In the Drug Epidemic, God call us to "Be the Fruit of the Vine" in ministry to families on a journey with addictions

John 15:1-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Invest in the Family Ministry Model

How can churches help find a solution to the drug epidemic? It seems simple enough, Churches are focused on God, have families in their congregation that are experiencing this epidemic and have knowledge of how to practice faith in suffering. It would seem all three elements exist in what a family experiences on their journey with substance use disorder. However, even though doctors, counselors, politicians, prosecutors, mayors and treatment centers have all converged to address this issue, the churches have been the least committed to provide a family focused ministry for this large population.

This is the purpose of “Invest in the Family Ministry”, a church-based ministry for families experiencing the substance use disorder epidemic. What has been the case for many churches is most do not have the strategy, structure, process within their existing ministries to adapt and support the unique blend of needs required by this group. Also, their family’s needs are not only of a spiritual nature; but include education learning about what the journey with substance use disorder will entail, how to use their faith practices in their suffering and where to find help on an “issue by issue” case in this life long experience. 

This is a complicated disease only further exasperated by a social stigma which prevents families from seeking help. It becomes more elusive when they do not know where to begin. The “Invest in the Family Ministry” clears up all these issues so the family can focus on giving this disease of the brain over to God.

The “Invest in the Family Ministry” model offers a home in your church for these families by providing: 1. Education Learning Seminars, 2. Spiritual faith practice development paths, and 3. Networking to support referral resources. It is a harbor (Ark) in the storm so the family members can get educated, organized and networked. These are the key elements needed to empower a family. Because, Knowledge is Empowering.  All of this is included in the model. 

The Invest in the Family Ministry "Church USer Manual" book is designed to be modified so it meets the specific attributes of your faith practices. By meeting the family in their suffering and coming to their level we do God’s work better, than if we ask the family to rise to ours. 

The "education seminars" and spiritual development tracks can be self-administered by the family in their home, at your Church as a monthly ministry meeting or in a large seminar where the community is invited.

This same approach (meet them where they are) is designed in the ministry model to provide “spiritual development” as a starting point where they current are in their faith practice. Again, not asking them to rise to where we are, but rather meeting them where they can grow best, their world. Given that every family is different, it will be theirs to decide the best path for their family, it is our role to provide options and support in how to move forward. 

In order to move forward the family will need the assistance from community services and agencies. Here too, the Invest in the Family Minstry plays a role by Networking the Family using the Family Resource Coordination M.O.R.E. model.  As a church in the community, the ministry becomes are referral network for families to find the help they need from a list of services created by the ministry. 

Make this ministry model your ministry, provided by your church

Take ownership in doing God's work.

You can make the "Invest in the Family Ministry" model your church's response to the drug epidemic. Purchase the book, Invest in the Family, Church User Manual and set up a small group of individuals to assume the initial leadership roles. These volunteers can be found by announcing to your church the start of a new ministry for substance use disorder. Most likely families with a passion will come to your first meeting and your initial leadership team will be formed from that group. Then review the leadership roles and responsibilities, the process and work flow. Next, purchase the books:  1. The Family Solution Finder Study Guide, 2. The Family Solution Finder Workbook. These will serve as your family members learning and education modules. The Church User Guide shows you how. From here determine the spiritual development learning tracks or use the ones in the Church User Guide. Then start by holding your first 1.5 hr meeting using the agenda in the book. 

Families Impacted by Opioids is available to coach your leadership team every step of the way. It is our stewardship to you the assistance you may need to get started. Therefore, you are never alone in getting this ministry up and running.  Call: Roy Poillon Executive Director 440.385.7605.   BECOME THE ROCK THAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO BE!

Invest in the Family Ministry Church User Manual

This book is available on in both Catholic and Protestant versions. It includes the following content:


Introduction: “Invest in the Family Ministry”

I. Ministry Concept, "Purposeful Driven Ministry"                       p.6

1st Step Ministry Culture

2nd Step Ministry Structure

3rd Step Ministry Process

4th Step Ministry Implementation

II. Education Seminar, The Family Solution Finder                     p.51

III. Spiritual Development, SP~ARK’s Program                            p.59

IV. Family Resource Coordination, M.O.R.E.  Program               p.97

V. Appendix(s)                                                                                    p.108

To build your Ministry

It is not enough to say your church will now provide a ministry for families impacted by substance use disorder, first you need to build the ministry. The Purposeful Driven Ministry offers the Structure, process and implementation to creat the ministry in a way that it is sustainable of time.  Through roles, responsibilities, using template forms communication is enhanced, goals are set amd achieved, growth and sustainability is assured. 

The Family Solution Finder

Provides 3 years of monthly meeting content to educate and empower ministry family members. 32 seminars covering the entire journey. The Family Solution Finder Study Guidebook, Workbook and video links educate and build knowledge on needed topic that family will use in their journey with substance use disorder. These 1.5hrs seminars are build for any person to present, prior subject matter or experience on the topic  is not needed.  The seminars are designed for families to review in the privacy of their home, at a monthly church ministry, or in a larger community seminar. 

SP~ARK's Program

Spiritual Arks is what the SP~ARK's program provides to a ministry. It is the assessment, review of strength and weaknesses and planning for development that ignites the fire from within. The SP~ARK's program turns volunteers into disciples of their faith.  Those family members who seek a deeper meaning in their journey will take advantage of the opportunity to explore how they can bring their faith forward.

Family Resources Coordination through M.O.R.E

M.O.R.E is a model for ministry's to use for ensuring their family members are connected at the right time, to the right services with follow up and follow through as a part of the monthly process. To many times we do not see and therefore do not act in getting a family the care they need in a timely manner at the right level. M.O.R.E. is a process that ensures we are meeting the family where they in their current level of changing needs.