For this reason you must obey the authorities – not just because of God’s
punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.
As Christians, we know that we have an obligation to obedience. We learn
that we can set ourselves aside. We don’t always have to be right – We don’t
always have to have the last word – We don’t always have to be in charge.
What we know is that we need to humbly acknowledge those in authority.
That is especially true in a prison setting. Kairos serves within a prison at the
invitation of the prison chaplain and warden. Security is important to them –
and there are many rules that are designed to help ensure proper security.
Yes, some rules seem petty. Some seem unnecessary. But the rules are there,
and we need to acknowledge the authority of the warden to make the rules,
and we must follow the rules or risk having Kairos restricted from the prison!
All vehicles in parking lot must be secured (locked, windows up)
No tobacco products on the premises
No weapons on the premises
No short skirts or tight or revealing clothing
No shirts with “advertising” or messages
Shirts with collars (no T-shirts)
No purses or billfolds
No (or little) money
No chewing gum or magnets
Cannot bring in any materials that you plan on giving to the residents
Books, magazines must be mailed directly from a book store
or publisher, not from an individual
Do not smuggle anything into, or out of prison
You may not be on the visitor’s list of any resident
No metal or glass objects allowed
Do not give, or accept anything from a resident ANYTHING!
Do not purchase anything from a resident
Do not pass messages from a resident to others on the outside
Do not mail letters or packages for a resident
Religious materials must come through the chaplain
Do not give residents money
Do not get involved with a resident’s family
Do not pry into a resident’s life of crime
Do not join in a resident’s criticism of authorities
Do not defend a resident’s crime or their failures
Avoid involvement in a resident’s legal matters
Treat residents, officers and staff with respect and love
Encourage healthy attitudes and behavior
Be honest with residents, while guarding your own privacy
Avoid any appearance of romantic interest – never be alone in the same room
Evidence of serious misconduct should be reported to a staff member
Avoid telling jokes (they quickly get out of hand)
Recognize your limitations,
acknowledging that with God’s help you can make a difference
Be sincere in reaching out to residents
Glorify God in all things
Listen and care
Appreciate officers’ responsibilities
Present God’s love, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance
Present God’s holiness and your capacity to relate to God
Present the need for discipleship and how it disciplines your daily conduct
Avoid suggesting a cheap form of grace:
As though it doesn’t matter how one conducts themselves since God forgives
As though spiritual vitality were indicated by emotional display
As though exercise of a particular gift were the ultimate in religious experience
Avoid putting down the theological concepts or practices of others
Say everything in the love of Christ
Seek answers in the Bible when offering guidance
What is God saying to me through this Word?
When do I have trouble being obedient? Do I recognize my triggers to rebel against authority?
Prayer Focus: Prison wardens, correctional officers and role models.
The challenge we all face is how to show honor and respect for the authority around us and over us in the different spheres of influence we operate in, regardless of our role.
When we can accept that God is truly Sovereign and has put all authority in place, we are honoring God, the position of authority as well as the person. They are Gods' instrument, in spite of our opinion of them as a person or their abilities.
One of the best examples in the Holy Bible of honoring authority is the way David honored King Saul. David has already been anointed by Samuel as king, yet Saul is still the reigning king over the 12 tribes of Israel. 1 Samuel, Chapters 15-31 tells the story and gives us excellent examples for what to do and what not to do, even in our world today.