The Church in D Pod

This Sunday, like most Sundays, I will be fellowshipping with the “Church in D Pod” at the local jail.

D Pod is a unit housing around a hundred men, and God has been pouring out his new wine in an exciting way among those inmates.

Last year, I started shifting my focus from “conducting” church services “for” the men. God was challenging me to start mentoring and training them instead to “be” the church by learning to minister one to another.

At the same time, God sovereignly arranged for two brothers from Africa — where Christians generally are way ahead of their American brothers and sisters on these issues — to be jailed in that unit. They, too, understood the concept of ministering one to another and started fostering authentic fellowship among the men.

Since then, amazing things have been happening. The men have embraced the Biblical model of “being” the church — rather than “going” to church — by ministering one to another. They no longer have the mentality of waiting for the “preacher” with his worship team to come minister to them on Sunday. They have learned that they actually can do a better job by simply trusting God’s ability to minister through each of them to each other.

But it’s not just on Sundays. They gather each evening after dinner to share and celebrate God’s grace together, study Scripture, and bear each other up in prayer. And God is confirming his anointing over what they are doing by answering those prayers in mighty ways! (But that’s another story — the testimonies coming out of D Pod are awesome and transformational.)

Now when I go on Sundays, I’m just one of the brothers. I sit back and smile as I get out of the way and let them do powerful ministry one to another as God prompts! And the quality of the ministry that comes forth far exceeds what I’ve heard in any outside “podium church” over the last several years. In fact, the guys routinely shake their heads in wonder at how good “church” is in the jail!

When we meet on Sundays, the men go nonstop for two hours sharing scripture, songs, testimony, and the like with each other — and they don’t want to stop. Some never even get a chance to share what God is doing in their lives, or the song that God gave them over the past week, or that verse that came alive as they were studying Scripture, or that prayer they’ve been burdened to pray over another brother — because there’s simply not enough time. The two hours pass quickly, and they’d go even longer if they could.

Their enthusiasm is amazing! And as the men are transferred to other parts of the jail or to new facilities, this revival of authentic fellowship keeps spreading. All the while, the Church in D Pod keeps replenishing its ranks with new converts for them to mentor and send out!

Sometimes I hear praise for how great it is that some, like me, go into the jails to “care” for those men. Actually, such praise has it all backwards. God is preparing those men, and will be sending them out, to care for and redeem his Church!

Being part of the Church in D Pod is powerful and humbling, and I watch them in awe. All they needed was for someone to point the way, tell them it’s OK to step forth, and they then took off running. It’s truly a God thing as He pours out his anointing for authentic church to this new spiritual generation!

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About Fulcrum Ministries

Fulcrum Ministries is a network of small, participatory churches that meet in living rooms, jail dormitories, coffee houses and other improbable places for fellowship and to share the joy of knowing Jesus.

4 Responses to “The Church in D Pod”

  1. Good stuff!!!

  2. I noticed this was in 2010 – is the church in D pod still active?
    murdock@2ndthief.org

  3. meredith (murdock) conley Reply June 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Is ” The Church In D Pod” still active

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