Finding the Most Excellent Way
Most Excellent Way is one of the vital programs of Ministry Village, but not one that is discussed very often. The stories shared in Most Excellent Way are often painful, and to protect those who have lived through — and are often still experiencing — the trauma discussed, we provide privacy. The struggles described happen daily, often weighing heavily on the souls of everyone who hears them because they have each lived through something similar. But those who regularly attend the meetings do so, not to multiply their problems, but to divide their burdens amongst the other willing souls in that room. Each meeting offers its participants joy, hope and a vision of a life beyond addiction.
For Stacey Paden, Most Excellent Way is an important ministry for a very personal reason — she attended her first Most Excellent Way meeting on July 7, 1998 and it helped her change her life.
“I remember like yesterday. I stood in a bar and questioned if there was even a God. If He was real. And in that next breath, I called Him a male chauvinistic pig, and said that I would never bow to God, even if He was real. When I think about grace, I instantly go back to that time.
“On the morning of July 7, 1998 , I knew I had to make a change. That morning, when I dropped my daughter off to school and told her not to ever tell anybody what had happened, I knew that I was living in the generational curse that had been passed down to me. That day, I ended up at a church, and I can’t even explain why. It was like my car just drove me there. I was told there was a Most Excellent Way meeting that night.”
The Most Excellent Way (MEW) program was started to restore confidence through the Word of God to those struggling with addiction. Since 1986, The Most Excellent Way has made its primary goal “to declare the power that God makes available to a person to overcome addictions through the Cross”. MEW meetings take place each week at a number of community centers and churches nationwide including Olive Baptist Church. Olive holds MEW meetings twice each week at its main campus and once each week on the Warrington campus.
Stacey remembers how she felt after attending MEW meetings. “I knew I needed help. I went to my first meeting on, July 7, 1998, and went faithfully for many months. God just began to reveal Himself – who He was. In the meantime, as I attended those meetings, God brought a coworker to me who had achieved 2 years of sobriety. She had been attending the Most Excellent Way meetings at a different church. God began to use her to minister life into me and speak life into me. As a young adult, I had never heard those things before. It was always, ‘You’re no good. You’re a nobody. You’ll never be successful if you don’t look a certain way, or have a certain kind of house, or a certain bank account.’ And so I was defeated and dejected. Now I was learning that I was loved. But I was also very angry. Why would God let somebody go through the trauma and the abuse that I had been through? I was really struggling.
“I continued to attend the meetings, and wanted to understand a little about who this God is, and on October 19, 1998, God was just calling me. For weeks prior, I was telling Him, ‘Just let me clean this up first. Let me fix this. Let me get my rage under control, God. Let me fix this at home first. Let me do this, and then I’ll come to You. But that night, I couldn’t escape Him. I sat down in my gold 1970s chair and pulled out a piece of paper that my coworker had given to me. I started to just prepare myself for what was before me.”
Next week, we’ll learn more about Stacey’s conversation with God that night in October 1998, and how her faith and continued involvement in Most Excellent Way has led to telling her story as a way to heal herself while helping others.
✝️ The Most Excellent Way is our faith-based support group for addiction recovery, providing support to those struggling with addiction as well as their families. Groups meet weekly at OBC main campus and at our Warrington campus, and find hope by grounding themselves in Biblical principles alongside leaders who are trained in supporting others.
✝️ MEW meets at Olive’s main campus on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7 to 8:30PM, and on the Warrington Campus on Wednesdays from 6:30PM to 8PM. (Due to COVID-19 meeting restrictions, Warrington Campus meetings have been temporarily suspended. Please call Scott or check our Ministry Village Facebook page for information on when meetings will resume.)