I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm , Amplified Bible 4. Remove prayer, and I promise you a dysfunctional team built on arrogance, self-importance, pride, and competitiveness.
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I watched one team struggle over who would be in charge. Picking up on the conflict, the inmates suggested beginning each meeting with prayer focused on asking God to remove the discord. Not long after, the attitude of the ministry team changed, and they became an example of unity for the whole prison.
Through prayer, God naturally weeds out people with self-serving instead of God-serving intentions. When servants empty themselves and rely solely on the Holy Spirit, God can use them powerfully. Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark , NIV 1. If Jesus were standing in front of you, how would you treat him?
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Are you willing to treat inmates the same way, that is, by mirroring Jesus to them? What is your real heart attitude before you serve in prison ministry, and what is it when you leave? Here are some ideas for developing a nonjudgmental attitude:. Talking with God — You may discover that an inmate has committed acts you can hardly imagine, such as murdering someone or harming a child.
Before setting foot into a prison, spend serious time in conversation with God. Journal your thoughts and feelings and then share and pray over them with a close friend or pastor. These materials may help you get started:. Examining Your Call — A call to prison ministry can be exciting, but also very daunting or even confusing.
A very passionate personal desire, for instance, can seem to the voice of God. In other words, the call is a serious consideration that can be easily misunderstood without some clear guidance and focus. Here are a few tips:. No Judging or Talking Down — I have served well over 5, incarcerated men, women, and youth over the past 25 years. The longing I hear inmates express most often is for a genuine spiritual home where others do not judge or talk down to them. Can you treat any inmate the same way? What is your real heart attitude before you attend and when you leave worship?
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Can you treat inmates the same way you would treat the Lord? Greenleaf, R. The servant as leader, in Spears, L. Focus on Leadership: Servant Leadership for the21st Century. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.
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Laub, J. Assessing the servant organization: development of the organizational leadership assessment OLA instrument. Drury, S. Spears, L. Tracing the past, present, and future of servant-leadership. In Spears, L. Focus on Leadership: Servant Leadership for the 21st Century. He is always close to you. Our Sunday Visitor is one of the world's largest Catholic publishers, serving millions of Catholics around the globe. OSV offers rich books from experienced, knowledgeable authors for all seasons of life.
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Try a new kind of prayer, study the teachings of the Church, or stay in touch with the Holy Father. Pastoral Plan. This booklet brings you the best of these insights from Fr. The Catholic Way to Pray - This is a must-have prayer guide and primer for catechists, parish ministers, candidates, catechumens and anyone seeking a richer prayer life. Here they will find information about prayer forms and ways to pray, as well as inspiration to jumpstart their Catholic prayer life.
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