Start an Addiction Ministry

Pray About It

Luke 14:28 says, "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?" When the lives of men and women are in the balance, much time in prayer must be spent. An addiction ministry is one of the those ministries that is on the front lines of the war against sin. Deceit, destruction, and even death at one level or another are common experiences with addiction. Starting an addiction ministry MUST begin with lots of earnest passionate prayer from men and women who want to step in and help. 

Get Support

Church support (leadership and laity) is a must when it comes to starting an addiction ministry. The best case scenario is when a pastor or elder in leadership feels the call to start an addiction ministry and then finds the team of saints to help run the ministry. Many times, God uses the saints of a local church to bring the idea of an addiction ministry to the attention of church leadership and that is how a zeal for such a ministry begins. Regardless of how church support is gathered, support requires both leadership and laity to be on board and ready to go. 

Formalize

 Once you have spent time in prayer and gathered church support, it is time to formalize your addiction ministry. Formalization for Freedom That Lasts includes the following steps:

  1. Read through our Philosophy of Addiction
  2. Contact Us to apply for and submit the Charter Agreement.
  3. Complete the approval process which includes signing up on the FTL Chapter Portal and paying the annual chapter fee. (Once you sign up, you will have access to all the training and advertising materials necessary to get your church onboard and equipped.)
  4. Order your materials found in the FTL store.
  5. Advertise your inaugural Freedom That Lasts meeting for men and women struggling with addictions. 

Turnkey program

By starting a chapter with us, you will receive the following to help accomplish the mission:

Time-Tested Curriculum

Our multi-level curriculum allows you to help anyone who comes to your FTL chapter for hope and help. Regardless of where someone is in their walk with the Lord, they will find what they need in their struggle with addiction.

Online Training

Digitial training guides which will help spell out exactly who you need to have in place (roles) as well as what they need to do (responsibilities) in order to ensure the best care for those coming to your FTL chapter.

Digital Graphics

Unlimited access to digital files from which you can print high quality materials for advertising as well as for group meeting time. The excellent quality of these materials match the excellent message found throughout all of the FTL material which aim to bring honor and glory to God.

FTL Chapter Portal

Use of the web-based FTL GroupApp. This online community for Directors allows you to connect with other Freedom That Lasts Chapters and FTL Headquarters in order to encourage each other in the ministry.

Chapter Discount

Each chapter recieves a deep discount on the required printed materials needed to run an effective FTL chapter. We have worked hard to produce excellent material at the lowest cost to help each FTL chapter to be as excellent and efficient as possible in ministering to the hurting and addicted. 

Support

You will receive ongoing phone support when needed. We know that getting an FTL chapter up and going is best done with timely and helpful support. Chapter directors have access to FTL leadership who are committed to both help and navigate any issues that might arise. It is our hope and prayer that this kind of support will help each chapter better serve those who come hope and help. 

The FTL 3-PRonged Approach

1

WELCOME

Provide a Welcoming Atmosphere

Community is a huge deal. When God created Adam, He said that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Community is instilled within man to want to belong to others who are similar in thoughts, interests, and actions. It does not matter if someone is part of a football team or a Boy Scout group, a 4H Club or the Glee club at high school; everyone desires to belong.

Those who are hurting and struggling with addiction are no different. Many times, those who struggle with addiction already have a community to whom they belong. That group shares a similar language/vocabulary and interests. Thoughts of breaking away from the group that is familiar in order to become part of a group which is unfamilar can be downright scary.

The church MUST create a welcoming atmosphere in which the addict not only hears that he or she is welcome, but truly experiences what it is like to be welcomed just as they are. Part of the Freedom That Lasts approach is to help churches become welcoming communities. 

  1. Welcoming communities invite FTL students to join in the different church activities.  
  2. Welcoming communities learn to build trusting relationships with FTL participants and the importance of that process for those coming out of addiction.
  3. Welcoming communities involve FTL students in life activities. Being involved in a community is more than a once a week endeavor. It is a daily life-on-life mentality. FTL believes that a welcoming community strives to have members involved in one another's lives as often as possible. 

2

EVANGELIZE

Sharing the Gospel is Primary
In addition to welcoming addicts into the life of the church, FTL believes that the addict needs to become part of the church or the family of God. There is no other way for this to happen than for the addicts to HEAR the Gospel, BELIEVE the Gospel, and TRUST the Gospel. Until addicts, or any person for that matter, come to faith in Christ in this way, they will remain on the outskirts of the Christian community and will most likely return to their addiction.

