Citizen’s Spotlight: John Eklund – Celebrate Recovery

Miley Legal Group

Name?  John Eklund

Age? 39

Wife, Children & Grandchildren? Wife:  Jennene- Married 15 years; Children:  4 daughters- Daisy, 14, Lily, 12, Violet, 10, and Rose 6

What is your professional title? 1) Connect Pastor at Horizons Church

2) Northeast Regional Director and National Encourage Coach, Celebrate Recovery, Saddleback Church Lake Forest, CA

What is the most difficult part of being a pastor?  Prioritizing family as the most important ministry. Though I believe I am called to serve my church and my community, I have to constantly remind myself that my first “calling” is to my wife and 4 daughters.

What do you feel is the greatest risk facing our communities today?  Apathy.

The greatest risk to any community is not the problems themselves.  Problems, many times, are opportunities to bring the community together.  The greatest tragedy is when the community is in crisis, and folks turn a blind eye.  Edmund Burke wrote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

What technique do you use most often to motivate an individual to change?  Enter the life changing program, Celebrate Recovery.

What is the best piece of advice you were given, and who gave it to you?  My first sponsor in recovery introduced 5 words to me that helped change my life, and still ground me today… He told me, “John, just “DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.”

What advice would you offer individuals who have attempted recovery and suffered relapse?  In Celebrate Recovery, we continually encouraging each other to “keep coming back.”  We are going to fail.  Like C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” Whatever you do, don’t give up before the miracle happens, don’t disconnect from God and others, and just keep coming back!

What is the funniest moment you’ve encountered as a pastor?  I remember volunteering for a youth retreat, and falling asleep on the bus ride home.  Never, never fall asleep on a bus full of teenagers!  They gave me a full makeover including toe and fingernail polish!

When people look back at your life, how do you want to be remembered?  I guess I would hope the seeds I have planted would keep growing.