|Living Free at Faith Assembly||
|By dstrickland | 13 Aug 2009|
An Interview with Sunserea Dalton
In an interview with Sunserea Dalton, coordinator of the Living Free ministry at Faith Assembly in Orlando, Florida, she shared the excitement and growth of this vital ministry.
What are you most excited about through using Living Free?
Living Free is a very strong ministry and is very effective. It is not only about overcoming strongholds, it is about discipleship, being free to grow, moving to the next step, being completely free in Christ. We minister to hundreds and hundreds of people, not only members of Faith Assembly, but also people in the community and people our participants know. Most of the time, participants will come and be excited about what they are learning and ask if they can bring a coworker or a neighbor. And, of course, they can! Anyone who wants to hear the truth of Jesus Christ can come.
Another thing that is part of reaching out into the community involves offering post-abortion classes for hurting people that need healing. One of the local abortion clinics posts our class, and people can come to our church and take the class. Another way we get people in the community involved is through our Caregiving class, which is a curriculum about caring for aging parents. In January we will be conducting that Living Free course at a nursing home and families can participate. We also go into jails every week and offer classes. Our local jail has a quick weekly turnover so many people are ministered to by one of our facilitators. So, we offer classes at our church, but we also use this curriculum to reach out to others with the love of Christ.
What would you say in recommending Living Free to others?
It is very powerful. We see lives changed all the time. I'll give you a practical example. I facilitated a 9 week Understanding Depression class. This was probably one of my first classes, and I was skeptical that anyone's life could change in nine weeks... just nine weeks. The very first day, people were crying in my class and I didn't know what to do. But I can tell you as the weeks went on and the people continued to come, their lives were being changed in an amazing way by the Spirit, the curriculum, prayer, and accountability. I would walk into my class and find my members laughing and cheerful. At the end of the course, as they prepared to switch to a new class, I wondered what would happen to these people. It had only been nine weeks, and often with depression people isolate themselves. But I came into the last class and they invited me to a barbecue they were having just to spend time together the next month; they really wanted me to come. They had made friendships and had created a support system that would carry them through beyond the class. That is just one example. There are many others that I could share with you. We do thank you for your support.
How long have you been involved with Living Free?
I've been involved with Living Free at Faith Assembly, Orlando, Florida, for about seven years. The ministry was started at Faith Assembly by Kay and Eddie Riggs. About two years ago my husband and I became coordinators of the ministry.
Tell us how you are incorporating Living Free into your church.
Every quarter we offer different Living Free small groups with approximately six to eight people in each group. Meetings are held on Sunday mornings, Monday nights, and Thursday nights. The classes last between 9-13 weeks. Insight, is the Living Free foundational nine week class and basically allows each person to look at his or her own life and relationship with God. The participants learn how to build character in their lives. We don't require all our attendees to take this class, but we highly recommend it. The facilitators guide the participants through the curriculum each week, hold them accountable and pray with them. Other classes include depression, anger, overcoming addiction, and sexual purity (separate classes for men and women).
In closing, tell us what are some ways you keep people motivated and active in Living Free small groups?
Sometimes, I go to our new member orientations that we offer a couple times a year and I encourage people to join Insight. Last year, after I talked to the group about Insight, many came to me wanting to take that class the next quarter; they wanted to find out what it means to really live the life of a Christian. There are three or four people who came into Insight and continued to participate with different facilitators. Other people are growing because they are going through so many different curriculums.