FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Does Freedom that Lasts have a Rehab Center?

The simple answer is "no". We have decided to focus our energy and resources on equipping local churches to walk beside those who are hurting and struggling with addiction. Dividing our time to oversee a rehab center would hinder our ability to accomplish our goal. We, however, do recommend biblically based rehab centers. You can click "here" to see a list of biblically based drug and alcohol residential centers. 

Do FTL chapters provide individual counseling for addicts?

FTL chapters do not offer individual counseling. However, some churches with FTL chapters do provide individual counseling in addition to their FTL ministries. Contact the church that hosts the FTL chapter closest to you to find out if they offer individual counseling.  

Additionally, you can head on over to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors to locate a counselor who either close to you or is willing to counsel online. 

Does FTL have to be attached to a church?

In most circumstances, an FTL chapter needs to be attached to a local church. Multiple times throughout the New Testament, Jesus refers to the Church as His bride. Freedom that Lasts wants to come alongside the bride of Christ to equip her members (Ephesians 4:11). 

College Campus and Prison Ministries that are not housed within local churches are some exceptions. In these cases, contact the Freedom that Lasts headquarters to find out how to start a chapter. 

What do you do?

Freedom that Lasts exists to equip churches. The goal of our ministry is to come alongside local churches to provide them with all the tools that they will need to effectively engage those who are hurting and caught up in life enslaving sins, commonly known as addictions. 

We accomplish this by providing the following:

  • Biblical curriculum written specifically for those struggling with life enslaving sins. 
  • Promotional materials and structured agendas to help start, run, and maintain weekly meetings.
  • Training to recruit and equip church volunteers to provide the manpower needed to help those struggling with life enslaving sins. 
  • Support for local chapters via phone, online, or in person (whichever is preferred and available).
Do you follow a 12-step model?
  • FTL does not follow the 12-Step model commonly found in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, and other groups that perceive addiction as a recovery program. Typically, these groups understand addiction to be a disease from which one recovers. 
  • In contrast, Freedom That Lasts believes that addictions of all sorts are primarily a sin problem that require repentance, not recovery. FTL also believes that someone can find complete freedom from addiction and does not need to take on the identity of someone who is in recovery for life. 

How successful is FTL for the average addict?

The answer to this question depends upon the definition and criteria for success. FTL considers success to be when someone moves from being an unbeliever enslaved to different passions and desires to a believer who has been forgiven of their sins, created in the likeness of Christ, and lives for the glory of God. 

In order to do this, FTL uses the following criteria to determine success:

  • Welcome - Was the FTL student welcomed to the FTL group with arms open wide?
  • Gospel Knowledge - Did the FTL student receive a clear Gospel explanation?
  • Biblical Understanding of Addiction - Did the FTL student receive a clear biblical explanation of addiction including what it is, how to put off old addictive thoughts and behaviors, and how to put on new Christlike thoughts and behaviors?
  • Christlike Character Growth - Has the FTL student grown more into the image of Christ as a result of the time that they have spent with the FTL group?
  • Gained Wisdom For Living - Has the FTL student grown in living life as a biblically wise person.?
Does FTL qualify for court mandated drug and alcohol counseling?
  • A program's ability to qualify for drug and alcohol counseling rests with individual judicial systems. You will need to check with your local judicial system to find out if Freedom That Lasts qualifies for state certified drug and alcohol counseling. 
  • If it does not, we would encourage you to ask if the court would consider allowing FTL to be included as an option for drug and alcohol counseling. If more info is needed by your defense attorney, the state prosecuting attorney, or your presiding judge, please reach out to us at Freedom That Lasts to let us know. We would be honored to have discussions with anyone who needs more information in order to make an informed decision. 

Does FTL work for unbelievers?

The word "work" often is understood to mean that the one struggling with addiction no longer struggles with addiction. While this idea would be outstanding, this understanding of the word "work" would not be embraced by anyone who provides help and hope for those struggling with addiction. There is no program that can provide this kind of promise.

