Remember the One
When my wife Audrey and I first started teaching The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) classes in prisons, we were really concerned with how we were going to reach all these people. How do we bring this material to everybody? About two years into the ministry dealing with policies and prison politics, we got overwhelmed and burned out. When we talked it over we realized we were approaching it wrong—we needed to do it for the one.
So we went back with the mentality that we were going to teach one guy, touch one life, transform one individual. Through that process, it has blessed multitudes! That philosophy is what we stick to when we start to feel stressed or burned out: remember the one.
When you start to understand the individual, you see a variety of characteristics when they act out. Where loved stopped in their life is where they stopped growing. So we can go in and love them where they’re at and mentor their relationship with Christ. We can show them what real love looks like—that disagreements happen and we don’t always get along. We’re real with them, we don’t hide our problems from them. We ask for prayer from them when we struggle, but we show them that we push past it.
When you can nurture that point of love, it starts new growth in them. We see men become leaders.