Guest Post By Burton Sharpe, FCF minister

About a year ago, the chaplain of the Federal Detention Center near Seattle, Washington, asked me to be a part of a new program created by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Its purpose was to prepare inmates who are about to be released into civilian life to make a successful transition. I agreed, and the results have blessed both the inmates and me tremendously.

Recently, I decided to do a series of teachings on "Renewing the Mind.” This is obviously a very relevant subject for inmates who are about to be sent back, in many cases, into the same environments that contributed to their problems. This is a teaching that I have done many times over the years, but this time it just seemed dry and unexciting. This disturbed me, so I rolled this issue onto Him, and guess what? He established my thoughts and gave me a new perspective on this important subject which I would like to share with you.

As I now understand it, the origin for the need to renew the mind is found in Genesis 3:22: "Then the Lord God said 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever' —therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken."


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Why Relational Discipleship Has Become My Priority

I’d rather invest in a few emerging leaders than preach to crowds of thousands. Here’s why.

Once when I was traveling in India a pastor made a tempting proposal. “If you come to our city, we will stage a big evangelistic campaign and invite thousands,” he said. “You can preach to all of them.” This man assumed I would be intrigued. After all, I could take photos of the big crowds and use them to brag later about how many people made decisions for Christ.

I didn’t accept the offer. Instead I gave the man a second option. “Let me spend three days with a small group of pastors,” I said. “Let me encourage them, and then they can go out and preach at the big meetings. They will do a much better job than I could.”


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