Most 12-step programs would define "work" as providing the student with all the tools needed to remain sober if someone "works" the steps in the program.

n contrast to the 12-Step explanation of "work", FTL "works" through accomplishing four primary goals. Each FTL chapter (1) provides a welcoming atmosphere for everyone, (2) shares the gospel as often as FTL chapters meeting, (3) uses principles of biblical counseling to address issues related to addiction, and (4) helps addicts to grow in Christlikeness and wisdom in living life. FTL works when all four of these principles are put into practice. 

Chapter Support

How much training and support will we get from FTL headquarters?

FTL will provide each chapter with as much training and support as required. For some chapters, the training and support needed is minimal, while other chapters, for whatever reason, might require more training and support. 

Regardless of the amount needed, the goal for FTL is to ensure that each chapter flourishes for the glory of God as well as the good of those hurting and struggling with all sorts of addictions. 

The minimum number of volunteers required is 5 if you have both men and women to whom you will be ministering. If your church is blessed with more volunteers, you can obviously be more hospitable. 

How involved does the senior pastor need to be?

While FTL requires the senior pastor's approval, FTL encourages the senior pastor to relegate his time to the teaching only during the FTL meeting, only if no one else is available to teach. 

A hallmark of FTL is that the entire church can get involved during the FTL meeting so that no one is tasked with a large amount of work. When the body of Christ pulls together to accomplish ministry, monumental feats can be accomplished without burning out a small percentage of people. 

Does FTL offer counselor training?

FTL does not offer counselor training. We partner with other likeminded biblical counseling ministries to provide in depth counselor training. Those ministries include:

We would highly encourage you to check into these ministries and seriously consider becoming certified.

 

How many volunteers does it take to run this ministry?

The answer to this question depends on what your church wants to offer for the FTL group meeting. Each needs to follow volunteer positions filled prior to starting a group:

  • Chapter Director (1 Volunteer)
  • Care Group Leader for men and women (2 Volunteers minimum)
  • Chapter administrator (1 volunteer)
  • Teacher (1 volunteer)

Additional volunteer positions could include:

  • Sales table (1 Volunteer)
  • Child Care (1 Volunteer per 2 children recommended)
  • Fellowship/Food (2 Volunteers minimum recommended)
What is the time commitment for volunteers?

The time commitment for volunteers really depends upon the role that the volunteer takes on for the ministry. Here are some of the roles to consider and weekly estimated time commitments for each role:

  • Check-In Desk: 2 Hours
  • Care Group Leader: 4 Hours
  • Care Group Helper: 3 Hours
  • Chapter Director: 4 Hours
  • Child Care : 2 Hours
  • Teacher: 2 Hours
What are the chapter fees?

In order to allow for as many churches as possible to gain access to FTL material, we have implemented a multitiered approach which is driven by the size of the church. Here is how it breaks down:

  • 250 people and under: $49 per month or $500 annually.
  • 251-500 people: $75 per month or $800 annually?
  • 501 -1000 people: $125 per month or $1400 annually.
  • 1001-2000 people: $175 per month or $2000 annually. 
  • 2001 people or more: $225 per month or $2500 annually. 

What does the chapter fee include?

The chapter fee includes:

  • Access to Freedom Tracker - the chapter management software.
  • The chapter store, where you can purchase the curriculum at a significant discount.
  • Professional advertising files from which you can print advertising fliers, director and care group guides, business cards, and banners. 

How much is the curriculum?

FTL books are $17 a piece when purchased through Amazon. There is a 5% discount when ordered in bulk through the FTL website. 

Churches with an FTL membership receive a 15% discount on all book purchases when purchased through the FTL website. 

One suggestion is for your church to start a benevolence fund to help provide books for those men and women who cannot afford to purchase books on their own. 

What is the total upfront financial commitment?

This is a harder number to nail down as there are many variables that factor into upfront costs. For illustrative purposes, if a church of 100 people wanted to start an FTL group and planned on ministering to 5 people struggling with addicts, startup costs could break down in the following way:

• Charter Membership: $49 per month

• Books:

o Volunteers - 5 at 14.55 per book ($17 - 15% discount as a member) = 72.75.

o Students - 5 at 14.55 per book ($17 - 15% discount as a member) = 72.75

If nothing else were to be provided such as childcare and food, then the first month start up would cost approximately $194.50. Each additional month for the first year would then be $49, bringing the annual cost for the first year to 733.50. If the church were to take advantage of paying for the year upfront, then the total annual cost would be $645.50. 

