So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Cor. 10:31
For years Mark has been asked by countless people,
“When are you going to do a group study for addiction that is consistent with the Bible?”
He would always answer, “I’m working on it,” but now he can finally say, “It is finished.”
Dr. Mark E. Shaw has officially announced the completion of his “Magnum Opus.” A complete video and digital program for addiction, Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED, is the culmination of what started over 10 years ago when he first began to write this curriculum. Mark gives all the glory to God and thanks the team of people from The Addiction Connection. He also gives credit and acknowledgement and huge thanks to the leadership of Grace Fellowship Church where the team gathered to video this project.
A Curriculum to Help the Addicted Know Christ
Ministries who use this program will simultaneously be offering both an outreach and disciple-making curriculum that agrees with God’s unchanging Word. Purchasing the program gives you content to use for 66 weeks. The course is repeatable, too, with the hope that participants who complete it can move into a leadership role if you choose to repeat another 66 weeks.
So start a program in your local church using this online biblical curriculum!
With all new teaching content entirely taught by Dr. Mark E. Shaw, the Founder of The Addiction Connection and the author of The Heart of Addiction: A Biblical Perspective; Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts; and Understanding Temptation: The War Within Your Heart.
If you already have a residential program, or an outreach meeting focusing on addiction, Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED will give you additional content to teach biblical principles to those you serve. This program will work for an outreach in a non-residential setting or as a disciple-making course to the addicted.
In essence, there are really only two ways to approach addiction— according to man’s way and according to God’s way. Man’s way consists of a myriad of approaches but God’s way is clear from His Word alone.
What is in the Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED Video Program?
Here’s a quick overview of the program consisting of 12 units using the acronym:
The first lesson focuses on the word “Be” of the Be TRANSFORMED acronym. Here, Mark teaches participants struggling with addiction about identity, which is crucial for anyone to understand. Also, knowing the character of God and Him as Creator is essential for any follower of Christ.
Questions answered in this first lesson are: Who are you? Who’s your Creator? Addiction– what is it and why is it important to define it correctly? The stages of transformation are explained using scriptural truths. Mark’s emphasis in this lesson is that you cannot transform your own heart. Only the Holy Spirit changes the heart’s desires.
“This program is useless if the Holy Spirit doesn’t transform the heart.” – Mark E. Shaw
And so the glory will be to God whatever good results may come from the use of this brand new curriculum.
How Can the Program be Utilized?
Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED can be used in a variety of contexts, including:
- Residential programs
- Outreach weekly meetings at churches or ministries
- Small community or care groups
The Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED program simply teaches biblical truths and applies them to the heart of addiction in a format that leaders can use to reach the addicted.
The 12 Units of Next Steps: Be Transformed
T is for truth in love.
Ephesians 4:15-16 says,
Rather, speaking the truth and love we are to grow up in every into way him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The importance of biblical truth is a foundational core of this unit. Mark passionately and clearly proclaims that we cannot pick our own truth! God’s truth is the truth we need to embrace. John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was 100% grace and 100% truth. He is the only one who is completely both, always, at the same time! The rest of us fall short of this balance of grace and truth, and so we rely solely on God’s truth about the problem of addiction.
R is for repentance.
Addiction requires repentance because in this biblical disciple-making program the sin choices of addiction are viewed as God views them. Our desires are sinful ones that lead us astray and that miss the mark. Turn away from sin to Jesus Christ and live in the freedom of forgiveness because of Christ’s work on the cross.
There are Be Transformed Truths at the beginning of each unit—small bite sized summary statements that anchor the remainder of the unit’s lessons. These are a profitable way for participants to solidify learning and stay focused in the discussion times and teaching times because there are so many scriptural truths being taught throughout the lessons of each unit.
A is for assurance of pardon.
The so-called “bad news” that the heart desires of the addicted person are sinful is really good news for addicts because they can be forgiven! Crucial concepts covered in this unit are:
How does God forgive you? How does God forgive other people? How to be like Christ? How do you forgive? Granting forgiveness to others is unpacked with scriptural saturated support, not mans’ best philosophies or cultural dilution of what forgiveness is.
Ephesians 2:8-10 proclaims to believers that:
For it is by Grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing, not a result of works so, no one may boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
N is for newness of life.
Continuing to grow daily and needing repentance every day of our lives is something that not many new believers or addicts realize. Repentance is not just a one and done. But Mark speaks and teaches about all of the resources God has given us so that we can walk in newness of life.
S is for sanctification.
The work of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of the participants is our only hope for success. Mark teaches sanctification in an accessible, down to earth style that brings such clarity. Leaders of churches have been looking for the keys that unlock the door to the change needed in an addict’s heart in other man centered programs with steps and works. Mark has stayed true to the teachings of sanctification from scripture alone.
F is fruit-producing
All about godliness and how to grow in humility by putting off pride and resisting temptation.
O is for others-focused.
R is responsibility.
M is for maturity
…which is exemplified by learning to cultivate a heart of gratitude.
E is for exemplifying Christ
…by being humble and being submissive.
D is for disciple making
…by both being a disciple, AND becoming a disciple-maker. This final unit encourages obedience to being purposeful to help other people and fulfilling Matthew 28:18-20.
Obviously, this overview is brief and gives you the bird’s eye view of the entire program. There are discussion questions printed at the end of each of the 66 handout lessons that leaders will use to get to heart issues and assign additional work and reading for those participants willing to commit and invest in biblical change by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Enhance Program with Supplemental Resources
The Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED program is an expansion of existing resources that Dr. Shaw has produced. This new material is enhanced and reinforced when you supplement from his publications like:
- Understanding Temptation: The War Within Your Heart.
- Relapse: Biblical Prevention Strategies
- The Heart of Addiction and its companion, The Heart of Addiction WORKBOOK
- Cross Talking: A Daily Gospel for Transforming Addicts
Having your participants read these resources will benefit them since they complement the teaching in the Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED program.
What do I receive?
Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED provides you with
- 66 video lessons
- Participant handouts
- Discussion questions
- Special projects
- Recommended reading assignments
How long would it take for my group to complete the program?
This program has enough content to last a little over a year. You might be tempted to do more than one lesson per week if you lead a residential program. This is fine, although it is recommended that you view this as a marathon rather than a sprint. In other words, giving assignments between lessons will improve the discussion times when participants commit to doing those assignments well.
Helping the addicted to move forward from a “clean and sober” lifestyle to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. While sobriety and recovery are good goals, God wants more for the addicted: He wants to change them into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Transformation doesn’t happen alone or automatically once someone is saved and born again. The local church is God’s support group and this biblical group study course depends upon Christ, His Word, the community of a local church, and God’s Spirit to work in the hearts of the participants. By His grace and truth, God will enable you to guide the addicted into the Next Steps and Be TRANSFORMED.
If you are an addict, you don’t have to do it alone. Grab a friend or find a couple of people to go through it with. They don’t have to be addicts.
And don’t forget to join us in November 2020 for The Addiction Connection Leadership Summit in Florence, KY!
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. -Psalm 145:3
To God be the Glory!
The Addiction Connection Team