Coming into the church is very different from being part of the church. The following illustration might be helpful to tease this thought out just a little bit more. There is a massive difference between a neighborhood child coming into your home to play with your kids and adopting a neighborhood child to become part of your family. The two categories might share in some similarities such as kids playing together in the yard, kids eating pizza together, and other activities like those. However, your love, care, concern, and focus are vastly different when it comes to neighborhood kids and your own. In much the same way, there is a vast difference between those who attend church and those who are the church.

FTL seeks to bring as many into the fold of the church as possible, which starts with sharing the gospel. Sharing the good news of Jesus' life, death and resurrection is non-negotiable and must be considered of paramount importance for each Freedom That Lasts chapter.  

3

COUNSEL

Soul Care is Necessary

Rounding out the three-pronged approach is the FTL commitment to biblically counsel those who attend the FTL chapter. Biblical counseling simply means that each chapter understands and responds to all issues connected to addiction through the lens of Scipture alone. 2 Peter 1:3 states, "His [Jesus] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence." It is from this verse, and others like it, that FTL draws a firm conviction that Scripture alone provides all of the answers for those struggling with addiction.

A commitment to Scripture alone means that man's wisdom and those systems of counseling that arise out of man's wisdom will not be implemented nor referenced as sources of hope and help for those struggling with addiction. While groups such as AA, NA, SA, Celebrate Recovery, and other 12-Step type programs might have allowed or aided someone to arrive at sobriety, FTL goals for addicts are far more reaching than sobriety. The goal for addicts is that they reflect the One who created them and died for them in order that He might be glorified through their changed lives. Scripture alone provides the only path that arrives at this conclusion. Sobriety is part of our plan, but it is only part of it. Becoming more like Jesus is the ultimate goal and only God's Word can provide the details on how someone can live a life that brings God honor and glory (1 Corinthians 10:31 and 2 Corinthians 5:9).

Weekly Meeting Format

Testimony Time

How Long: 10-20 minutes
What Happens: Sharing with others about the goodness and mercy of God is one of the highlights of every FTL meeting. While sharing what God has been up to is not mandatory by any means, everyone who would like to share is given the opportunity to do so. We have found that once someone speaks up, most everyone likes to share. 

Care Group

How Long: 25-30 minutes
What Happens: This segment of every FTL meeting is a time for students to share with a smaller group of FTL members the work that they have put into their walk away from addiction toward freedom in Christ. This time is designed to recognize the hard work each student has done to achieve the different checkpoints found through each of the three different FTL manuals. Men and women get the opportunity to share Scriptures they have been working to memorize, journals they have been filling out, and papers/essays that they have been writing in response to the material in the FTL books. This work is self-paced, meaning the students decides how much work they are going to do each week. Achievements are celebrated and rewarded with achieving ribbons, pins, and FreedomBucks which can be used in the local store to purchase FTL materials. 

Teaching Time

How Long: 25-30 minutes
What Happens: In addition to testimony time and the care group meeting, a time of teaching also makes up part of the agenda for every FTL meeting. During this teaching time, students are both challenged and equipped to continue their growth in Christlikeness.  

Celebration

How Long: 10-15 minutes
What happens: The night ends by celebrating birthdays as well as recognizing hard work completed by students. When enough work has been completed in each student’s book, ribbons and pins are awarded. During this time, students and care group leaders come to the front of the room to receive their ribbons. During this time, the group gives each student a round of applause. For some in the chapter, these are the only celebrations that are taking place, so we encourage each chapter to celebrate and celebrate big. 

Fellowship (optional)

How Long: 25-45 minutes
What happens: A great way to wrap the night up is to host a fellowship meal. Many chapters offering a fellowship meal ask for members of the church to provide that meal for students and volunteers. This is a time to laugh, cry, and pray with one another as they celebrate what God has accomplished in the previous week as well as what they are facing in the week ahead. We would highly encourage you to stick around and get to know others who are on the same path to freedom. 

Launch a Chapter

READY TO GET STARTED?

CONTACT US

The first step is to complete the Initial Contact Form, and we'll be in touch within two business days.

ON BOARDING

After signing the Charter Agreement, we'll send you all your materials and cirriculum.

LAUNCH

We'll help you with training, setup and launching your chapter.