A Shining Light in Dark Places
In the United States, over two million people are currently serving time behind bars 1. These inmates are struggling with guilt, fear, loneliness, and the temptation to return to a life of crime. Their need for the gospel is staggering, yet a high percentage of these men and women have never heard the truth of God’s saving grace.
Unfortunately, finding trustworthy discipleship resources within prison walls is a challenge, to say the least. Much of the material that is available is neither biblically rooted nor theologically sound. Inmates are exposed to a wide array of false teachers, cult leaders, and self-help gurus—none of which point them to the One who saves. What they need is the life-transforming power of God’s Word, along with the guidance of faithful pastors and teachers.
By God’s grace and through the generous support of donors, Ligonier Ministries strives to reach these prisoners and shine the light of the gospel in dark places.
First, Ligonier connects chaplains and prison ministers with sound biblical and theological resources to help inmates rebuild their lives on the solid foundation of Scripture.
We currently support more than fifty chaplains and prison ministers by:
- Publishing the Reformation Study Bible in an affordable paperback format compliant with most correctional facility standards. These are made available for only $9.00 each at any quantity.
- Supplying bulk subscriptions to our monthly devotional magazine, Tabletalk, at just $1 per issue and donating past issues.
- Offering 50% off video teaching series and all Reformation Trust books and 30% off other resources.
Second, Ligonier supports inmates by responding to letters every day, answering biblical and theological questions, and distributing resources to aid their spiritual growth.
We currently help serve 387 male correctional facilities, 111 female correctional facilities, and two juvenile facilities. Over the past six months, we have:
- Responded to over thirty-three hundred inmates seeking aid.
- Supplied over fifteen hundred paperback Reformation Study Bibles.
- Distributed over six hundred discipleship resources, such as Tabletalk subscriptions, Crucial Questions booklets, books, and video teaching series.
Finally, since 2012 Ligonier has partnered with Metanoia Prison Ministries to provide the means for inmates to pursue theological education through correspondence courses.
These free non-degree courses are tailored specifically to inmates. Taught from a distinctly Reformed perspective, the material is designed to walk students through the basics of the faith all the way up to advanced study. Each student works with a personal instructor who grades his or her coursework and provides helpful feedback.
Though behind bars, many inmates can attest that the truth of the gospel has set them free:
“I’ve learned so much valuable information from Dr. R.C. Sproul. This has greatly increased my faith and understanding of my position in Christ Jesus. I don’t need to tell you that good teaching is in very short supply today, especially here in prison. May the grace of God continue to rain down on your ministry and the teaching of sound biblical doctrine that this world so desperately needs.”
“I am an inmate who has been richly blessed by your ministry through a subscription to Tabletalk and the books that have been sent. I do not count it lightly that you are able to provide these complimentary resources through your ministry. They are greatly appreciated and truly help me grow closer to the Lord in what I am learning and am able to apply to my life, as well as in discipling others.”
“I am so blessed to have received the Reformation Study Bible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The information that is provided helps me to gain a clearer understanding of things, as well as initiated a new desire for reading the Bible and understanding its truths.”
“I am currently incarcerated and would like one of the Reformation Study Bibles. I’ve seen some of the other ladies here with them. I love what you do for us, I think it’s amazing. I really thank you for not forgetting us women in these types of situations.”
“This is a most sincere thank you for donations made to the male inmates/offenders of the Farmington Correctional Center A-Chapel in Farmington, Missouri. We have received a number of Bibles, audio programs, and teaching series by Dr. R.C. Sproul. We are very appreciative of your gift of these materials. They have only been in circulation here for a short time but have received a considerable amount of interest and are in steady demand. Many men have been blessed by the teachings your ministry has provided.”
—Chaplain Mark Wilkinson, Missouri
Will you prayerfully consider supporting these efforts through your financial gifts and prayers? Many prisoners are hungry for the gospel, but resources remain scarce. You can help provide spiritual nourishment to the people who need it most. It is a privilege to serve “the least of these” to the glory of God (Matt. 25:40).
A donation of $50 will reach five inmates with much-needed gospel teaching resources. $100 will reach ten inmates. Thank you for joining with us and making this outreach possible.
Questions? Please contact our Prison Outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-333-4244 ext. 1207.
1 See https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2018.html as of Mar. 8, 2019.