The Kairos prison ministry weekend went really well. As always, it was exhausting and amazing. This is probably my favorite ministry. I’ve never seen anything that has such broad and dramatic impacts on so many lives. I’ll share a little background, then a few observations. If you want more background on the ministry there is additional information at the bottom.
Overview of the ministry: It is an opportunity to share the Gospel with those who aren’t believers (No one is pressured, though). Many of the participants are already Christians, so it is a great opportunity to fellowship with and encourage them. And it is just an all-around way to share God’s love with people who are often depressed and forgotten. It is educational in laying out Christian principles for living and creating a Christian community wherever they are. It helps teach them how to love and forgive others (and themselves). It has a dramatic impact on recidivism, which means less victims and lower costs for society.
Kairos doesn’t advocate for either the prisoners or for the criminal justice system. A transaction took place between the state and the prisoner. The prisoners did the crime and are now doing the time, so we don’t get in the middle of that. We just reach out with Christian love to all and with Christian fellowship to believers. We try to show that they aren’t forgotten.
There is also a Kairos Outside program for the moms / wives / daughters of the prisoners. It is completely free, including transportation to the event and childcare if necessary.
Then he has a list of exciting things that happened while he was ministering to the prisoners.
Here’s an excerpt from the list:
- A prisoner at the closing ceremony told everyone to go home and tell and show your kids that you love them. A few of the inmates came from solid homes, but most did not.
- Another interesting moment at the closing ceremony: One guy asked how many people were raised going to church. Lots of hands went up. Then he asked how many were taught the Bible at home. Most hands went down. See Ephesians 6:4, Christians! We need to teach this to our kids ourselves. What they learn at church is just a bonus.
- One guy noted how he thought love was just something in books and movies, and that he never experienced it until this weekend.
- The birthday cakes and cards brought a lot of tears, especially by some who never had them growing up.
Everyone always wonders why I put so much emphasis on marriage and parenting in my posts. It’s because we really need to stop this idea that marriage is something we get into for fun. Relationships with the opposite sex are NOT primarily about fun, (for Christians). You are trying to create a stable environment in which to raise new disciples who will have an impact for Christ, and you are trying to pick a person who you can love self-sacrificially in close quarters without feeling used or burned out. When marriages don’t stay together, then the kids are raised without both parents (usually without a father) and things go badly for the children.