How to start a Fresh Hope Group at your church

  • Step 1 - Accessing

Ask the Big Question: Are You Willing?

Your first step is to learn about Fresh Hope and receive the sponsorship of your church. We encourage you to first check out the online resources, and then CLICK HERE . We will send you the Sponsorship Form that needs to be submitted prior to ordering the Starter Kit.

  • details the history and mission of Fresh Hope, plus many resources.
  • YouTube channel FreshHopeNetwork has informative and encouraging videos.
  • Subscribe to weekly podcasts by Pastor Brad and interviews with facilitators sharing helpful information.

Once you feel prepared, make an appointment to meet with your pastor and/or church leadership.

  • Explain how you came to learn of Fresh Hope and why your church would want to sponsor a group. Having a copy of the Fresh Hope book is helpful.
  • Use 1 or 2 of the videos to help them learn more about Fresh Hope. We suggest the video on the website’s home page, “Fresh Hope: Living Well” — and “Fresh Hope: An Introduction” on our YouTube channel.
  • Ask for their sponsorship to host a group meeting at the church, and to fund the starter membership cost and promotional supplies.
We are here to help you through every step of this process! If you have any questions, please contact us at our international office: | 1-888-815-4673| Fax 402.763.9257

9:00 am – 3:00 pm M-F, Central Standard Time 5421 N 103rd St, Ste 100 Omaha, NE 68134 Meeting and promotional supplies may be ordered through the facilitator tab in the store.
  • Step 2 - Preparing

Determining Facilitators and Training

After you have submitted the church Sponsorship Form, you can order the Starter Membership Kit, which includes:

Fresh Hope book (1) | Electronic Training Manual (Download)| 1 Laminated Tenet Card | First 12 weeks Video Series (Downloads) | 1 set Topic Cards (Download) | 2 Posters | 5 Brochures | Invitation Business Card (Download) | Facilitator Training online access

  • Determine who will be trained to facilitate. (As a peer-led support group, facilitators are to be one with a diagnosis, or a loved one. We recommend a minimum of 2 trainees so you have back-up in case one cannot attend.)
  • Submit Facilitator Applications and letters of recommendation to the international office.
  • Start promoting your group’s starting date and time. (Sample PSAs and other suggestions are included in the Promotions Packet.)
  • Begin online training. You may complete individually at your convenience, or set times to train together. Training requires 8 -10 hours to complete.
  • Once training is completed, contact the international office for a follow-up conversation with our Project Consultant.
  • Step 3 - Doing

Promoting and Starting Your Group

  • Distribute reminders to media and area churches during the weeks leading up to your first meeting, especially the week prior.
  • Welcome attendees warmly. Consider offering refreshments, have the introductory video playing as people enter.
  • Ask all new attendees to complete a Contact Info Sheet. (These are kept in a secure location, but available with emergency contact info and follow-up. Please submit just the names and emails to the international office for inclusion on our newsletter lists.)
  • Complete Meeting Summary following the meeting. (Submit to the international office monthly for use as statistics to obtain grants and product development.) Meeting summaries can be submitted online HERE, or paper forms may also be emailed or mailed.


The Starter Membership Kit is $59.99. Everything needed to start a group is included in the kit (see Step 2 above). The Starter Kit includes online training for up to 4 facilitators. If you have more than 4 wanting to train, the cost is $45 per individual. Additional books, brochures, posters, invitation cards, and meeting supplies may also be purchased in our online store. To get started, click here to order the Starter Kit.

Starting a group first requires a church or related ministry to accept sponsorship of the group. This means the Fresh Hope for Mental Health group becomes a ministry of the church, with oversight by the church leadership. Groups may meet in churches, ministry centers, health facilities, or correctional institutions. With approval of the sponsoring church, exceptions of meeting sites may be in private areas of public places (e.g. Public Library meeting room). Individuals do not start groups separate from a ministry, but may pay for the start-up costs. We will provide you with several free resources to use in introducing Fresh Hope to your church leadership.

We expect each group to be accountable to Christ, to their sponsoring church, and to the established model of Fresh Hope®. A church or organization may decide at its discretion to use the Fresh Hope® book and mix with other resources or programs. HOWEVER, use of the Fresh Hope® name is prohibited without active membership (Certified Facilitators, using the Fresh Hope tenets, and following the Fresh Hope method).

Groups are peer-led and facilitated. In other words, the groups are not led by a professional mental healthcare person; which would be part of the medical model. Instead, our groups are led by peers and come from a wellness model; that is, with the belief that one can live a rich and full life in spite of a mental health diagnosis.

Groups are facilitated by teams of two to four people who have a diagnosis, and loved ones. Following the basis of Fresh Hope support groups being peer-led, we require that at least one of the facilitators has a mental health diagnosis. We encourage you to start your group with at least two trained facilitators, so that you have back-up in case one is unable to attend a meeting.

Facilitators are screened through an application process (click here for application), trained and certified by the Fresh Hope staff. Training is offered in various ways (online or in person) and places. The training requires approximately 10 hours to complete.

Once training is completed, please contact the Fresh Hope office to schedule a post-training interview to complete your certification. Throughout the process, Nicole, our Executive Assistant, will assist you in starting your group.

You’re excited about the possibility of your church offering this ministry, and you’re ready to introduce it to your church leaders. You know how busy they are, and you want to be sure to communicate the main points.

Download the Presenting Fresh Hope sheet. These step-by-step instructions show you how to present Fresh Hope to your church staff with clarity, conciseness, and passion.

Leave the Introducing Fresh Hope sheet with your pastor. It contains a summary of what you’ll have shared with him, plus instructions on where he can go to find more information.

Additional free promotional helps are available by download through the Fresh Hope store.

The Fresh Hope® name and logo are registered trademarks. Permission to use the name and logo of Fresh Hope® is granted only to those groups with active membership.

Items produced for commercial sale using the Fresh Hope® name are strictly prohibited.

We expect each group to be accountable to Christ, to their sponsoring church, and to the established model of Fresh Hope®. A church or organization may decide at its discretion to use the Fresh Hope® book and mix with other resources or programs. HOWEVER, use of the Fresh Hope® name is prohibited without active membership (Certified Facilitators, using the Fresh Hope tenets, and following the Fresh Hope method).

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What Your Gift Can Do for Offering Hope to the Hopeless

For every 32 cents given, we are able to offer hope for a week to one person who has a mental health challenge.

For every $16.64 given annually, we are able to offer hope for one year to one person.

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