Evangelism advice in prison ministry

Hello👋 I’ve got a question. I’m not to good at starting conversations and speaking to others about Jesus Christ and how to get saved. Most of the people that I talk to say that they’re catholic and do believe in Jesus. I do know that they believe in Jesus but I’m not to sure on how to turn that into getting saved. I will be going into prison ministry soon so I need some advice on how to do that. Can I get some examples on how to do that?

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@BJ_Hernandez Hi!

While I don’t have any experience in prison ministry specifically. Perhaps you could start by simply asking, “How do you think someone is accepted into Heaven?” A good video that helps explain the Christian perspective is this video with Andy Bannister Can we be good without God?. Where he explains that salvation is exclusively through faith in Christ.

In order to explain this concept Biblically, some people like to use what’s referred to as, “The Romans Road to Salvation”:

Romans 3:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Also, once the conversation is started, maybe it would be good to ask the person you’re speaking with their perspective on the points discussed in the YouTube video, What must someone believe in order to be saved?, where John Piper discusses several things that a person must believe for salvation, which include:

1.God exists.
2.Each person is a sinner(God has a law, which we are in violation of).
3.Since we are sinners, we are under God’s judgment.
4.The Diety of Jesus.
5.Jesus is the sinless, Son of God.
6.The vicarious(substitutional) death of Christ.
7.The resurrection of Christ.
8.Faith in Christ for salvation.

Perhaps you can turn some of these points into questions by asking:
-Do you think God exists?
-Was Jesus Divine?
-Do you think Jesus was physically, literally, resurrected as an actual historical event?

Also, you might ask, What role do you think works have in the life of a Christian? In this YouTube video from The One Minute Apologist, Frank Turek discusses the question, Is Faith In Jesus Enough?, which discusses the relationship between Faith and Works by a person who is saved. Essentially saying that works are a natural outworking of true saving faith, but not a means of salvation.

A scripture that could help to explain this relationship is:

James 2:18 King James Version (KJV)

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

I hope this information helps to get you started!

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@BJ_Hernandez Great question :slight_smile: I really like Prison Fellowship’s approach because they focus on sustainable ministry. I would not focus on the difference between Catholic / Protestant, but instead invite these guys into a Bible study. If you could be integrated with existing prison ministries so that those who want to be shepherded can find support even when they switch facilities, that would be great.

I think saying something like, “I’m excited you believe in Jesus. Would you like to join us once a week to learn more about Him through the Bible?” Not sure exactly what the best way to phrase that would be in a prison context—maybe you could ask some other prison ministers in the area?

Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers are in hundreds of correctional facilities each day sharing the Gospel, spreading hope, and teaching life-changing classes. We introduce incarcerated men and women to a new future in Christ and nurture their spiritual growth with Bible studies and discipleship courses.

Prison ministry, like all ministries, is not a single event but a process. The Church is called to make disciples, not simply converts. And that takes time.

Ultimately, we want to help each prisoner God entrusts to us to find a church home where they can grow and serve after they have been released from prison.

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Sounds good because I will be joining the Kairos Prison Ministry and I wasn’t too sure the way it works. Thank you👍🏼

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@BJ_Hernandez Indeed - may the Lord produce fruit in the lives of many guys as you share His love and grace through incarnational presence!

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This exact question recently popped up in an Ask Dr. Brown YouTube live chat event.

Dr. Brown said he has never done prison ministry himself but he still had advice as he knew people who were involved in prison ministry. The biggest take away I saw was that the men there usualy didn’t have a good father figure. As such, consistency is a really big deal for these men. If you can earn their trust there is a lot of good you could do. If you say you are going to do something, do it or else you won’t get any respect from them being inconsistent. The other thing was of course view them as real people and not just “prisoners to convert”. You’re heart really has to be in it for the long haul and they will be able to smell that you are just doing it to “do you good deed for the day” a mile away. So if you do it, you really have to have the perspective that you care about them and are committed to them. No one likes to be betrayed and that is probably something a lot of men in prison have had to struggle with. So just care for them and be consisted is the biggest take away. Don’t put on a show or pretend you have all the answers. If you don’t actually know, don’t just make something up. Tell them you will get back to them in something like a week or so. That way you have time to look it up and you don’t have to make them wait too long and you and them both know when you are going to get back to them about it.

Hope that helps.

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That sounds awesome Jesse thanks for the advice!!:+1:t3:

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