recovery in Christ when life is broken

Listed below are answers to common church questions about launching, implementing, and managing a re:generation ministry:


How is re:generation different from other recovery ministries?

If we could describe the RE:GEN difference in one word, that word would be discipleship. Re:generation is spiritual formation through the vehicle of recovery. Our goal for participants is full-devotion to Christ in all areas of life. "Sobriety" in one area of life does not mean that someone is spiritually healthy, knows his or her identity in Christ, and understand God's purpose for life. The call of Christ is full-devotion to God as his child, living out His plan. If you are interested in other unique aspects of re:generation and how we have structured discipleship into the ministry, check out The RE:GEN Difference page.

what are the costs and requirements to bring re:generation to my church?

There are no licensing fees to bring re:generation to your church. Any costs incurred by a church would be the same as launching any new ministry. A church will purchase books from Watermark Resources and usually resell them to participants. We do want ministry point leaders to attend a Watermark re:generation training conference to fully catch the vision and learn how to implement the ministry, so a church may incur some expenses for travel and conference fees.

In terms of other requirements, check out our Host Requirements page.


what is the ministry model, timeline, and participant support structure?

Re:generation is church-based, and exists as a one-night-per-week ministry that runs year-round (not semester based).

A typical ministry night schedule often looks like this:

  • 5:30PM: Leader dinner meeting (teaching, training, fellowship, encouragement, prayer).
  • 6:30PM: Big group meeting for all participants and leaders (worship, welcome, teaching or testimony, announcements).
  • 7:30PM: Small group meetings for participants and leader trainings. The evening includes: first-time guests groups, Groundwork groups (first 7+ weeks of recovery), step groups, new leader training, mentor training, inventory training, commencement celebrations.
  • 8:30PM: Fellowship time.

Small group structures are as follows:

All small groups are split by gender, but not by presenting struggle. Groups with mixed struggles help participants to focus more on the spiritual brokenness behind their struggles (heart transformation), rather than fixating on tips and techniques to manage their struggles (behavior modification). Mixed-struggle groups also help equip leaders to provide biblical counsel across multiple struggles, making them more effective ministers of the gospel in all spheres of influence.

Groundwork groups (first 7+ weeks of recovery) can have participant/leader ratios up to 20/1. Groundwork groups are always open to new participants, and participants can come as infrequently as they desire. To advance to a step group, participants must show consistency in attendance and complete Groundwork curriculum.

Step groups often have an 8/1, participant to leader ratio. Once a ministry matures, a step group may consist of 15 participants and 2 leaders. Step groups are closed to new participants once launched. Participants have small group leader support, accountability with other group participants, and a mentor outside of the group (preferably someone with an existing relationship from his or her home church). A step group typically takes about 9 months to complete the 12-step curriculum.

The entire process from newcomer to commencement takes about one year.


The chart below depicts a participant's timeline and support throughout re:generation:


What does implementation of re:generation look like?

We encourage implementation of re:generation through three development phases. The length of each phase depends upon a church's size, culture, and leadership. The presence of an existing recovery ministry can influence the implementation timeline. The three development phases are as follows:


PHASE 1: Establish Leadership. Because re:generation is substantially different than other recovery ministries in terms of workload (daily curriculum) and spiritual formation, we encourage every church to first run a pilot group of potential leaders before launching the ministry church-wide. The goal of the pilot group is to produce 10-15 male and female leaders who have become familiar with the re:generation curriculum and ministry model before they lead groups of participants. A big group meeting with worship and testimonies are not necessary during this phase. Male and female pilot group participants usually gather together weekly, spend a brief time together sharing and praying, then split into same-gender groups to discuss curriculum in detail. When a leadership base that is familiar with the curriculum is established and a point leader for the ministry is selected, then the church can launch the ministry to other church attendees. It is common for pilot groups to experience some attrition of potential leaders. In most cases (not all), this phase takes one year.

