What Does Prison Ministry Look Like?

15 01 2018

A question I receive a lot is: what does prison ministry look like? I want to answer that as best I can. It may vary from situation to situation but I’ll share my policies and practices.

As for policy I keep it simple. I don’t want men to put me in any questionable positions. This means that while they may offer seemingly harmless gifts as thank you I simply refuse.

Don’t create an opportunity for blackmail. My policy is direct. I give only the Gospel and take only their gratitude.

My rules are simple. I give away only material that I bring in, no bathroom during chapel if there is no officer available for escort and no interruptions. If they are only there to get out of their building for a little while that’s fine with me as long as they don’t interrupt. I stress you respect me and I’ll respect you.

I give away Bibles to anyone who needs one and try to get right into the Word and preach. It’s preaching that saves sinners.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

I typically preach anywhere from 45 to an hour and then I open it up for questions. Some chaplains recommend against this but I have found it very helpful. I don’t want to give the impression of a performance. I don’t want them to feel like they are just there for me to lecture or yell at.

Many of them have honest Biblical questions especially after an hour long sermon. If someone seeking truth has questions I want to address those as best I can.

I always give a chance to respond to the Gospel whether they are saved or lost. I urge them to apply the message to their own lives. If they need to be saved I urge them to call on the Lord and if they profess salvation I urge them to surrender themselves again and get things right.

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