9. Recruting "YOUNG" Volunteers

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From time to time, those engaged in this ministry look around and face reality. Yes, it is a fearful thing to do and what you see is a ripe field ready for harvesting but . . . few workers. The next truth that slaps you like cold water in the face is that the "faithful few" are old and getting older! So, the cry goes up: We need to get younger men and women excited about jail and prison ministry.

Do a little reflection first. How old were you when you first became involved in this ministry? Ron Goodman and Buck Griffith were 27-28 years old but everyone knows that Ron and Buck are abnormal. At this year's National Workshop, Malcolm Tomlin suggested that it is "up to each one of us who are already involved to pick out certain younger individuals to accompany us." Let them shadow you for a period of time.

Another view is that prison ministry is - by its nature - a ministry that requires a certain level of seriousness, maturity and spiritual equilibrium that it does not lend itself to successfully recruiting volunteers that are very young. This age situation is not likely to drastically change in 25 or 50 years. Those attending seminars will be speaking in a similar way of this dilemma.

The need for replacing ourselves is valid. As we grow older and nearer the grave, we think more and more about "who will carry this on after I'm gone?" We must remember the words of our Lord as Matthew 9 ends.

Very little is under our control. "All to Jesus" we surrender. Who knows? The Lord may return within the next few hours! Our task is simple . . . plant, water . . . plant, water . . . plant, water. It may be that the Lord comes before we die so don't waste too much time trying to make sure certain things take place "after" you are gone. As always, we just need to remain faithful!

 

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