PHASE 2: Launch the Ministry. The goal of Phase 2 is to open RE:GEN to the church and build toward a year-round ministry. A big group gathering with worship, teaching and testimonies is established. Ongoing Groundwork groups provide an entry point throughout the year. Step groups launched every 3-4 months provide onramps for participants in different seasons and produce future leaders at various times of the year. A church may advertise the ministry in it's bulletin or on it's website, and direct people in need to the ministry. However, we do not recommend a sermon series during this phase or outreach to the community until step groups begin to produce new leaders. Smaller churches starting a new ministry may take longer than large churches or churches with existing recovery ministries to establish a year-round model.

PHASE 3, Grow the Ministry: The goal of Phase 3 is to begin to transform your church culture, establishing biblical recovery in authentic community as a normal healing process for all members of your church. Referrals to the ministry for members by the staff - and for struggling staff - becomes normal regardless of the struggle (see 100+ Common Struggles Assessment). A Sunday sermon series with various recovery testimonies is encouraged. Outreach to local counselors, recovery groups, and other churches to offer re:generation as a community resource happens during this phase. Up-front authenticity by senior church leaders is a must.


Keys to Success

Commitment to the Sovereignty of God: Understanding and emphasizing the triune God as our change agent - not a successful "program". God working by the Holy Spirit, through His people, with His word is enough to transform a life and a community.

Realizing that Intimacy with Christ is Freedom: "Sobriety" is not the end goal of re:generation, full-devotion to Christ is the goal of this discipleship ministry. Sobriety from a struggle does not necessarily mean someone is spiritually healthy. Intimacy with Christ brings health, freedom, and joy in all areas of life.

Strong Ministry Leadership and Church Leadership: A mature Christian who can counsel biblically and lead others is a better ministry leader than someone with recovery experience and unknown/questionable spiritual maturity. Only senior leaders can affect church culture to be an authentic community committed to shepherding each other through struggles. When senior leaders model authenticity and promote healing in authentic community as normal for all, re:generation will thrive and culture will transform.


what kind of support do you offer?

Once a church* signs a use agreement the following support is available:

 Ministry Leader Support:

  • Coaching through the three development phases until a ministry is established. We do this through group conference calls with churches at similar stages of development and one-on-one coaching as needed.
  • Downloadable New Leader Training and Mentor Training Packets (virtual versions of these trainings are in development)
  • Online step group leader training for every week of step curriculum made available to all ministry leaders (40 weeks). See this example for Step1, Week1.
  • Topical training for ongoing leader development meetings (examples: "How to Respond When Someone Threatens Suicide", "Conflict Resolution," "Understanding Forgiveness, Amends, Reconciliation", etc.)
  • Ministry operations resources: slide templates, worship resources, sign-in documents, etc.
  • Teaching videos (12 Steps and Issue Specific) with teaching outlines that can be used for large group gatherings.
  • This is not an exhaustive list. Development of new resources and improvement of existing resources is ongoing.

Small Group Step Leader Support:

  • Online step group leader training for every week of curriculum is available (40 weeks). See this example for Step1, Week1.
  • Topical training for ongoing leader development meetings (examples: "How to Respond When Someone Threatens Suicide", "Conflict Resolution," "Understanding Forgiveness, Amends, Reconciliation", etc.)
  • Issue-specific information on what the Bible communicates about certain struggles along with testimonies and additional resources.  See the Struggles section of this website.

Training Conferences/Webinars:  See our current list of upcoming training events.

*Note: Though the ministry may reach into counseling centers, half-way houses, prisons, etc., re:generation must operate under the authority of a local church body.

Next steps

If you are interested in moving forward with re:generation, be sure your church aligns with our Statement of Faith, and you understand the Host Requirements.  When you are ready for a conversation, complete the Church Interest Form and our team will contact you. Know that you can always reach out to our team at   if you have questions. We would love to visit with you.