Several members of Christ Community in Richardson, Texas, and people in the surrounding neighborhoods are starting on the path to financial freedom through the dfree® Online Academy.
Reverends Lisa Autry and Tonya Neal are excited about offering the 12 Steps to Financial Freedom course at their church. Rev. Autry said her church has always been an equipping church.
“Our original mission statement talks about living life skillfully…and making a difference,” said Rev. Autry, the First Lady, Director of Finance and the Director of Engagement and Leadership Development at Christ Community. “We’re equipped when we know the Lord. We’re equipped when we know the word. (But) we can’t know the word and not know how to do life.”
That’s why Rev. Autry was excited when she attended a conference and heard the Deputy Director of the Dfree Global Foundation Janiah Lake describe what the dfree® Online Academy offers.
“When she talked about it, it was nothing but a move of the Lord. After that conference, I followed up with you all to find out more about it. One thing led to another. Reverend Shaunda Sutton and Angela Dadson have been so helpful in getting us started. We’re just excited to be part of it,” said Rev. Autry.
To make the course accessible to everyone, church leaders used a survey to assess what people’s needs were and how they could provide the course in a manner that best fit the people they’re trying to serve.
They also started introducing the dfree® Lifestyle concepts to their congregation through a Sunday morning sermon series, a panel discussion and a social media campaign that shared budget-friendly meals and scriptures focused on financial freedom.
So far, they have more than 130 people signed up for the course, and it begins in September. In addition to the course, Reverends Autry and Neal plan to incorporate the dfree® Lifestyle curriculum into their New Member Orientation, Bible study and pre-marital counseling sessions.
“We’re not offering this so that they can give more to the church. We’re offering it so that they can live an empowered life through Christ. God gives us the desires of our hearts. When we’re aligned with him first, of course, our desires are going to align with his. So, God will give us those desires. We don’t have to stay in one place,” said Rev. Neal, the Director of Operations at Christ Community.
“If we’re making followers of Jesus, Jesus gave to so many of us. How do we reflect who he is? We can help them understand who He was by helping them get to a different level in their lives financially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. (Once) we get you together financially; then you will be poised to do more of what God has called you to do.”
Reverends Neal and Autry will share how successful their rollout has been during the Leadership Retreat on September 18. If you’d like to attend, you can register here.