As we go
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (New International Version 1984, Matthew 28:19-20).
Matthew 28:19-20, commonly known as The Great Commission, forms the mission for the Christian Church and most Christian ministries today. OJPM identifies its mission of Transforming People On Both Sides of the Bars as a contextualization of this challenge from our Lord.
The focus of The Great Commission is on making disciples, but it involves going. The English go is not the command that it seems but is a present participle best translated going. The command is to make disciples. It is both understood and specifically stated that you would need to be going to accomplish this task.
OJPM volunteers are involved in The Great Commission by going from a place of comfort to those who need to hear. Our mission field is the local jail situated in every county in this state. It is most likely that the nearest jail is less than ten miles from where you are reading this newsletter.
OJPM is committed to playing our part in the disciple making process. OJPM is committed to calling out volunteers from their place of comfort. OJPM has doubled down on spreading our ministry to every county jail in Oklahoma. Last year we opened three new counties. This year we have already opened three with two more in process.
It takes God’s hand of favor, prayer, willing sheriffs and jail administrators, volunteers and money to go. Are you committed to fulfilling The Great Commission? Are you going?
As OJPM executive chaplain, two events that I think and pray about are our fall volunteer appreciation banquet and our fall chaplain training. Our annual volunteer appreciation banquet will be held Friday, September 27th at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 301 N. E. 27th, Moore, Oklahoma. See RSVP information in insert box below. Each attendee will receive our newest challenge coin that highlights our vision to have ministry in every county jail. There will also be inspirational stories of how OJPM is transforming people on both sides of the bars.
Our keynote speaker for the banquet is Wayne Shaw, State Senator, District Three. Wayne served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church in Grove for fifteen years before being elected to the Senate in 2012.
Senator Shaw has been working with Dr. Joe Wilson in the Oklahoma Prison Chapel Program, which has successfully built six chapels in Oklahoma prisons. The senator has visited and spoken in several of our prisons. Wayne has a heart for jail ministry and is a great friend of OJPM.
Our fall chaplain training will be held Saturday, November 2nd from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at Genesis Church, 623 N Broadway Ave., Suite A, Moore, Oklahoma. One of the key reasons sheriffs invite OJPM into their county jails is because of the training we provide. Note that this is a change from the original date.
Unleashing the captives,
OJPM Exhibitor Door Prize – 4 1/2” Integral Hunter custom Helton Knife and sheath
SPECIAL OKLAHOMA SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION EDITION
OJPM is privileged to provide chaplain services to 13 facilities in 12 Oklahoma counties through memorandums of understanding with each county sheriff and/or board of commissioners.
For 28 years Oklahoma sheriffs have looked to OJPM for ministry resources, support, training, best practices and partnership in carrying out their responsibilities with their county jails.
The 2019 Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association Annual Training Conference and Exposition, August 5-9th, at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, Oklahoma, is a great time of communicating with sheriffs, jail administrators and staff from across the state.
There are seven key ways that OJPM helps a county jail run more effectively and efficiently:
– Support spiritual needs of staff and inmates
– Represent the Sheriff in a positive way through community volunteers
– Provide trained chaplains that value the Sheriff’s authority, the jail’s security and that promote an abuse-free environment
– Develop clear communication through regular reports and feedback (this proved beneficial in a previous legal action to support a county)
– Coordinates a comprehensive response to the rights of inmates to request spiritual advise (note – people in the community do not have a right to enter the jail to share their beliefs)
– Create consultation package available to any sheriff and/or jail administrator (on-site visit, spiritual needs survey, county religious demographics, review visitation guidelines and written assessment)
– Certify an existing chaplain program and/or assist in gearing up a new chaplain program
County commissioners, sheriffs and jail administrators have a standing invitation to attend our annual volunteer appreciation banquet which this year will be held Friday, September 27th at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 301 N. E. 27th, Moore, Oklahoma. See RSVP information in insert box below. Each attendee will receive our newest challenge coin and hear inspirational stories of how OJPM is transforming people on both sides of the bars.
Unleashing the captives,
Why do we share?
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (New International Version 1984, Isaiah 61:1).
Most OJPM chaplains are volunteers who understand that the indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord compels them to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
Some OJPM chaplains raise their own financial support and/or receive stipends from our ministry. There are four chaplains that are on a salary that make up our administrative staff.
