Last December we had our first ever all day Leadership Seminar inside the prison that I serve at. The day began at 8:30 am and went until 7:30 that night. During that day many messages were shared to the 28 men that we had chosen to participate. Most of these messages were brought by fellow inmates who are pillars in our church was focused in raising up Christian men as leaders. The last two weeks I shared the first two blog posts of this special time which you can read by clicking on the links on the bottom of this post. This is the third blog post in the series of three blog posts that I am sharing with you about this event.
After dinner and 8 different but appropriate messages on Christian Leadership the men still didn’t seem tired as they stood clapping their hands singing out “He has made glad, He has made me glad I will rejoice for He has made me glad.” Once they had sang several songs of worship our next speaker a local pastor and regular prison volunteer began sharing the message that God had put on his heart. With tears in his eyes he began encouraged the men to continue in their walks with Christ. He acknowledged that the Holy Spirit was present in the chapel and how touched he had been by the worship that had been happening among the guys in the chapel. As he began his message that was titled “Worship” he said, “Men, God is the author and finisher of your faith, don’t ever lose hope, don’t give in. You are a worshiper, you have purpose, and a true worshiper is a servant. A worshiper is also a listener! A servant listens and obeys but doesn’t talk. Brothers we need to be devout listeners, sit down on your bunk and listen, kneel down in the chapel and listen. What is God telling you? Sometimes the quietest moments in our lives are the loudest. Are we after God? Are we watching our heavenly Father? We are sons and we need to be humble and bow our attitude so we can do the will of God. He then transitioned from the life of a worshiper to the service of the worshiper. He asked, “Are we baring fruit in the kingdom? We as worshipers and servants of God should be planting into people. You can plant a corn field and you will reap a harvest in that year, you can plant a pecan tree and you will harvest for years, but you can plant into a life and reap for eternity. Plant in the lives that are around you! In closing he challenged the men by saying, “True worshipers are imitators of God. We need to behold God! Brothers there is nothing in your flesh that can worship God, you cannot worship God by yourself you need God; you need to crucify that flesh and allow the Holy Spirit inside you reign. God is looking for true worshipers, worshipers who are focused on Him!” Will you be the worshiper that God has created you to be? Walking away from the pulpit he led an applause for what God was doing in their midst. During the applause one of the men burst out in worship to the Lord and the others joined him. In that moment you could feel the presence of the Lord so greatly that it felt as if you could reach out and touch Him.
Our last speaker for the day began his time with much energy! Walking around the room he embraced the other men and praising God! Charging up the room after a long day he shouted out, “We are all on a team, we are on team Jesus!” Using sports illustrations of teamwork he began the message the last message of the night titled “Teamwork.” He challenged the men by saying, “We are all part of the kingdom, we are all on a team! You don’t need a certain education level to be on this team, you don’t need certain endorsements to be on King Jesus’s team. If you are saved you are on His team. We need all of you, every one of you, each of you have something to offer! In football friends you cannot get a Championship without a team. We cannot do it one on one it is time that we develop partnerships in ministry; it is time for the lone rangers to get in relationships with other believers.” He had the men in their Bibles showing them how teamwork has been effective in the past for the spread of the Gospel. He challenged the men to get involved in the spread of the Gospel inside the prison camp. In closing he left them with these words, “Give yourselves up for God, join the team, pray together, let’s go out into this camp as a team and see God change this place for His glory. Let’s have ABC and NBC come up here not to report another murder but what God is doing in this church.” As he closed out all 28 men in the chapel began shouting “Real men serve God, real men serve God!” This concluded our first ever Leadership Seminar! But I can assure you this will not be the last!
Thank you for reading these posts and I pray that you may be challenged by these words which were mostly spoken by men who were once known as murders, robbers, rapists, but now are known as faithful ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.