A Look Inside a Kairos Prison Ministry Weekend

Hi, I am Glenn Rannick. I have been a member of GFC and a part of the Kairos Inside Prison Ministry since 2007. Kairos is very thankful for the support it continues to receive from GFC and it’s congregation. GFC supports Kairos financially, but the real impact on the ministry from GFC are the prayers, and the congregation’s loving response when we ask for home baked cookies, twice a year. This fall, after a 3 year lay-off due to Covid, GFC members responded with 425 dz home baked cookies. Thank you!

I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you the ministry. First, what is Kairos Inside, where does it operate, it’s mission, etc:  

Kairos Inside is an international ministry whose mission is to develop a Christian community inside prisons. Kairos Prison Ministry
serves nearly 500 prisons and communities in 37 states and 9 countries.

The Kairos Inside program brings positive and negative leaders together, in institutions, for a 3 ½ day weekend led by Kairos volunteers.

The Weekend is based on:
• A series of talks,
• Discussions,
• Chapel meditations, and
• Creating a Christian community.

For many participants, the Kairos Weekend creates the desire to become a Christian, and for others the desire to continue his/her spiritual growth. 

Locally, Kairos has been been ministering at NorthEast Correctional Complex (NECX) in Mountain City, Tn, since 1999. GFC has supported the local Kairos Ministry since its local inception. 

Oct 6-9, 2022, was the 40th Kairos Inside program at NECX. On this weekend there were 42 Residents participating, and 29 volunteers. Here are highlights of the weekend:

  • 3 gang leaders were positively impacted by the weekend which should bring more peace to the prison …. they are influencers.
  • Many men proclaimed new desires to have Jesus in their lives
  • One resident stated: Men in prison always try to be tough, crying in prison is not cool!  I came for the food but found the spiritual food to be much much better.  The Prayer Room is the best spiritual experience I’ve ever had.   Now, we need to be a light to everyone here
  • One man stabbed 12 times in his head and neck and left for dead last June, found love and friendship on the Kairos weekend
  • One stated: There are not enough fences, locks and doors to stop Jesus!
  • One stated: I’ve been here 22 years and never had an experience like this
  • One stated: God, I pray for the Kairos program to grow at NECX and help many more inmates here.

I’d like to share with you some additional comments from the Residents (inmates) after participating in the weekend during the closing ceremony. They clearly demonstrate the impact the program has had for 20 years. At closing the Residents are asked to answer the following 3 questions:

  1. In what condition did you arrive on Thursday night?
  2. What did you find during the weekend?
  3. What will you take back in everyday life?

 Their responses:

 In what condition did you arrive on Thursday night:

  • Closed up, mixed feelings – mostly negative
  • Hardly hanging on
  • Distant not genuine, not much on church or family
  • Questioning
  • Spiritually weak
  • Didn’t know what to think
  • Wasn’t thinking about God
  • Standing still
  • Considering Suicide
  • I couldn’t be real
  • Alone
  • My spirit was filled with water

What did you find during the weekend?

  • Unconditional Love
  • Faith
  • Glory to God
  • Connections to others
  • Awesome weekend – God definitely showed up
  • Awesome Food and Cookies
  • Wonderful experience
  • Learned how to forgive ourselves
  • New Friendship, hope, peace, love, wisdom
  • Love and encouragement
  • Relief
  • Came for cookies, got so much more
  • Much more thinking about God
  • Sickness and pain in the prayer room which turned into a changed life
  • Kairos answered my questions
  • But God, But God, But God
  • Very good day, no, it was a wonderful day
  • Happiness, peace
  • Love of Christ we’ll take to the compound
  • New brothers in Christ
  • Love, friendship and fellowship

What will you take back in everyday life

  • Sharing the experience with others
  • Hope and bring the love of Jesus
  • We need to share the love of Christ on the yard
  • Love the experience – share with others
  • Reach out to others
  • Take love back to others
  • New attention for hope and love
  • Get rid of negativity
  • We need to put on the armor of God
  • Everything will be OK – nothing happens by accident
  • Christ changes life

What a weekend! What a ministry! What a God we serve! 

Our next 3 1/2 day weekend at NECX will be in the spring, probably in April. We are excited about the continuing, outpouring of God’s love at NECX. 

Glenn Rannick

Kairos Inside does not stop with the 2 weekends a year. We continue to go to NECX weekly, spreading God’s love, meeting with Residents from 6:30 – 8 pm. It’s important to maintain an ongoing connection to the men ongoing.

If you would like to explore being a member of the Kairos team, don’t hesitate to contact me at: glennrannick@yahoo.com. I’d love to talk to you about Kairos, and it’s impact not only on the Residents, but also on you.

 “…I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:36)