Freedom Isn't Just for "Those" People
Six years ago, I was on staff in a church in Florida and I traveled to Gateway Church to learn about freedom ministries. I had been in successful ministry for 25 years, but I was frustrated because what I saw in my church were people not living a transformed life. We taught them to be leaders in the church, but when you heard their stories, it was clear they were struggling. It was made especially clear to me one night when I asked our youth group of 650 kids if they struggled with loneliness. Eighty percent of those kids stood up and said they cried themselves to sleep each night from being lonely.
That moment wrecked me because I could see that our church wasn’t meeting the deepest needs of our teenagers. And in the years after I transitioned to working with adults, I continued to see many of the same issues with them. I decided to go on a quest to find some kind of ministry that would work for the people in our church. That’s when I found out about Gateway’s freedom ministry.
My plan was to visit Gateway, see what freedom was all about, and bring it back to help all “those” people who needed freedom at our church. It was a shock to discover I was one of “those” people! I needed freedom as much as anyone. Through that experience, freedom ministry transformed my life. I quickly realized it was the most effective tool I’d ever seen to help people encounter God in a profoundly personal way—and it changed the trajectory of my life. I found the person I was created and redeemed to be—a freedom pastor. Eventually, my family moved from Florida to Texas so I could take a job as a freedom pastor at Gateway, where I have the privilege of helping people discover the freedom that I, and so many others, have found. However, one of the biggest hurdles I see people face is the one I overcame on that visit to Gateway six years ago—the idea that “freedom ministry isn’t for me.”
Perhaps someone may have told you, “You need to go through freedom ministry!” Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “If you’re struggling with an issue, you need freedom.” Or in the heat of a debate, your frustrated spouse or parent may have blurted out, “You need freedom!” Our tendency is to think that freedom is for the people who are really messed up, but not for us. But the truth is, a good description of someone who should go through freedom ministry at Gateway is simple: If you’re living and breathing, you need freedom! Why? Life has happened and will continue to happen to all of us. Without exception, we’ve all experienced wounds to our soul, lies from the enemy, repeating patterns in our lives, and possibly even demonic oppression. In other words, we’re all a little messed up and that’s okay! But it’s not okay to stay that way.
It’s wonderful to be a part of a church that values honesty regarding the issues we all face. Our culture at Gateway is one where it’s safe to admit we struggle. Pastor Robert has stated from the pulpit, “I want every member of Gateway to go through freedom,” and he models by example his own vulnerability regarding his past and his journey to freedom. The whole purpose of freedom is to help you become the person you were created and redeemed by God to be.
“So where do I start,” you may ask? The first step in your freedom journey is to attend, or watch online, our Freedom Basics classes. These four classes are offered every Sunday at the Southlake Campus, and every other month at each extension campus. Freedom Basics are the prerequisite for attending KAIROS, a powerful two-day event held four times a year that focuses on inner healing; breaking strongholds; and physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. And in the summer, we offer Kids KAIROS and Teen KAIROS. These events are completely free because Gateway values freedom! One recent attendee said, “I didn’t think I really needed KAIROS, but once I attended I realized how much I did! It was truly life changing! Thank you so much for this powerful ministry. I’ll never be the same!”
We're all a little messed up and that's okay!
Freedom Ministries is also thrilled to announce the creation of a brand new KAIROS II, which will help you walk in your new freedom and identity! Mark your calendars for the first KAIROS II on May 19–20.
If someone (possibly even me) has come on a little strong by insisting you need freedom, it’s probably because this ministry has dramatically impacted many of us, and we want the people we care about to have a similar experience. Please don’t let that keep you from learning more about it. Instead, the next time someone declares, “You need freedom!” just smile and say, “I know, don’t we all?”
Beth Helton is a pastor in Freedom Ministries. For more information about Gateway Freedom Ministries, visit freedom.gatewaypeople.com.