FREEWAY: YOU DON'T READ IT, YOU DO IT
Posted by Mike Foster:
This is a Q & A that I did for "Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide To Freedom."
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE FREEWAY IN ONE SENTENCE? Freeway is a small group experience that creates a safe way to do dangerous soul work with your friends.
SO WHAT IS IT EXACTLY? Quite simply, Freeway is a new way to live each day in God’s freedom. It is a powerful workbook and DVD built on God’s amazing grace, honest conversations with our friends and a fearless exploration of our struggles. It takes you through 6 very strategic steps in dealing with your struggles, fears and pain. We strategically reinvented the small group experience to create a platform for people to really thrive.
SO IS THIS A TRADITIONAL TRADE BOOK? No. It is a workbook. You write in it. You draw stuff. You do experiments. You journal. You cut things out with scissors. You talk about it with your friends. Think of Freeway in this sense. You don’t read it...you do it. It’s not about learning...it is about living.
IS FREEWAY FOR EVERYONE? Actually, no it's not! It’s not for everyone. I tell people you have to be ready for this. You have to be hungry for change in your life. Freeway is difficult soul work and requires a commitment. Even though it is absolutely energizing, it isn’t easy. As soon as you open the first page of the workbook or watch the first minute of the DVD, you will see this is radically different.
SO WHO WOULD YOU SAY FREEWAY IS FOR? Author Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone.” I believe that’s true and if that is true we must ask ourselves, “What now?” I designed Freeway for those who are ready to be challenged in their life and want to grow beyond a broken life. It is for anyone who has realized they’ve spent too much of their life believing something about themselves or others or God that turns out to be not the least bit true. It is for those who have wrestled with regrets or have felt like they won’t ever measure up. Freeway is for anyone who possesses secrets they desperately wish he could share with someone or have found forgiveness to be almost impossible. It’s also for anyone who has been left bewildered, confused or disillusioned by Christianity.
WHY DID YOU WRITE FREEWAY? I wrote Freeway because I wanted people to live a life that was free of fear, judgment, insecurity and secrets. I believe in human flourishing and I want our identity to be shaped by knowing that we are God’s beloved. Unfortunately, most of us see ourselves as inferior, worthless and as a big ole disappointment to God. We live with secrets, unresolved pain and feel like we will never measure up. I believe if we can honestly explore our story and see how pain, fears and our insecurities hijack our life, with God’s help we can do something about it. When we actually face the facts of who we are, we can begin to change and grow.
WHY DID YOU FOCUS ON COMMUNITY AND DOING IT IN SMALL GROUPS? I’m a big believer in small groups. It is the best context for real changes in our life. But their purpose has to be about growth, not just acquiring more knowledge on a topic or making small talk with friends. Freeway is a bold process that will shape who we are and how we see ourselves. This requires you to go to a new level with your friendships, do the hard work of digging into your story and surrendering everything, and I mean everything, to God. If you’re looking for the typical church Bible study, this is not for you. If you’re ready for breakthrough in your life, or pretty bored with a lot of the small group options, order Freeway right now.
YOU GUYS DID SOME UNTRADITIONAL THINGS HERE. IT FEELS REALLY FRESH. We took a big risk with this project because we had nothing to lose. No publisher. No design by committee. No rules. No distribution. We had a clean slate and just asked the question, “How can we really help people?”
I’ve never been ok with “business as usual” and so for 2 years we crafted, designed and tested what I believe is a phenomenal process for growth. People will be very surprised when they get it.
WHAT ARE THE 6 STEPS PEOPLE GO THROUGH IN FREEWAY? So Freeway at it’s very core is a process. It’s not just some random ideas or thoughts. Though it is very creative, fun and totally engaging, it is a well crafted, strategic process for growth. A lot of research and testing went into the six steps. I didn’t just make stuff up and throw it together. My friend Garry Poole crafted the framework for the process and laid the foundation for the science behind Freeway’s six steps. He is a genius at that stuff and has worked on projects for Bill Hybels, Lee Strobel and Howard Schultz.
In the first session, people get a chance to know each other and share their stories. In your first get-together, you do some unique things together and get ready for the coming weeks. I refer to it as “Step 0.” Then the other “official” six steps are: Awareness, Discovery, Ownership, Forgiveness, Acceptance and Freedom. Each step builds upon the previous step.
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR FREEWAY? WHERE DO YOU GET IT? We’re focused primarily on helping church leaders and churches. Our basic strategy is this: We want people going through Freeway in their small groups with their friends. Honestly, we really don’t want people doing it by themselves. It can be helpful on your own but not as powerful as when you do it with others. We’ve also created a Freeway weekend series, specific things for women’s groups and it is being used in care and recovery groups too.
The only place to get Freeway is at www.POTSC.com. Sorry, Amazon and local booksellers.
FREEWAY FEELS VERY ORGANIC AND GRASSROOTS. It really is and we like it that way. First off, the project was funded by crowdsourcing through Indiegogo. But even though it is grassroots, it is super high quality and we didn’t cut any corners. Honestly, I refuse to put out something that’s crappy or unoriginal. It’s gotta feel like someone really cared. That’s why I twisted the arms of the most talented people in the country to work on this as volunteers or at a greatly reduced rate. For example a Grammy award winner wrote the music for the DVD and my friend Tom, who was the creative force behind Nooma, played a key role in creating the brand.
I’m also thrilled that 100% of the profits from Freeway go to the ministry of People of the Second Chance.
WHAT'S BEEN THE RESPONSE SO FAR? I’m pumped about what is happening and the early response. First off, the workbook wasn’t even done and people were getting a hold of some of the exercises and unfinished content. I guess it got leaked? So anyways, these people were writing me about how it was already helping them. I was like, “Wow! That’s so cool!” I think Freeway is the right thing at the right time. People are hungry for help. Freeway is a real solution for real people.
As far as churches, a lot are getting on board. It’s pretty exciting. Lots of churches are doing “Freeway” series in early 2014 and almost 5000 copies were already sold before it was even out.