Prison ministry: why you need it, ways you can help


prison, bars, jail, incarceration

Why prison ministry?

I may be biased, but I think prison ministry is one of the greatest and one of the most potentially fruitful mission fields you can find.

Here comes my bias: For a couple of years I served, first as a volunteer than a full time chaplain at a maximum security juvenile detention facility back in my home town of Omaha, NE. I was super young at the time, so admittedly, some of my ministry responsibilities there were pretty overwhelming. But it was also a great pruning ground for me and provided me opportunity to share Christ with some young people who needed it most.

Well, after 12 years of being away from it, I got the chance to step back into prison ministry this past Monday as I,  along with about 30 other folks, took a trip to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson where Southwest Atlanta Baptist Association director of missions Bernard Miller has recently been named the new director of chaplaincy.

Stepping back into a prison environment with the mindset to do ministry made me feel right at home. And the extra bonus was a pair of young, Georgia Baptist Convention African American pastors who were as geeked up for the chance to serve in prison ministry as I was some 12 years ago.

I know some may see prison ministry as just one of many optional electives in the total tapestry of ministry opportunities, but I’ll give you four reasons why I believe prison ministry is necessary ministry in the life of any believer — especially those who feel they have a calling to preach the Gospel.

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chaplain, jail, ministry, prison, volunteer