Living Free is a non-profit Christian ministry that provides churches and ministries with small group training and discipleship curriculums that focus on helping people prevent and overcome life-controlling issues. The materials are biblically-based, Christ-centered, and designed to benefit all church members—challenging them to examine their own lives and equipping them to reach their communities by addressing the heart-felt needs of people.
Living Free is largely dependent on the faithful support and contributions from churches, individuals, businesses and foundations. A small percentage of our revenue comes from curriculum sales. We are a member of the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).
Living Free is a non-profit Christian organization that equips churches and other Christian organizations to provide practical and biblical help to people struggling with life-controlling problems.
Our offices are located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. Founded in 1988 Living Free is now represented in more than 104 countries and nearly one million people around the world have participated in Living Free small groups.The curriculum has been or is in the process of being translated into 26+ foreign languages.
Living Free is supported by generous gifts from many friends, churches, and organizations. We are grateful to the following for their support. In addition, we are proud to work in cooperation with these ministries on many projects around the world
Since its inception in 1988, we estimate that over two million people have participated in Living Free support groups and most have been in an Insight Group. As I reflect back I am once again reminded how God's hand was on this ministry from the beginning...
It was May 1987 and I was on my way to visit David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge. I had developed a school ministry for drug prevention—Project 714—and it was doing well. Although I was happy doing that ministry, at times I felt a bit restless because my heart was for the local church, but no doors had opened for such a ministry. I was meeting with David to discuss Project 714.
As soon as David and I had exchanged greeting, he began telling me that God was calling me to minister in the local church to those with life challenges and life-controlling problems. I was astounded at the things he said. After delivering his message to me, David said, "Jimmy, you must weigh what I have said."
David's words had a significant impact on me. Even though the ministry he described touched the very core of my heart's desire to minister to the local church, I knew God was in the Project 714 ministry as well. Frank Reynolds, the National Teen Challenge Director, had accompanied me on the visit to David. Later he said, "Jimmy, just follow the Lord, and He will guide you." I knew that was what I needed to do. I watched... I prayed... and I waited.
Four months later, I began to see David's words to me being confirmed. An elder at an evangelical church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, asked to have breakfast with me to discuss starting a ministry at his church for people struggling with life-controlling problems. After this meeting, I taught four Wednesday evenings at his church about ministering to people struggling with life challenges. Little did I know then that God was birthing the ministry of Living Free, formerly known as Turning Point Ministries.
After the four Wednesday evenings of training, it was suggested that we start a small group as a follow-up. Ten participants from various walks of life (doctors, professors, lawyers, teachers, and others) signed up for the group. As we shared, God taught me another lesson—everybody needs to understand how to deal with and overcome life-controlling problems—not just the down and outers who obviously need help. We all have problems and challenges—some of us are just better than others at covering our struggles with our Sunday smiles.
Each week before the group meeting, I prepared the lesson—always based on God's Word. Then during the meetings we witnessed the evidence of God's transforming power. From this small group, the Insight Group was born.
The purpose of the Insight Group is to help each participant "walk in the way of understanding" (Proverbs 9:6) as it relates to an individual with life challenges or life-controlling problems. Participants discover how life-controlling problems develop. They learn how to identify the spiritual and emotional conditions that contribute to a problem taking root and growing in their life or in the life of someone they know.
The Insight Group is based on 2 Peter 1:3-11, which gets right to the heart of our struggles with problems that can master us. The passage reveals eight qualities or objectives that God wants to build into our lives: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Participants learn how these objectives build on one another to develop Christian character in us. We call this the Upward Path to Developing Christian Character. Participants learn how to apply these traits to their lives in practical ways to meet and overcome life's problems and challenges—God's way. They learn that "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Now, some years since Insight Group began in a Chattanooga church with those ten people, participants are meeting in groups around the world. Only God can do that. We estimate nearly two million people have participated in Insight Group and other topics, and we have received countless testimonies about how God has worked through the groups to transform lives.
Our society is full of people who choose to live self-destructive lifestyles and endure every day the painful consequences of their choices. Even in church, people disguise painful struggles with Sunday smiles. The pain may come because of a loved one's life-controlling problem, difficult life circumstances, or even a personal struggle with sin that nobody else knows. Everyone faces these situations at some time in life. Living Free small groups allow you to offer help in ways that are effective, inexpensive, and biblically-based.
Even though Living Free is an effective tool to help those with life-controlling problems, it is designed to interest and benefit everyone. This allows people who need help to join without admitting a problem and risking being labeled as a person with a problem.
Living Free has a 12-Step group, but in addition, offers more than 20 other small group curriculums. Biblically-based 12-Step groups are a powerful discipleship tool, but we believe many problems deserve specialized groups.
Living Free can be a complete small group system, or its components can be used to supplement your existing small group or recovery-type ministries.
People need support to overcome life-controlling issues, but compassionate conversation and understanding are not enough to facilitate real change. Living Free groups focus on biblical truth that confronts our delusion, the Spirit of God to search the secret places in our lives and God's people who will hold us accountable, pray with us, and show Christian love.
Groups have member guides and facilitator guides that are written so that almost any caring person with a small amount of training can lead. Because the group is not dependent upon an expert, whether in person or via video, participants discover answers in a personal way they don't forget.
Churches who use Living Free materials know that they can call us and speak to people who have worked to develop these materials and have experience using them in churches.
Living Free is non-profit, and as such has the freedom to develop and distribute materials in creative ways. Our focus is on equipping and helping Christians to minister effectively to their neighbors and not just on selling curriculum. Those who use our materials are friends and partners in ministry and not customers.