God Behind Bars

Growing up in Salem/Keizer, Oregon I remember driving past one of the State Penitentiaries plenty of times. It’s on the outskirts of the city but along a major highway as well. As a kid I didn’t know any better, so I thought everyone in there was hell-bound. To me (as a child), the people in prison made mistakes God was simply unable to forgive. Even some reading this might say, “God’s grace has run out for some of them.” This is a common way of thinking until someone close makes a mistake and ends up in prison.

I always try to remind myself of Romans 3: that we’re all unable to reach God, that we’re all failures in the full sense in the word. The lyric of “everyone needs compassion” comes to mind as I think about this.

In light of this, I want to share a phenomenal ministry that’s stepping into difficult situations and making a difference.

God Behind Bars.

There are close to three million prisoners now in the United States and that population is growing at a compounded rate of well over 2 percent a year. What will the future bring?

God’s prompting of the founder, Jake Bodine, and the skyrocketing number of incarcerated men and women in the United States has led directly to the creation of this one of a kind prison ministry that asks what if God showed up in prisons?

Here are some of the features of what makes God Behind Bars unique:
  • Unique four-step strategy that will allow a person to have full life change instead of some life change.
  • Partner with churches and faith-based organizations around the world to stream live, dynamic, high-quality worship experiences into prisons all over the world.
  • Online campus called “Church With Inmates” that allows the families of prisoners to see and experience the same service that their loved one is watching from inside the prison.
  • Next-generation aftercare program that pledges to walk with and care for each former prisoner who completes the three prerequisite steps. Among some things that will be provided initially by the ministry are temporary living quarters, groceries, gas, a cell phone, clothes, employment training and placement.
  • Project 22: based on Proverbs 22:6 launches in the fall of 2011 with the goal of mentoring and ministering to the children of inmates.
Here’s a video that tells the story of God Behind Bars.