Training Inmates for Ministry Inside Maximum Security Prisons

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The Billy Graham Centerand Lausanne North America host strategy groups which bring together key catalysts and leaders in select areas of mission and evangelism. One of these groups is the Lausanne Correctional Leaders Group. Kevin Brown serves as a member of this group.

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Maximum - Security - Prisons - United - States

Maximum security prisons, although located inside the United States, are a world apart, and are akin to a closed mission field.

The barriers enacted to ensure security are much like the prohibitive borders of a foreign country, preventing outside access to a world radically different from the one beyond the walls. Furthermore, the culture of prison is an alien one, replete with foodways, folkways, language, and behavioral expectations that define an alternative way of life requiring years of acclimation before one can begin to understand the unique challenges faced by the incarcerated.

Church - Minister - Prisoner - Matt - Heb13

Although the church is called to minister to the prisoner (i.e. Matt. 25:31-25 and Heb.13:3), accessing them is no easy feat. There are forms to be completed, security screenings to pass, guards at the gate and throughout the cellblocks, and a host of security features that limit in-depth relationships.

Once inside, the amount of time and access is limited, and understanding prison culture in a sufficient manner to translate the gospel into the inmate’s context can take years. In short, fulfilling the call is difficult for those entering from the outside.

Cue - Missiology - Universities - Seminaries - Way

Taking a cue from contemporary missiology, Christian universities and seminaries have begun envisioning a new way of reaching those inside such closed worlds.

Missiologist Ray Bakke has long contended that the ideal way to reach an indigenous population is not to import foreign missionaries, but rather to train and equip local leaders for the task. This way, the steep learning curve of acculturation is bypassed. Those who already understand the unique...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer
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