God at work behind prison walls

Sunday, August 24, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

On August 16, my youngest son, Jonathan, and I had the opportunity to travel with Pastor William Bumphus and his team to Danville Kentucky for an outreach at Northpoint Prison. Bringing video cameras into the prison was a rare privilege that required special permission by the Warden, against the wishes of others in the institution.

We produced this video to share a little of the experience of watching God move behind prison walls. More than 70% of men now incarcerated will be released within a few years. Of those released, more than half will be re-incarcerated (recidivism). As believers, we know that it is only the power of God that breaks this cycle through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Men who are born again and live according to the Word not only cease committing crimes, but become powerful agents of change and salvation for others.

In this video, you will see men who have been delivered from crime reaching back to share their testimonies with other men. This cycle of ministries presenting Jesus to offenders who get saved, and then reach out to others, is doing more to save lives and reduce recidivism than any other factor, in my view.

I encourage you to pray for and support my friend, Pastor William Bumphus and the "Jesus House" discipleship and aftercare program. Jesus Inside Prison Ministry operates this program at their 40+ bed facility here in Indy.

You might consider obtaining one or more high quality DVDs to view and share with your church or group. A High Definition Blu-Ray compatible DVD is also available.

Click here to visit the JIPM website and view this remarkable video.
(Note: Signed releases are on file for inmates clearly shown in this video. This video may be updated as needed.)


Is God's Church Segregated?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Recently, I read a story about so-called segregation among churches. I use the term "so-called" because we have a tendency to impose our historical ignorance and political correctness on God's church. An all-black congregation in the inner city, an all-white congregation in the suburbs or a neighborhood Korean church are not necessarily segregated.

The word "segregation" has a very specific meaning in our nation's history. It is a loaded term that should be used mainly within the context of that history.

I consider it unhelpful to use terms such as "black," "white" or "interracial/multiracial" church, though we use these labels anyway. An interracial church is no better than a white or black church. We are simply "Jesus' Church."

We don't have racial segregation in churches today unless bigots lead those congregations. We have people who choose to worship God in a manner that reflects their preference and needs. God permits people to worship distinctively, including the distinctiveness of blended styles or in pursuing a "melting pot" strategy. Some black folks prefer to join a stoic mostly white congregation. Some white folks enjoy the excitement of a high-energy African-American-led church. Some blacks think it's not possible to "have church" in 45 minutes, while some whites couldn't imagine being in a two-hour-long service. These scenarios multiply when considering other factors and ethnicities.

There are those who will see racism in this mix, but it is mostly about preference. That said, we all need to get out of our comfort zones to work with and spend time among various cultures. If you are unwilling to do this, you might need to check your prejudice level.

Churches should adopt the model of Jesus, who said, "Whosoever will, let him come."