We use cookies in order to save your preferences so we can provide a feature-rich, personalized website experience. We also use functionality from third-party vendors who may add additional cookies of their own (e.g. Analytics, Maps, Chat, etc). Read more about cookies in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you do not accept our use of Cookies, please do not use the website.

  • 434-975-2259
Header Image

What is Jail Ministry?

May 16 2018
May 16 2018

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Of the 600 plus Jewish laws, Jesus chose these two as the greatest – and they are both relational.  Our relationship with God, and our relationship with others. Does this include those outside of our church? Absolutely! Well, how far outside of our church? The list can go on and on as to who we consider “neighbor” and those who may be in our inner circle and those who are not.  It’s convenient to serve those, or minister to those with whom we know or with whom we are comfortable. We may even decide who is worthy of our service and who is not.

Let me show you who Jesus thinks is worthy of our service:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”

What you don’t hear Jesus saying is to just pick three out of the six categories and that will be sufficient.

Most of us would concede that the first five categories are what we can relate to and minister to without apprehension. But the last category, the prisoners, can be difficult. Because, some would say, they have reaped what they have sown and deserve what they get. But Jesus does not differentiate. In fact, it’s all inclusive and not really an option to disregard them. We do not exist as individuals to only serve ourselves, and we certainly do not exist as a church to serve only those in our congregation. Jesus has clearly presented a list of those we must serve, and clearly prisoners are on that list.  The challenge is how can the Church serve?

For those of you who don’t know, I am a part of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry and serve as the Chaplain at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. Here are some ideas for how Grace can serve prisoners:

- Offer administrative support to the Chaplain
- Volunteer as a Bible Study or Small Group Leader (short-term or long-term.)
- Join a Prayer Support Team.
- Provide supplies for the inmates, such as Bibles, books, devotionals, greeting cards.
Contact me for more ideas.

May God bless you as you seek Him for ways to minister in your community!


Leave a Comment

Email Help Tip
Characters Remaining: 5000



June 28, 2018 2:42 AM