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Change from the Inside Out

October 2002
By: Dan Mead
Breaking the cycle of poor choices and resulting consequences requires more than behavioral modification; it requires changed lives. In our work with over 300 CPCs, Lifehelp's goal is to help CPCs more effectively minister to their clients and assist in "changing lives from the inside out." Recently we sat down with key staff from Alpha Women's Ministry of Grand Rapids to talk with them about their use of Lifehelp's follow up "Process." The "Process" is a method that provides continued spiritual feeding, encouragement, and education including everyday issues as well as self-directed Bible studies. The "Process" arrives through nine mailings over a twenty-seven week period, free of charge to the recipient. All material is personalized for each center so that the recipient makes a connection between the center and the material they are getting. We interviewed: Dick: CEO of Alpha, Tom: Board member of Alpha, Linda: Director of an Alpha Center, and Carol: Counselor.

Dan:As you work with your clients how important is it to deal with their spiritual needs?

Tom:We see crisis pregnancies as the door of opportunity to share Christ. The spiritual aspect is the most important part of what we do.

Dan:What method of follow-up, if any, were you using prior to Lifehelp's follow-up "Process"?

Carol:Basically, we just hoped the same counselor would get the gal on her next visit — kind of hit and miss.

Dan:Did you try organizing group studies or referring them to a local church?

Dick:Yes. It didn't work for a number of reasons. We even tried awarding points toward diapers and formula as incentives but that felt more manipulative than helpful. Also, we see a lot of women who are not ready to go into a church yet, so keeping them engaged was hard.

Dan:What were your first impressions of the follow up "Process"?

Tom:It was a real answer to prayer since we were struggling with the fact that there didn't seem to be a follow up program that worked. Things were happening, God was changing the lives of people, and individuals were becoming saved. Clients weren't being followed up and were subsequently falling through the cracks. It was a major frustration to the whole organization. In fact, prior to connecting with Lifehelp, my wife and I were considering leaving the board. Then we began to look at the "Process" and its potential. It was just phenomenal.

Carol:The "Process" helps equip us as counselors, it gives us a way to make that bridge with the client. For example, after spending time meeting and providing for their physical needs, I can then tell them we also want to provide for their spiritual needs. When you hand a client that first packet, they just clutch it. We don't always realize the desperation of a lot of their lives and what they deal with every day.

Dan:What are some of the techniques you use to introduce the material to your clients?

Carol:One technique I use is to say, "You know, we have this program called Lifehelp. It gets mailed directly to your home. It's non-confrontational spiritual truths that are easy and quick to read through." I haven't heard one negative comment from a client about offering the "Process." In fact, most of the time they are really excited about it when I show it to them. It's like, "Wow this is free!"

Linda:At our center, we sometimes say that we have this great home discipleship program that comes in the mail and ask if they would like to sign up for that. We get a huge amount of response.

Dan:Do you feel the "Process" is only for those clients who make a decision, or can it be used for any of your clients?

Linda:Some of them are so close and interested in the spiritual when they leave the center, but they have not made a decision. The "Process" just helps follow this through, enhancing what they have already been exposed to.

Carol:Even if they aren't interested, it gives them that little nudge in the right direction. It exposes them to the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit. One of our goals is to love these girls for the 15 minutes we have them, and the "Process" extends this outside our door. It's like our caring is going into their homes for 27 weeks. I had one gal who said she was really upset about something until her packet arrived.

Dan:Dick, have you had trouble financing the process?

Dick:Well, it is a relatively easy thing to go to a local church or Christian businessman and say, "Here is what we want to do, this is what we want to put in place, this is what it costs, and we need help." Personally, as a Christian, I want my dollars to go where they will make eternal difference. Approaching a church or Christian businessman is very easy.

Dick:When you look at the material, it's very obvious that this is quality material. It is customized for each individual care center. When you see this and how it is organized, your response is, "This is all it costs?"

Dan:How has the "Process" enhanced the ministry that you are part of?

Dick:It does what we have never been able to do and couldn't do now without this. It extends our ministry and ultimate desire for our client beyond just the time we have with them in the centers.

Tom:It helps our staff tremendously to free up their time without them having to figure out how to follow-up on a client or run around trying to organize a Bible study.

Try it, you'll like it! When you see it work in a person's life, that's what it is all about. If you would like your center to partner with Lifehelp through the "Process," or if you are just curious and want more details and information, give us a call at 1-800-503-2214 and ask for your free sample pack. Together we can do what we can't do alone — changing lives from the inside out.

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