8. Helping Church Leaders Catch the Vision to Reach Souls in Jails and Prisions
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The question is: "How do we help church leaders and congregations catch the same "disease" we have?" There is no silver bullet or magic formula. A "disease" is aggressive and progressive. In our case, we have stopped denying and fighting it . . . we are now trying to infect others! Here are ten suggestions to spread our passion for imprisoned souls.
1. Pray for them. There is no mystical potion but with God, all things are possible. Visit leaders one on one - individually. Send inspirational articles, reports and newsletters.
2. Understand that most people fail to act out of ignorance. They either have false data or none.
3. Clarify your mission: taking the gospel to all - not arresting or releasing.
4. YOU understand the complexity of the mission. You're looking for the needle in the haystack. Don't oversimplify your task.
5. Demonstrate signs of the disease. Don't just talk or pass out flyers or show pictures.
6. Do credible work. Don't be a flash in the pan. Do it without approval or support (Jesus has already commissioned us in Mark 16). We don't need permission to go to jail.
7. Take others with you. Add fellow workers one by one. Don't overlook senior adults. After a period of time, leaders will ask you to submit a "little" budget and add this ministry to the work program.
8. Be faithful over a little and watch it grow (Matthew 25).
a. Start a BCC program.
b. Work with children of inmates
c. Work with inmate families.
d. Reach out to juveniles.
e. Reach out to the County Jail.
f. Start a CASA program in the local church.
g. Follow-up with those getting out.
h. Work with halfway houses.
i. Work with those in substance abuse recovery centers.
j. Work with probationers and parolees.
k. Work with a state prison.
l. Work with a federal prison
m. Work with a restitution center.
9. Bring in successful workers to talk about the ministry. Let exes be seen and heard from as proof and validation of the ministry's value.
10. Get church leaders and members to attend a prison ministry workshop.
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