Relational Ministry → Small Groups → Disciplined Lives
Yokefellowship Prison Ministry is a relational ministry where Christian men and women meet weekly with inmates or returning citizens who are searching for a better way of life. Our mission is to help inmates and returning citizens “yoke themselves to Christ for salvation and changed lives,” – Salvation and sanctification! We do this through small group discussions and teaching and encouraging participants to lead disciplined lives.
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.”
— Harry Truman
The Essence of Yokefellows
YPM’s focus is in three areas, commonly known as the three dimensions, or “essence” of Yokefellows:
- Caring fellowship — It is the group leader’s responsibility to create a warm, accepting and caring atmosphere where persons feel comfortable and free to participate. Participants get to know each other, reach out and care for each other, share and receiving the love that Christ has shown us, being vulnerable and open, trusting as trust is gained and being trustworthy to others. Without this caring atmosphere, the group is little more than a glorified discussion group.
- Disciplined Living — Participants are challenged to exercise their discipleship by seven basic disciplines – prayer, scripture, worship, money, service, witness, and study. These disciplines are the classic disciplines of the Christian faith.
- Intentional Ministry — Participants are encouraged to make every aspect of their lives an arena in which they can interpret and apply the ways of the Lord. Participants help identify and implement individual’s ministries, encourage each other, help each other discern our ministry, and speak the truth in love if someone thinks they are called but are not gifted in that area.
Yokefellow groups have ministered to me in my deepest needs, affirmed me when experiencing self-doubt, and challenged me when I have become apathetic. None of those groups were perfect. They were groups of ordinary persons giving themselves as they were able to the common journey of Christian Discipleship. God used our imperfections, and I have been perfected, a work still in progress.
— Larry Coleman, longtime YPM volunteer and current Executive Director
The Marks of a Yokefellow
The are five traditional “Marks of a Yokefellow.” They are:
- The reality of Commitment.
- The acceptance of a Discipline.
- The bearing of a Witness
- The participation in a Ministry.
- The sharing of a deep Fellowship.
These marks make it clear that the people involved in the fellowship have joined together voluntarily for the promotion of a vital Christianity. See Marks of a Yokefellow