Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thoughts on a Kairos Weekend

This past weekend (April 15-18), I was part of the team for Kairos #29 at the Coffield Unit in Texas. I know many of you were praying for the participants and the team - Thank You!

Kairos is a wonderful prison ministry, but what makes it so effective? We don't have huge revivals or large tent meetings. We don't have Altar Calls or pressure the men to make a commitment to Jesus Christ.

I think there are four major features of the Kairos weekend that make it so effective:
  1. We listen to the inmates. This is the most critical feature of Kairos. We do not preach. We teach very little. But we listen to and respect the inmates. This is something new to them.
  2. The team members make themselves vulnerable to the participants and other team members. We do not hide the fact that we are still sinners. We confess ours sins in our talks and meditations as appropriate. We also allow ourselves to be "foolish" during songs. When I serve, I try to do all the "dance" moves to songs such as "Jesus is the Rock" or "Pharoh, Pharoh." There is a time to be serious and a time to be foolish. The important thing is to know the difference.
  3. We come from many different denominations. This is also critical. We may have our differences and we are upfront with the inmates that we have differences. But we are united by the Lordship of Jesus Christ and a common call to serve in His Name. We NEVER proclaim one denomination or group as better or worse than another. One inmate I counselled with said that he was upset and confused by all the divisions and denomination in the Church, but that he had finally seen "The Church" in action on the Kairos Weekend. Our willingness to put aside differences to focus on Jesus Christ is an important part of the witness of Kairos to the inmates. They often see denominations as rival gangs. Our unity suprises and amazes them.
  4. We come back. We don't just present Jesus and then take him to the next unit. We come back to visit Jesus. Jesus lives in our prison system and in Texas, he wears the white uniform of an inmate.

All of these things are critical to the success of Kairos because of one thing and one thing only - God's agape love. We model that love to the "brothers-in-white" and we show evidence of that love both within the team members and among the inmates.

This weekend we had a committed Wiccan man tell us that this is the first love he had seen in a very long time and, while he did not accept Jesus, he committed to coming back for the followup weekends. We had a white supremist embrace Jesus Christ and the men of other color at his table family. I had a Jehovah Witness question me about the Trinity.

The greatest thing about Kairos is that it "works" in spite of the team members! We make countless mistakes, but God is faithful to the work and the Holy Spirit is present.

Please pray for the continuing ministry of Kairos and for the new 42 brothers in white that just completed this past weekend. Pray that God will continue to work through Kairos and in the lives of the team, the inmates, and the unit staff.

YBIC,

Phil Snyder

33 comments:

The Underground Pewster said...

Amen, keep up the good work!

Psalm 68:6 (NIV)

"God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."

Clifford said...

#4-

Sounds very much like something that +Frank, Zanzibar would say. Nice job Deacon Phil!

BigTex AC

義珊 said...

錢,給你帶來歡愉的日子,但不給你帶來和平與幸福..................................................

興偉 said...

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CleoL_V said...

友情像一棵樹木,要慢慢的栽培,才能成長真的友誼,要經過困難考驗,才可友誼永固..............................

祐誠 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。...............................................................

FrederickI_Ferre馨儀 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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Gods mill grinds slow but sure. ....................................................

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若無一番寒徹骨,焉得梅花撲鼻香。..................................................

huntb said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。..................................................................

玫友 said...

恨一個人,比原諒一個人,更傷力氣。..................................................................

于珊 said...

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江婷 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。....................................................................

韋以韋以 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

子帆子帆 said...

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李威昌 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

竹青 said...

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JasonBirk佳琪 said...

Say not all that you know, believe not all that you hear.............................................................

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凱許倫 said...

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.................................................

姿胤綸婷 said...

No pains, no gains..................................................................

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我是天山,等待一輪明月。......................................................................

瑰潼 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................

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你怎麼能經過一片海,而忘記它的藍?......................................................................