SPREADING THE GOSPEL
Sharing the Gospel Worldwide
With more than 22,000 prisons worldwide, and over 10 million incarcerated, prisoners make up one of the largest unreached groups in the world.
The Prisoner’s Journey® is a transformational, evangelism and discipleship program that puts the living Word of God in the hands of prisoners—almost all for the first time. It is delivered in three phases, which each take place in prisons over the course of one year, and is designed to run multiple times per year in participating prisons.
Through The Prisoner’s Journey®, we hope to introduce 1 million men and women around the globe to a fellow prisoner: Jesus Christ. Imagine the implications! For prisoners, their children and families, their communities and nations—a profound movement of the Gospel among this broken, unreached group.
WHERE WE WORK
PHASE 1: AN INVITATION
The Prisoner’s Journey® starts with a big promotional event in prison.
Prisoners watch a powerful video, which gives them a short introduction to Jesus, followed by an invitation to meet him through the eight-session course. In 2016, over 127,000 prisoners were invited to enrol in The Prisoner’s Journey®. Of these, over 49,000 graduated from the Course. Prisoners are hungry for the truth!
PHASE 2: THE COURSE
The Course is an exploration of Jesus through the Gospel of Mark. It is not traditional teaching and definitely not preaching; it simply allows the Gospel to reveal the Gospel. Over the eight sessions, prisoners meet in groups of 10–12 to learn about Jesus. Volunteers undergo standardized training. Each session allows prisoners to reflect on and dialog about what they learn
Click here to see a sample overview of the course manual volunteers are using to introduce prisoners to Jesus Christ.
Throughout the program, prisoners journey with a fellow inmate, Tuhoe Isaac of New Zealand (pictured right),the guide and narrator of our video series. Each session opens and closes with a short video, which speaks directly to participants as peers. Each week is an invitation to hope and an opportunity to embrace transformation through stories of real prisoners who encountered Jesus.
PHASE 3: DISCIPLESHIP
Once a prisoner completes The Prisoner’s Journey® course, he or she is invited to respond to Jesus and his message to follow him by enrolling in a discipleship course. These structured classes help prisoners develop a deeper knowledge of the Bible, theological topics, and how to continue their journey with Jesus. National ministries of Prison Fellowship International may choose from a variety of discipleship courses that meet the needs of their culture and environment, as well as partner with a local church or ministry partner. We encourage the use of the following courses:
- Sycamore Tree Project®: Based on the biblical principles of restorative justice, prisoners meet with groups of unrelatedcrime victims to talk about the effects of crime, the harm it causes, and how to make things right.
- Discipleship Explored Prison Edition: Based on the Book of Philippians, prisoners work through issues of their individual situations, engage with prison chaplaincy, and learn how to reintegrate into communities and church families outside of prison.
- The Prison Bible Study: Using the special edition Bibles presented upon graduation from The Prisoner’s Journey® course, prisoners follow a 52-lesson reading plan on what it means to be a follower of Christ both inside and outside of prison.
- Celebrate Recovery® Inside: A 12-step recovery program that uses the principles Jesus preached in the eight Beatitudes to help prisoners learn how to overcome their hurts and harmful habits, and find hope and peace.
- Train and Multiply: Based on the New Testament, prisoners learn what it means to be a Christian leader, and how to minister to and share the Gospel with others.
- Alpha for Prisons: Prisoners learn how to overcome loss and talk through the deeper issues of what it means to have Christ in their lives.