Real Discipleship-Up Close and Personal

Posted on: February 11th, 2011 by Terry No Comments

The Spirit of God is moving behind prison walls today. Effective servants, dedicated to appropriating the power of God’s spirit are molding and restoring those behind prison walls to the Kingdom of God. As a result of these efforts, God’s servants are curbing the cycle of repetitive criminal behavior, recidivism, and working along side the criminal justice system to produce safer communities and promote social harmony.

 

Crossways exhorts each ministry team to a ministry of excellence. Ministry teams from the local church accompany us to our in-prison Bible studies to come alongside individual committed Christian prisoners for in-depth Biblical discipleship. Our personal growth stems from owning a personal relationship with Christ. In like manner, discipleship is effective when discipleship is personal and owned. Disciples are formed in sincere committed relationships. To Disciple is to be used in relationship to form Christ in others. Therefore go and make disciples…” Matthew 28:19

Preparing for freedom:
We know every person who sincerely receives Christ and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord is adopted into the family of God. What family would adopt a child and leave him on the steps of the orphanage before that child had grown enough to walk? In like manner, we cannot disciple prisoners and then leave them at the gate of the prison with no connection to community. Evangelism begins a process of helping the new believer grow in Christ. Every Crossways in-prison discipleship group is then focused on nurture and adoption, personal growth and connection to a church in the community. “…I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” Gal. 4:19

Prisoners are precious to the Lord. He turned to a condemned prisoner from the cross and promised him paradise. “Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them, and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” Heb.13:3

Discipleship continues through release:
Every prisoner coming through the gate needs a place to worship, grow and be connected. He has two challenging jobs before him. First, he must put a life together that was never together in the first place. Secondly, he must keep this new life together through a period of extreme trial and adjustment. Getting established quickly, beginning the process of community compliance, and learning to walk according to the terms of Christ in his new life are some of the trials in an immediate period of overwhelming trial and readjustment. The ministry team from the local church needs patience, counsel, and dependence on Christ to help him overcome this challenge. Crossways works directly with prisoners and mentors to help facilitate transition. In addition Crossways holds a gathering of prisoners and mentors in the community every two months for all to share what God is teaching through the process. “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another… and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb. 10:24-25

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