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Starting A Prison Ministry

Our church could be starting a prison ministry from scratch, with me doing pen pal sharing. Who has experience with this, please, and do we have anyone with experience as an inmate, who would offer advice?

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 ---Bill on 11/9/10
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Bill, as an ex prisoner and now part of my church's prison ministry, you need to know that The Word of God can equip you to do this. But understand the Bible also talks about in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Talk to pastors and churches who have done this for a while. Get their insight and wisdom on the dynamics. God also says to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. I was filled with the Holy Ghost in the gym of the prison I was in in the early 90's. God has restored into my life all that I destroyed including my children and God gave me another chance. Is why I go back in now. If you need anything else don't hesitate to email me. Seek the mind of God and His Will as you proceed with this. God bless
---john on 3/4/12

Bill. Please be aware of the pitfalls of this type ministry. It is a wonderful ministry but not for everyone. i think men should minister to men and women to women, for safety reasons. Pray and seek the Lord on this. Look within yourself and make sure there are issues in your life that you have been delivered from that will keep you in your anointing. If not-things can get out of hand,quickly. Male and female inmates are very cunning. They know how to get what they want from vulnerable people, who my not be aware of this. When God ordains your to do something, he equips you to do the job--successfully. Proceed with care. GBU
---Robyn on 2/17/11

I founded God Cares We Care Prison Ministry. We've matched 250 inmates in two years. I've volunteered at a prison nearby. Remember the inmates committed a crime, so be discerning.

Never reveal personal information to an inmate. All letters go through p.o. box, so the Christian's address isn't seen by the inmate. Inmates must complete a program pplication.

The application and an introductory letter is sent to us, we then match the inmate. If an inmate becomes too familiar with a writer of the opposite sex, we warn them and if they continue they're dropped.

I hope this helps you, contact us if we can help further. God will confirm your calling, if this is where He wants you. Lord bless you richly for your compassion.
---Pastor_Dave_Fletcher on 2/13/11

It is excellent that your church is stepping out to start a prison ministry. I have been ministring in the prisons now for the last 6 years. First of all you have to be led by the Lord to begin this and any ministry. You need the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We did not do pen pal sharing. We go to the local jail here once a week and minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ladies. We have seen women, healed, delivered, saved and set free! It is by the preaching of the Gospel that men will be saved. You want to go in and minister to the men/women and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most(jails, prisions) have volunteer programs/religious services, where you can go in and minister to the inmates.
---Deborah on 1/10/11

It has turned out that I and others have been given names of inmates who I understand requested pen pals. And we are writing without the church checking our communications. I have three people, and one is especially helpful with insights for me, about things I have shared with him. So, we can be helping ourselves (c:
---Bill_willa6989 on 1/9/11

Yes, we need spiritual discernment. And there are spirits acting through Satan's people who are in prison. There is our spiritual warfare, then.

And, of course, people in churches can also be as prisoners, trying to use us and being used by Satan's spirits. So, I need to pray and discover how God has me staying with Him.

On the Internet, I am finding, ones can be deceptive and controlling in order to use me. So, not only in prison ministry but in all relating I need to be wise to however it is Satan really using me or trying to.
---Bill on 11/12/10

bill,an elder and a close friend of mine use to have a prison ministry and a deliverance ministry. i believe that if you have a face-to-face prison ministry make sure that the people involved know about true from evil spirits. in prison, is a culture that us regular people know absolutely nothing about. no prisoner rules in prison. spirits through people do. i think one of the most compelling stories in the bible is in Act 19:11-18. the Holy Spirit juxtaposes what God is doing throughout the land. some wise guys for whatever reason started getting into something they knew nothing about. spirits know Jesus and they will rip you apart if you are not really in the Spirit. even the pen=pal ministry should be monitored.
---aka on 11/11/10

It looks like you have the right idea and desire Bill.
Many just want the pomp of standing behind the pulpit testifying on Sunday morning about their great gains in bringing light unto those poor people that sit in darkness without even knowing that many prisoners are just using them.
Paul and Silas had a prison ministry few would want.
Working from the inside.
---Frank on 11/11/10

Bill, I'm sure you'll do just fine. You're someone who does his homework. :-)
---Juanito on 11/9/10

\\Well, hello Cluny, my friend. I KNOW!
---catherine on 11/\\

Well, you might know who's possessed.
---Cluny on 11/9/10

Bill....The first thing you would need to do is to contact the prison direct and find out the multitude of rules involved in any kind of prison ministry even just writing letters. It would be very beneficial to your church to reach out to a group or church that is already doing prison ministry. Getting into prison facilities has become much more complicated since 9/11. My husband is a volunteer chaplain in a jail and has been doing prison/jail ministry for over 20 years. It MUST BE A CALLING or it is not effective. Being a pen pal to an inmate can jeopardize you or your family in many ways. Use a PO box for the letters once you get through the prison criteria.
---karenD on 11/9/10

Juanito . . . you say, "Main thing, don't patronize." To me, patronizing can mean that I feel the prisoners are bitter and feeling rejected and so I handle them with kidskin gloves. But you might mean something else. So, I looked this up in a dictionary, to see what you might mean (c: To patronize can mean to treat prisoners like they are less than I am. Yes, I need this, better, thank you!

"He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness." (Hebrews 5:2)

"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)
---Bill on 11/9/10

Well, hello Cluny, my friend. I KNOW!
---catherine on 11/9/10

\\She is not saved.\\

How do you possibly bear the burden of knowing who is saved and who is not, catherine?
---Cluny on 11/9/10

About a year ago I introduced my 80-year-old sister who is a former schoolteacher, a former postmaster, and today finally retired. A Christian for over 65 years she took to jail Ministry very quickly. I tell this story to illustrate the fact that a Christian(a real earnest Christian) may have an unsatisfied desire within their heart to be a soulwinner. Such was the case with my sister.
She is very fond of the "corporate prayer" system and almost always use it.
---mima on 11/9/10

I've made hundreds of prison visits. Main thing, don't patronize.
---Juanito on 11/9/10

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Well, for goodness sakes make sure everyone is saved and called into it. I have a sister who says that she is gonna do this. She is not saved. Makes my Blood boiled. No wonder, no one knows what the true God or His chosen people are all about! False prophets and preachers, teachers, will burn>>>IN HELL.
---catherine on 11/9/10

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