No matter the compensation, each of our chaplains has discovered the opportunity to live out Isaiah 61:1 each week through our ministry. Each of them has been anointed by the Lord to step out of his or her comfort zone to go where He leads to proclaim freedom for the captives.
Our chaplains share whenever an opportunity arises; they have found that there are numerous opportunities to open the Word of God with the men and women who find themselves in one of our county jails. These men and women are in a desperate situation and are open to hearing the hope of how they can be released from darkness.
Isaiah writes of being sent and foretells Jesus’ own ministry of doing the will of the Father over His own will. OJPM chaplains are individuals who have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That means they follow Christ’s teachings and have Christ living in them.
Embracing the “sentness” of Isaiah and of Jesus is a clear marker of a Christ-like life. The Apostle Paul, under the same anointing of the Holy Spirit, described it this way. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” Romans 10:14–15!
Allow me to riff as the Apostle Paul did. OJPM chaplains share because they have the living gospel story indwelling within them. OJPM chaplains have the living gospel indwelling within them because they have repented of their sins and surrendered to the Lord. OJPM chaplains have surrendered to the Lord because they have heard the message of hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ. OJPM chaplains have heard the message of hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ because someone shared with them.
Do you see the circle of life that God has designed into the Christian life? There is a time and place to focus on each portion of the circle, but the focus today is – OJPM chaplains share because someone shared with them. When you have heard the truth, you have to speak up.
Is the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord on you?
Unleashing the captives,
Transforming people on both sides of the bars – the proof
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (New International Version 1984, 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Our 2019 Spring Luncheon was a time of celebrating God’s faithful and fruitful work in our ministry through the many prayer warriors, volunteer chaplains and financial supporters that make up the OJPM family.
Our mission statement speaks to the fact that not only are the men and women jailed in the many county detention centers across our state transformed with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ, but also the volunteer chaplains who step out of their comfort zone to follow the Lord’s leadership are impacted.
Three testimonies at our luncheon spoke to this transformation. Bill Farley, OJPM development director and Canadian County chaplain, George Rennix, OJPM board president and Oklahoma County chaplain and Tammy Franklin, Prison Fellowship academy program manager.
Farley, by way of introducing 2019 Sower Award recipient Rennix, spoke of how uncomfortable he was the first time Rennix spoke to him about visiting the Oklahoma County jail to share the gospel with the men there.
Farley had several job opportunities available, but after much prayer, felt like the Lord wanted him to become a volunteer chaplain and eventually assume a key leadership position with OJPM. Farley could have made more money elsewhere; he knew the cost of following the Lord was steep, but he also knew that he needed nothing more than the security of being in God’s perfect will.
Rennix, shared how the Lord had delivered him from a tough youth and given him great joy in sharing with incarcerated men in both state prisons and the
Oklahoma County jail. Rennix related that he is more comfortable being in the background and does not like to draw attention to himself. However, he said that when the Lord opens doors, he tries to always be obedient and walk through them.
Farley, as presenter and Rennix as receiver, both acknowledge how their lives had been transformed through their faithfulness to the Lord and through service in our ministry.
Franklin shared her testimony of deliverance from drugs through the ministry of OJPM in our sixth-floor female chaplain’s office in the Oklahoma County jail. Edna Keith, long-time OJPM volunteer chaplain who passed away last year, led Franklin to a commitment to the Lord.
Franklin shared, “I always felt that Edna refused to judge me by what I’d done and always viewed me through the eyes of her Savior.” Franklin’s testimony of transformation through Christ was the highlight of the luncheon. Several commented that you could sense the moving of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way because of Franklin’s openness and honesty of where she had been and Who had touched her heart and her mind.
Jason Trice, co-president & CEO of Jasco Products Company, gracefully accepted our 2019 Spirit Award on behalf of the Jasco Giving Hope Foundation and the employees of Jasco. He expressed his excitement to be able to support a ministry that is making such an impact in our state for the kingdom of God.
We did not have any dessert at our luncheon (I heard from one close confidant that we better have some next year), but there was proof in the pudding that OJPM is transforming people on both sides of the bars!
Unleashing the captives,