Faithfulness, the definition of this word and its application on prison ministry is so much more relevant than ever before. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faithfulness as “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty”.
Jesus concludes a parable in Matthew 25:23 with these words: “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”
Ministry to prisoners across the globe has been shaken to its very core by the strange developments since 2020. The chapel at Chester County Prison, just like in all other prisons, is not in use, and approved religious volunteers who have been serving for decades are not allowed access. This is unprecedented…a word that is sadly used far too often to describe the days we’re living in.
We’re hearing reports of prison volunteers “moving on,” of dwindling financial support and hardly any invitations to speak in Sunday services. Does this also impact prayer support and “visiting those in prison” with sympathy, compassion, love, and notes of support? This is a frightening realization…we as chaplains could be on our own!
But, God forbid, we as Onesimus Ministry volunteers and supporters should fall into this trap of being unfaithful when the “winds of time are contrary,” as happened in Matthew 14:24.
Whether you’re a chaplain, a prison volunteer or “only” a supporter of prison ministry, now is the time to display impeccable “faithfulness” over the few things for which our Master made us responsible. What are these few things Jesus Christ expects from you regarding ministry to those incarcerated?
Have you been, or rather, are you faithful “over these few things”?