Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together (April 2019)
In the 70s there was an ad where someone eating chocolate bumped into someone eating peanut butter. One would complain: “You got peanut butter on my chocolate” and, the other, “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” As they cautiously tried the strange new combination, music broke out to the slogan: “Two great tastes that taste great together… Reese's Peanut Butter Cups…”
I was reminded of this recently at the Christian Leadership Alliance conference, as I was talking with one our Houston colleagues, Rickie Bradshaw. He said, “Don, there are two unmistakable movements of God in America today. One is the revival breaking out in America’s prisons, and the second is God’s hand in sending the nations to America.”
The way Rickie expressed this was striking to me. At that moment, I become more convinced of the role we play in the Kingdom: bringing the realms of prison and mission together.
People in prison ministry don’t often think about a linkage to world mission. If they can help prisoners become good citizens, that’s enough. We tell them they need to raise the bar--that prisons can be turned from a mission field to a mission force; a source of workers for the Great Commission.
On the other hand, people in overseas mission are not thinking about prison as a source of qualified spiritual laborers.
Our job is to help make these two worlds collide; helping others discover two great tastes that taste great together; i.e. connecting the supply of qualified spiritual workers from prisons to the demand for laborers for the harvest who then reach international students, diplomats, business people, immigrants, and refugees living in our cities.
This month we had several opportunities to make this connection: a breakout group at a Minneapolis forum on reaching the diaspora; a meeting with the First Presbyterian Bakersfield missions committee; and a day with the senior pastor and mission staff at Atascadero Bible Church, exploring ways to replicate their approach to missions with other churches nationally.
And one last happy announcement: Mary Flin is joining the board of Completion Global. Mary oversees an excellent leadership training program in Topeka KS and a ministry to nearly 100 prisoners. Her vision to expand our Onesimus re-entry training to every county in Kansas is evidence of her energetic and innovative vision.
Please pray for us as we continue to make connections that work well together.