Heartland Church in Normal, Illinois, wants to be a place where people connect with Jesus to find hope and healing that ignites life transformation. For years, they have been hosting a 12-step recovery program to help people find freedom from their personal struggles. Since 2014, they have offered the 12-step discipleship program Re:generation which integrates Biblical steps to freedom into an authentic community of growing believers. Re:generation offers a unique 11-month program that focuses on Jesus and full devotion to Him.
When Re:generation, a 12-step program which originated out of Watermark Community Church based in Texas, was introduced at Heartland, Paula Reich took part in the pilot group. Paula, a former missionary to Venezuela and staff member at Heartland, was interested in helping to start the program, but during that first year, she said, “God showed me that He wanted to work in me.” Since that time, Paula has begun leading Re:generation at Heartland along with a team of men and women.
When a new person decides to attend re:generation, they understand that the program takes 11 months to finish. Their participation requires completion of a daily lesson along with a weekly commitment to the group. Each participant must be mentored by someone outside of the group who will pray for and encourage him or her.
As a result of re:generation, lives and marriages are being transformed. One couple who came to the program credits their participation in re:generation for saving their marriage. As they each dealt with their own issues and grew spiritually, they began to work on their struggling relationship. Another woman came to re:generation by referral. She had been raised in an atheist home, so spiritual topics were new to her. Through the program, she decided to follow Jesus.