The Lord has provided the opportunity for me to promote and develop Lifeline Connection full-time and on a national scale. It has been my goal from the beginning for Lifeline Connection, which is simply a variation of Living Free, to become the non-residential component of Teen Challenge. I will be working for Living Free, but my goal is to serve our centers, adding nonresidential programs where strategically needed and when requested by the center director.
Already those hoping to start a new center are required to begin with Lifeline Connection. Lifeline Connection will give an alternative ministry opportunity to those who have a heart to help, but are in a rural area where funding may not be available to sustain a residential program. We need to fill all our existing empty beds; Lifeline Connection will help as contacts are established in jails and through drug court, where clients are required to attend support groups for their substance abuse, family issues, and anger control problems. Rural communities are begging for help! By adding the non-residential component to what we already have established in our residential programs, we have ministry that provides outreach, referral, residential discipleship, non-residential support groups, family ministry, aftercare, and ministry opportunities for graduates.
We are offering two variations; first, a community-based Lifeline Connection that owns no property, utilizes volunteers, and has no aspirations of starting a residential center. The other variation is referred to as a program-based Lifeline Connection that is possibly working toward a residential center and has a paid director, may own or desire to own property, and is in an area that could sustain a residential ministry. Community-based ministries must meet the requirements of Living Free for facilitators and a core team; the program-based ministries must meet the Teen Challenge accreditation standards for non-residential programs.
I trust, in time, I can train leaders to assist in all our regions, and possibly have break-outs at our conferences specifically for non-residential ministries. I hope, as well, we can encourage new residential centers to open 5 week pre-induction programs, and refer to an established induction center in their region. No, it’s not long enough, but it’s a start. We can lay a foundation of Christian commitment, and formulate a life-plan of Christian recovery, and encourage and refer to long-term programs.
I want to help our smaller centers and directors who need to grow. Lifeline Connection will strengthen our existing residential centers, start new ones, and put to work an army of volunteers who want to do something for the Kingdom of God by helping the addicted. The training and model is here now to help!