I:58 Discipleship Behind the Fences

“This class is really helping me,” said Daveon. “Memorizing Scripture and learning how to meditate on it is equipping me in my walk with Christ.” Daveon is one of six inmates at Joseph Harp Corrections Center in Lexington, OK who meet weekly with Navigator Staff Doug Wendel for a discipleship class called Every Man A Warrior (EMAW). Doug ministers to inmates inside Lexington Corrections Center and Joseph Harp Corrections Center — both in Lexington, Oklahoma. He shares the gospel with inmates at Lexington Assessment & Reception Center (the state facility for all incoming male inmates), and uses the Authentic Manhood DVD series, and the Every Man A Warrior study to disciple men in these facilities.

Doug is married to Karen and has been on Navigator staff since 1990. He has ministered among military personnel, American college students, international students, and prison inmates. “Prison is a place of ministry I feel passionate about and we need more Navigator laborers amongst this broken part of our world. As Navigators, we offer a unique and much needed discipleship ministry that no one else is bringing into prisons (perhaps Prison Fellowship is closest).” The men Doug ministers to meet every Tuesday afternoon for an hour and a half. They start their time reviewing verses they memorize for the class. During the ten month curriculum, they will memorize 26 verses that correspond to the topical lessons.

Then, they spend a few minutes sharing a Quiet Time they have recorded in their workbook. Each man is required to have three Quiet Times per week. The last hour of the class is used going over the topical lesson from the week that the men prepare ahead of time. In Book One (“Walking With God), the men learn how to have a daily Quiet Time, memorize and meditate on Scripture, and begin to pray using the WAR method (Worship, Admit, Request). Books Two and Three deal with issues men will experience in life — marriage, raising children, money, sex, work, hard times, and investing in the lives of other men. This is Doug’s seventh EMAW class at Joseph Harp. Three men (Scott, Henry, and Jerry) from previous classes continue in the class as co-leaders.

These three men are valuable models to the rest of the class in practicing spiritual disciplines. Also because they see the men in the class daily, they are able to encourage them along in their walks with Christ.

Jesus’ call to make His disciples in all nations extends even to hard places like prisons, and with God, His willing laborers, and His Word, that call will be fulfilled.

Article By: Doug Wendel Used with permission.