Indigenous Churches in the Regional Jail

Redemption Homes is part of a very successful focus on planting indigenous churches in the local regional jail.

Rather than following the old model of always bringing outside ministers and ministries into the jail, we’ve been trying the Biblical pattern of starting vibrant fellowships where people live – which in this case happens to be the jail! – and showing them how to minister to each other.

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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.

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New Pastures

Today in the jail, after two hours of powerful ministry between the men one to another, they stopped and said they decided earlier this week to do something for me. They then stood around me, laid hands on me, and prayed the most wonderful, tender prayers of blessing I’ve ever heard.

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Father’s Day

I received a number of calls and cards this weekend wishing me a happy father’s day. What was special is that they came from various men who I’ve mentored and walked besides over the years while they were in jail and upon their release. I felt very honored, blessed and humbled.

People don’t realize that the Biblical mandate to be “a father to the fatherless” is not talking solely about babies and children. There are many young men who need spiritual dads. It can be messy, but the impulse to embrace these men springs from the heart of the Father. There should be no orphans – of any age – in the Kingdom of God.

True Healing

Ministering to folks who’ve been abused, abandoned or exploited requires a special grace. To find healing, people often need someone who can help them push through the defenses and rationalizations they’ve erected in response their hurts. But when they get to the source of the pain, and transparently surrender their self-perceptions and beliefs to Jesus, they find that He tenderly brings healing and wholeness.

We routinely minister to people dealing with issues that exceed anything you might imagine. But God shows up in amazing ways, and men and women find freedom in just one or two sessions from profound emotional and spiritual bondage.

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