Teen Challenge and Living Free have been associated in ministry since 1988 when Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee launched Living Free under the name of Turning Point Ministries. Prior to this, Jimmy founded Teen Challenge centers in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also served on the national board of Teen Challenge for a number of years. The bond between the ministries is strengthened further because many Teen Challenge associates have helped develop Living Free materials and have served on the Living Free faculty and Board of Directors.
Many Teen Challenge programs use Living Free groups to supplement the core Teen Challenge curriculum. The Living Free groups give the students a structured environment to encourage one another, talk about their lives and choices, care-front delusion in each other, discuss the Bible, and listen to what God is saying to them. Groups that are especially useful for Teen Challenge students include those dealing with addictions, overcoming disappointments and failures, conflict resolution, family violence, eating disorders, and sexual purity.
Some Teen Challenge centers use the groups as a community outreach by helping churches establish small groups to minister to inmates and to provide help for people who cannot enter a residential facility. These outreach ministries are known by the name Lifeline Connection. These groups build goodwill in the community, create safe places where graduates can find ongoing help, and provide referrals to Teen Challenge residential ministries.
Teen Challenge centers in the USA which have found the groups helpful include Southern California, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. Overseas,Teen Challenge centers in countries including Colombia, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Macedonia, to name only a few, have incorporated Living Free groups into their programs for many years.
Living Free small group materials are available at the Teen Challenge USA online store or at the Living Free website. Materials are available in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Polish, Arabic, Czech, Macedonian, and Urdu, and a few titles are available in other languages. The training videos can be viewed online in English, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. If you are interested in using these materials, or if you want permission to translate them into other languages, contact Living Free for more information.