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Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…

When we launched Truth in Love Ministries in 2007, the world was a messy place. Not much has changed in 2020. Some might argue the world is even messier! We’ve not had a pandemic in my lifetime until now, but the good news is that God is still on the throne and He is accomplishing His purposes for His own glory. I hope your confidence is in Him and that your eyes are on Jesus – not on the world’s drama. God never changes.

Early in 2019, I met with Truth in Love Ministries’ board of directors and we discussed why I believed that after much prayer and consideration, it’s clear that the mandate for TILM had been fulfilled. Here’s why: I am now doing TILM-type-of-work at my new position as Director of Counseling at Grace Fellowship Church (GFC) in Florence, KY. I am teaching, training counselors, and equipping the saints for ministry across the northern Kentucky area, and I love it. I am grateful to serve with Pastor Brad Bigney.

Mission Accomplished

TILM had a positive impact on so many lives locally to globally. Hundreds of counselees were transformed by truth and encouraged by love over the years as well as their extended family and friends. Our servant leaders who counseled so many hurting souls grew and were changed as well. I’m so thankful for so many of you who were willing to join us in, “Making Disciple-makers by Speaking the Truth in Love.”  TILM’s focus upon developing leaders greatly increased the impact on local churches and ministries because of our training and relational disciple-making model in teams of two. I am grateful for what the Lord accomplished through our amazing team over the years. TILM was never a “one-man show.” Thank you again to all of you who served in this ministry! The TILM mission was accomplished and is an answer to what we prayed to see God do in multiple local churches back in 2007 in Birmingham, AL. So, for TILM, it is finished. (Someone else said the same thing in a much more meaningful way in John 19:30!)

Ministry New Birth

Using the plural form of the word (“ministries”) was always intentional for TILM. It was always Truth in Love Ministries; it was never just Truth in Love Ministry. The Addiction Connection (TAC) was one of the ministries that was produced from TILM. I still remember when Shirley Crowder and I brainstormed this new arm of TILM in 2010 that was designed to focus on the overwhelming need to reach addicts and their families with a biblical approach offering practical help and eternal hope. In August 2012, a launch team of twelve of us gathered in Cleveland, Ohio. These were ministry friends of mine who were working with the addicted and their families in several different parts of the United States. Our purpose was to launch the first website and curriculum for training biblical counselors specifically in the area of addictions. We accomplished that goal in 2013.

Part 2 of The Story: The Addiction Connection’s Mandate

The Addiction Connection (TAC) was one of the ministries that was produced from Truth in Love Ministries. In the time between the initial launch and now, TAC has grown more than I ever imagined. We now have 48 Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselors (CABC) and we will reach 50 in coming months. As the overwhelming need for biblical counseling for addicts and their families has only increased exponentially since then, we began to focus upon sharing the hope of the Gospel with those in the throes of addictions of all types. The TAC slogan is now

“Connecting the Hope of the Gospel

With the Heart of Addiction”

and the mandate is to connect people to Christ and His church.

In fact, as I wrote each of the resources I’ve published over the years, my goal has always been to give the local church a curriculum to use to help hurting souls. It is such a thrill to hear of individuals using my resources to work with people one-on-one in disciple-making contexts, or others using these resources to teach a small group or class. I saw a dire need in the local churches across America for a curriculum that was consistent with their doctrine and statement of faith. Mission accomplished. And more resources are on the way (to include more formats of video and audio!)

Similar to TILM, TAC’s primary mandate is:

  1. training and commissioning leaders who will train others
  2. offering hope-filled addiction resources to the hurting
  3. providing a community network of like-minded Christ-followers for
    • family members & friends of the addicted
    • for addicts themselves, and
    • for biblical counselors who define the problem and the solution in the same way.

TAC’s Unity Statement can be seen at https://www.theaddictionconnection.org/unity-statement/ As you read it, I hope you will sense the passion I have for uniting under the biblical definitions of the problem of addiction and its solution in Christ.

TAC’s Growth So Far

Building upon the foundation that TILM started in 2007, The Addiction Connection (TAC) tripled in growth in 2019. Our 3rd annual TAC Leadership Summit in Kentucky (November 2019) had representatives from ministries in 25 of the United States as well as one potential start-up addiction program in South Africa. TAC has collected a network of providers who have a genuinely biblical approach to addiction. Our mandate is to focus upon helping hurting addicts and their family members by offering Gospel-centered help connected to the local church. It grieves me that right now most church members with addiction problems are still going outside the local church for help. We want to see that change in our generation.

The Addiction Connection’s Goals This Year

We need your help to accomplish our Kingdom-advancing goals:

Please pray for our leadership team and our network of providers.

Please utilize our website at www.theaddictionconnection.org to become familiar with all that we can offer someone in need of help. Send others to the website as well.

Please listen to our free TAC podcasts at https://anchor.fm/theaddictionconnection.

Please prayerfully consider how you might serve or support TAC. We remain a 501c-3 non-profit ministry so gifts are tax deductible. Give via check or online at https://www.theaddictionconnection.org/give/

As the Founder of TAC, I am grateful to God for all that is happening in this ministry. We have a leadership team consisting of some of our founding members and several new additions who have helped in our northern Kentucky launch of TAC for the purpose of impacting the globe.

Here are some of our first priorities:

  • increasing the capabilities of the website in several ways to serve more people
  • increasing the online training offered to counselors
  • streamlining the commissioning process
  • providing a network of even more biblical options for hurting people to find real help and eternal hope

We have other goals, too, but we are choosing to primarily focus on these areas for now. Too many lives hang in the balance when you consider that over 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in the year 2017 alone. Think about that again: 70,000 souls moved into an eternal state from drug overdose deaths in the U.S. alone in just one year, and we have the answer in our message of hope.

We Want to Serve You

If you have questions, please contact Sarah Shaw at [email protected] to find out the latest news for TAC and to share with us how we might serve you. We exist to serve others for the glory of Christ. Our leadership team is excited about what the Lord is doing in our midst to connect hurting people with practical help and eternal hope. We want you to be a partner in this endeavor of the Lord.

Thank you for reading this important history and update. 2019 was a year of transition for me both personally and professionally. A year ago, our family moved to the state in which I was born – Kentucky. TILM is now officially re-named & re-launched as The Addiction Connection (TAC) with a bright future ahead in a very messy world.

Mark (Continuing to Speak the Truth in Love for the Addicted and Their Families)