The incarceration rate in America is the highest in the world. Statistics reveal that nearly 8% of the national population is behind bars. While the United States represents about 5% of the world's population, it houses around 25% of the world's prisoners. The “church behind bars” is both a reality and an opportunity.
What does it look like to equip believers both in prison and those working with currently or formerly incarcerated people to effectively evangelize and disciple? How can we train up all those in corrections to play their God-ordained role in restoring lives to their full potential?
The BGC, through its Institute for Prison Ministries, is committed to providing information, resources, and research for those impacted by crime and incarceration (including families, ex-offenders, ministry volunteers, professionals, and correctional officers).
Those in prison and in correctional ministry need resources and support to continue in the journey to full maturity in Christ. IPM exists to equip and encourage the Body of Christ for correctional ministry.
Countless millions are serving time in prison right now. This evangelism training seminar and curriculum equips Christ-followers to live focused lives of witness and discipleship.
A 10-part podcast with Dr. Karen Swanson Dr. Karen Swanson, IPM director, was recently featured on Discover the Word. During this 10-part series, Karen compares the confinement of a prison cell with the spiritual prison we confine ourselves to through our own wrong choices.
Mass incarceration is a human rights issue impacting over 2.3 million adults and youth along with their families and victims. It is an issue which has been ignored and now is the time for the Church to speak up about injustices and respond with mercy and compassion. The GC2 Summit will feature world-class speakers such as Harold Dean Trulear, David Iglesias, Vincent Bacote, Glenn Martin, and Karen Swanson who will address the Church's response to incarceration, the role of local churches, and how to engage those deeply wounded by the effects of incarceration. More to come in the following months.