To put this cost into perspective, the average American spends $1,097 per year on coffee. If one person in your church redirected their coffee money away from coffee and toward helping those struggling with addiction, your FTL group would be fully funded.

 

What Bible translation(s) does FTL offer?

FTL offers the course curriculum in both the King James and English Standard Versions. 

If you are looking for another translation, we would love to know about it. If there is enough interest in a particular translation outside of the KJV and ESV, we would consider offering our material in that translation. 

What addictions does FTL curriculum address?

The FTL curriculum addresses all life-enslaving sin, not just one or two different types of addictive behavior. Instead of focusing on drugs and alcohol alone, FTL material addresses:

  • Abuse of Drugs and Alcohol 
  • Eating issues, both under and overeating
  • Gambling
  • Materialism
  • Sexual Sin
  • Video Game Addiction

There isn't an addiction that falls outside the purview of the FTL material.

 

Would FTL curriculum make a good Bible study?

The FTL material would make a good bible study as it is focused on the Bible. It is written with the addict in mind as opposed to the average Bible study student. The main difference between an average bible study and the FTL material is that the FTL material is aimed at life change as opposed to gaining more knowledge. For sure, FTL students will gain more knowledge, but the knowledge gained is intended to be put into action so that one's life is changed more into the image of Jesus. As a result of this focus, FTL material is extremely practical. 

What tools and software comes with FTL?

The FTL tools and materials include:

  • A multilayer curriculum that both engages the student and encourages growth in their walk with the Lord. 
  • An electronic web-based tool (Freedom Tracker) to help FTL groups maintain oversight of the health of local chapters, facilitate good communication among care group leaders and students, and track progress for individual students.
  • On-line Chapter Portal with digital guides (in both written and video format) to help train volunteers for all roles required to run an FTL group.
  • Ongoing training through online meetings, video tutorials, and blog/vlog posts that will ensure members of each FTL group are fully equipped for the work set before them.
  • Chapter directors have direct access to FTL staff who have tens of thousands of combined counseling hours in the area of addictions.

How do we recruit volunteers?

FTL provides you with tools and training for church members so that they are equipped to play a vital role in their church's FTL group. 

The best recruiting tool is your senior pastor. We have seen time and time again, when a senior pastor becomes passionate about ministering to the hurting and addicted, God moves in the hearts of His people resulting in enough volunteers to accomplish the task at hand. 

Combining the passion of the senior pastor with the tools that FTL provides, your church will be more than ready to walk alongside anyone God might bring your way. 

How do we market to our community?

In almost every community in the US and around the world, the need far exceeds the amount of help available, both in manpower as well as in dollars. Where hands are genuinely stretched out offering help, the outside community usually accepts the help without much of a fuss. 

Realizing that, the following ways have proven to be beneficial for spreading the word about starting an FTL group:

  • Word of Mouth - the best advertising comes from those who are the most invested. Encourage your church members to invite their family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. 
  • Local Community Boards - Local YMCA's, grocery stores, and community centers are great locations to pin up a flier advertising your FTL group.
  • Advertise in the local paper - For smaller communities who have a local paper, the local FTL chapter could purchase a small ad for about $50 per week. You never know who could be reading the paper and come across your ad. 
  • Inform local social service institutions - Social institutions that are funded by the government are severely understaffed and overworked. They are often glad to know about other programs that meet the needs of those that they help on a frequent basis. Often, they are happy to pass along information to their clients regarding addiction help.
  • Meet with local law enforcement and judicial officers - Most programs designed to help addicts are most often encouraged by law enforcement and those employed by the judicial system. They often do not care if the program is religious. 
  • Utilize social media - Social media is one of the most common ways to share information quickly with those who can benefit the most. If you are not familiar with social media, find a younger person in your church who is social media savvy and enlist their help in getting the word out.