evil in the world and its effects on lives. The task of taking this good news to the world faces a challenge in distribution….
If we are able to develop an effective self-propagating recovery program, the best existing distribution system for global recovery would be the relational network created by the church. All over the world, most new converts to Christianity come from backgrounds of trauma and/or addiction. They enter into the Church having impaired maturity and relational skills. Simple conversion does not provide the missing brain skills they need for healthy relationships any more than salvation will make them suddenly literate.
Thus the Church faces the recovery problem both inside its congregations and in its mission. In the past the Church has shown a capacity to change cultures, although it lacks that vital function in most of the Western world at this time. In spite of this current state, we at Life Model Works are dreaming of a self-propagating recovery model that could change cultures through the ordinary life of the Church. We believe that we are on that path.
The Life Model shows promise as a solution that is both high-tech in its foundations and low-tech in its implementation that ordinary Christians without specialized education can use. Elements have already been shown to work in groups and the results demonstrate self-propagation. While self-propagating healing is easier to do through the Immanuel Process, self- propagating relational skills are not as easy to transfer. The relational skills take community, bonded relationships and time. Along with healing and improved relationships, Life Model Works staff believes this same model and the skills it teaches, could reduce, and even prevent, some trauma and addiction
History of Development
1971 – Shepherd’s House Inc. is founded with the primary purpose of using Christian counseling principles to help people with their emotional and spiritual needs.
1980s – Shepherd’s House provides nearly 1,200 monthly counseling appointments with women who had been sexually abused as children.
1990s – Insurance industry calculated the cost for recovery of one sexually abused child to be $15 million. Realizing a more affordable solution is needed, Counselor Jane Willard introduces healing prayer. Through these changes the Shepherd’s House staff began developing a new model that came to be called the Life Model.
2002 – Shepherd’s House staff identifies nineteen relational brain skills. The team developed ways for ordinary people to identify lacking skills and train others in these brain skills.
2008 – Shepherd’s House works with Dr. Karl Lehman of Chicago to develop the Immanuel Prayer Process, combining healing prayer and cutting-edge neuroscience and to facilitate trauma resolution in large-group settings. Initial tests in Colombia and Sri Lanka yield positive outcomes for self-propagating recovery. Further testing and research awaits funding.
2009 – Ed Khouri & Jim Wilder develop a trauma-&-addiction recovery program called Thriving: Recover Your Life. Thriving serves as a test program for self-propagating recovery as a normal function of the local church.
2011 – Shepherd’s House recently celebrated 40 years of helping people thrive.
2012 – Forming (for the strong) is added to Restarting (for the weak). Belonging runs after Forming and Restarting and brings the weak and the strong together, an essential ingredient for the Transformation Zone. Further development awaits additional funding. (This program is called CONNEXUS. It is the module based program for Churches to bring this joy based training home.)
2013 – Joy Starts Here: the transformation zone is published. Together with Connexus (Restarting, Forming and Belonging) and Thrive, this provides a complete solution for churches to create the transformation zone. Shepherd’s House begins operating as Life Model Works. This year the Lord arranged for the Life Model approach to be broadcast in Lima, Peru via television to a potential audience of 8 million! We are waiting to hear the results.
Our hope is to distribute these tools to as many existing networks as possible. We are planting seeds that will change whole cultures, alter generational heritages and equip people with the skills they need to thrive. Would you like to dream with us and get involved with Life Model Works to see self-propagating recovery become an everyday function of YOUR CHURCH as well as the church worldwide? Your support through prayer, finances and action is vital to making this dream a reality.
For more information on how churches can begin starting joy and their own “transformation zone,” contact Chris Coursey @ firstname.lastname@example.org
We trust that your “JOY tank” was filled with family, fun and friends as you celebrated our Lord’s birth. May JOY motivate and sustain you as you look forward to the challenges of the new year.
Chris & Carol
Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer, www.thrivetoday.org
Twitter – @coursey_chris
Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive www.fromgodsheart.com
Bell photo courtesy of Microsoft Images