Kairos Inside: Volunteering inside prisons
The goals of the Kairos Inside program are:
> To change hearts and transform lives by sharing God's love, grace and mercy with those who feel forgotten.
> To encourage involvement in small groups where participants can be uplifted and loved.
> To provide continuing mentoring for discipleship to those who are new in Christ.
> To minister to prison employees as well as the incarcerated.
> To support the prison chaplain.
Kairos is the ecumenical, prison-specific part of the worldwide "Fourth Day" movement which includes such programs as Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, Tres Dias, etc.
The Kairos Inside program begins with the three-day Kairos retreat (often a weekend) which brings together screened and trained Kairos volunteers with residents of the institution. Men serve in men's prisons and women in women's institutions. The retreat program leads, step by step, through a series of talks and activities, each day's program building on the previous day.
The Team returns to the institution as soon as possible to teach the newest members of the Kairos Inside Community how to form "Prayer and Share Groups." This fellowship is at the heart of Kairos movement. The goal is to build a Christian community inside the Institution. Prayer and Share Groups provide an opportunity for the Kairos Inside community to nurture each other in their faith walk and hold each other accountable through prayer and fellowship.
Participants provide leadership for monthly Reunions, which also include Kairos volunteers. Three or more participants are selected to share how Jesus is working in their lives. This gathering creates an environment for self-expression and leadership.
God continues His work of changing hearts and transforming lives as the participants strengthen their relationship with Christ and with each other. They grow in their understanding that, with God’s help, a changed way of life is possible. As transformation continues, new attitudes are expressed in changed behavior.
Soon they are impacting the world in which they live—inside the prison walls or outside upon their release.