Investing in Law Breakers

May 9, 2017

Investing In Law Breakers

What is your attitude toward prisoners? Many are of the opinion that Christian workers would be wasting their time ministering to prisoners. Often even their own family members give up on them and say, “He/she will never amount to anything.” They don’t even bother to go and visit them. The divorce rate is high among prisoners.

I would like to come to the defense of prisoners; some of them at least. After a little over three years of working with prisoners, I have found that some of them sincerely want to change and make their life count for something. It is true that some of them have no desire to change and will never amount to anything.

There are some who welcome help they receive from Christian workers. They are lonely and are pleased that someone shows attention to them. They are hurting and willing to accept help. Some go for months without a visit from anyone from the outside. The only friends they have are their cell mates. They are the only ones they can chose from for friends.

Prisoners have lots of time on their hands. Christian workers can give them Bible studies to do. It gives them a good way to occupy their time. The most important lesson for them to learn is the plan of salvation. Then it is a matter of disciplining them. I have a few students who have completed all the six basic courses I have to offer them.

I challenge those who have completed a number of Bible study courses to share their Bible knowledge with their cell mates. I encourage them to seek out those who are depressed and share with them how they can have more reason for living by being a child of God. Sometimes prisoners have trusted in Christ and done several Bible studies. They say “When I get out of here I’m going to start serving the Lord.” I tell them they need to start now, where they are. There are those around them who need what they have and they need to offer it to them.

I have found that the best place to start is at your local jail. There you can ask permission to go to one of the cells and tell the people there that you have something to offer them. Ask them to come up and hear what it is that you have to offer them. With one of the books in your hand tell them that you want to get them started on a Bible study course. Some may go back to their bed, but one or two, maybe more, will stay to listen. Give them your testimony and tell them what a relationship with God will do for them. Get their names and leave the first lesson with them. When you get a few enlisted, you can go to a different cell and seek to enlist more.

After prisoners receive their sentence they are sent to a prison. They often take their studies with them. That give you an inroad to that prison. You can encourage your students to tell others in the prison what they are doing and ask them if they wouldn’t like to do a Bible study also. If some say “yes’ they can send you their name and identification number and you can get them started.

When I talk about investing in prisoners, I’m not talking about the possibility of any monetary remuneration. The remuneration will be in the satisfaction of knowing that you have been used of God to make a change in someone’s life. In fact, you can be used of God to make changes in the lives of a multitude of people. Every answer sheet of a Bible study that is returned to you is an indication that a change has been made in someone’s life. It may be minor. Nothing may come of it, but then there is always the possibility that they will do another Bible study and another. You are giving God a chance to work in their lives.

This isn’t just a ministry for pastors. Lay men and women in churches can also participate in this ministry. It will be a great help if you are in a good church where you can be upheld in prayer by others. You may want to have a partner who can go with you when you go to make visits. Your partner can also help you in grading the lessons you receive. It will demand an investment in time and money. You will need to buy the Bible studies. I put a postage stamp on the answer sheet they need to send back. You will also need to buy envelopes and postage stamps.

Your ministry may go beyond that of prisoners. You may have a chance to also minister to the family members of prisoners. At the jail you may chance to meet family members of prisoners. They are hurting and open to counsel and encouragement. Prisoners doing lessons often request that you enroll their family members in Bible studies.

The Bible study material I use comes from Source of Light Ministries International. The address is 1011 Mission Road, Madison, Georgia 30650. Their web page is www.sourcelight.org. They have a number of courses that are very adaptable to a prison ministry.

If I could be of help to you I would be glad to. My e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net.

(7)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *