NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. (BP) --The Baptist Convention of New England is adding an addiction ministry consultant to its church growth team. Samuel Arroyo-Breeden, a member of First Church in Charlestown, Mass., will work with New England churches that are interested in starting or growing a ministry to reach people struggling with different types of addiction.
Arroyo-Breeden describes addiction ministry as an opportunity to point people in the depths of addiction to both physical and spiritual hope. For the past six years he has worked with people struggling to find a way out of addiction. He has served as a student leader and intern with Teen Challenge New England and as a case manager and clinician for a secular organization. He also founded New England Outreach to help recovering addicts learn to process their struggles while rebuilding their lives.
"Having my own testimony of restoration and reconciliation -- that has inspired me to preach the Gospel," Arroyo-Breeden said. "Jesus changed my life, and I want to let others know that He can do the same for them."
Serving in addiction ministries is rewarding, according to Arroyo-Breeden. Seeing struggling people restored, recovering addicts find their self-worth and families reunited with "lost" loved ones gives Arroyo-Breeden joy. But he describes the best part of ministry as the time someone caught in addiction abandons his or her shame at the foot of the cross.
"When people have a moment of epiphany about the Lord's love for them, there is nothing better than that," Arroyo-Breeden said.
In the coming months Arroyo-Breeden will be leading training events to equip churches in ministry addiction. Learn more about addiction ministry and the BCNE's other compassion ministries at www.bcne.net/compassion-ministries.