Simply put, prison ministry is another way to obey the command of Christ to go into the world and make disciples. In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” The local prisons represent mission fields where men and women are hungry for the word of God and are often in a place of humility and brokenness.
There are two teams that currently minister at two local prisons several times each month. There are opportunities for home groups to minister together by baking desserts, gathering personal hygiene products for care packages and serving alongside the ministry team at the monthly dessert night fellowship. Opportunities are also available for individuals who would like to contribute their time and gifts by serving on the ministry team through worship ministry, prayer, encouraging and teaching. Having previous prison ministry experience is NOT a requirement! God can use anyone regardless of their background to reach men and women for Him. All he needs are willing servants.
Going to a prison can be a scary proposition for many as they do not know what to expect and aren't quite sure how they will be viewed or received by the inmates. These are naturalfeelings. In particular, the York County prison facility is a very non-threatening atmosphere and everyone that has volunteered there with the team has come away blessed and excited about the ministry that God is doing there. There are ground rules in place to ensure a safe experience for everyone. Our groups are asked to not bring children under 15 years of age to the ministry events. Any volunteers that accompany the ministry team are encouraged to interact with inmates to the level they are comfortable with and as the Lord leads. However, it is important to maintain a team approach and to not give out last names or personal contact information if asked by an inmate. The ministry team is equipped with printed cards to hand to inmates who request follow up orhave special needs to be addressed. These cards include the church address and a contact number ofsomeone on the ministry team.
How you can get involved
There is a need for individuals to serve on the ministry team and also for home groups to volunteer to make desserts and serve. If each home group served just once a year we would more than cover the needs there and see more ground taken for the Kingdom! The dessert night fellowship occurs on one Saturday evening each month. The team puts on a service for the inmates including worship, teaching, prayer, and of course, lots of yummy desserts!
To get more information or to serve, contact Joe Bilbro at firstname.lastname@example.org.