God Squad volunteers go where inmates live — they walk the tiers, ministering to individuals and groups in cell blocks and dayrooms, as well as chapels. They deal with live situations. It's the real world, and they are in the thick of things — going INSIDE where others are doing all they can to get OUT! Jesus stressed the importance of prison ministry as a vital work of His Kingdom, a necessary element in his plan of forgiveness and regeneration (Matthew 25:36). In chapel services, Bible discussion groups, seminars, printed Bible studies and one-on-one meetings, God Squad volunteers help correctional chaplains disciple Christian inmates to follow Jesus Christ.
- Discipled inmates serve as His ambassadors in winning others.
- Convicts grow in faith while serving time, developing useful missionary skills.
- Criminals find new meaning and direction for their lives.
- Adopting new values, they return to the streets with renewed hope through a deeper and more personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Many become useful citizens, fathers and businessmen — even pastors.
- Some return as volunteers to help others in the same dark places from which they came.
Direct Ministry to Prisoners
Believing that the Great Commission is Christ's direct command to all believers, God Squad members are trained to bring the Gospel of Christ into "prison darkness."
Through teaching, preaching and sharing of faith, we seek to build disciples "inside the walls" who can carry on the work of evangelism among fellow prisoners. Our best contribution, as members of the community, is working with offenders of all ages, helping them relate to their Creator (and to their fellow man) as responsible citizens.
Goal of the God Squad
We seek to draw attention to Jesus Christ, to His person, and to His life and teachings as revealed in the Holy Bible. We arouse the spiritual interest, instruct in basic truths of salvation, give practical instruction in Christian living and ministry, help the growing disciple understand and relate to the eternal Word of God, and develop discipleship skills in leading others.
The name "God Squad" was first given to our volunteers by the staff at Juvenile Hall in Alameda County, California. The young people liked the name, and so it has remained. Today our volunteers in adult and juvenile facilities are called "GOD SQUAD."
Most jail chaplains and pastors are overworked in their specialized ministries. The God Squad assists by multiplying chaplains' efforts to meet the needs of prisoners. This help includes religious services, seminars, Bible studies, special programs (music, testimony, etc.) and being available for spiritual counsel with groups and individuals. God Squad volunteers have earned the reputation as people who love others, who care, and who understand.
Selection and Training
Prison ministry requires that volunteers be carefully selected, trained and supervised. Trainees are selected on the basis of availability, Christian maturity, and ministry needs. We seek to maintain ethnic and denominational diversity among our members. Applicants are screened through the God Squad Orientation process, and again as they are cleared through local, state and federal correctional agencies.
Formal training includes two seminars: the God Squad Orientation and God Squad Advanced, with final examinations, Bible studies, and personal testimonies. Practical on-the-job training takes place under the personal supervision of a seasoned God Squad worker (if available), or the local chaplain. A minimum 30-day internship period is recommended before assignment to a specific area of ministry.
God Squad training is designed to help each trainee to better serve and glorify God. This objective is best served when individuals have an accurate overview of God's creation act and of man's sin, as explained in Scripture. This act, which we call "redemption," takes on the scope of God's total involvement in the whole life of man. There is the moment of re-birth, of growth in Christ and continuing relationship with God, reaching from daily life into eternal presence with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. In trying to explain this, the church through the ages has emphasized one doctrine or another, developing the various denominations and sects in the process.
God Squad Policy on Doctrines
Follow Up Ministries seeks to minimize these differences in the early stages of working with a new believer. By grounding the individual in Bible study first, we can trust the Holy Spirit to direct the life of the new believer into that particular church fellowship which is best for his or her further spiritual growth.
God Squad Orientation
- Understanding God's Purpose
- The Complete Person
- Introducing Others to Christ
- Basics of Christian Living
- Steps to Spiritual Maturity
- Christ in the Personality
God Squad Advanced
- Spiritual Warfare
- Productive Christian Living
- God's Word in My Heart
- Knowing God's Will
- Follow Up
God Squad "Outpost" Ministry
The Pony Express rider carried the mail to distant outposts. His faithfulness in the midst of hardship gives us a model and encouragement as the people of Jesus Christ —to carry His message of love to "outposts" in a dry and spiritually barren land.
We who walk in Jesus' footprints — into local jails, juvenile halls and penitentiaries — are pioneers of a different sort. As ambassadors of Christ, we carry out the mandates of Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 6:1, to carry out His Great Commission and to be "workers together" for Him.
Many of us are privileged to work together in teams — the God Squad of Follow Up Ministries, Inc. Our home turf is Alameda County in Northern California, on the east shore of San Francisco Bay. Bible studies, worship services, prison seminars, one-on-one disciple-making: this is the nurture that is carried on inside prison walls by hundreds of volunteers.
Since 1970, some 1,500 Christians have received this specialized volunteer orientation. A twelve-hour course is conducted quarterly in Alameda County, and elsewhere as the need arises. We have volunteers serving throughout California, and in Arizona, Texas and Ecuador. Until now, limited resources have prevented us from presenting this God Squad Orientation to individuals in distant areas.
Under a new "Outpost" program, this specialized jail training is available to qualified Christians "wherever the Pony goes." Thus Christians in distant areas can take the Orientation "by pony express" —that is, by mail. This pioneering effort provides unique training for God's people who — although scattered geographically — are united by their faith in Jesus Christ and by the conviction that God wants them to minister to the incarcerated.
As a qualified volunteer — trained, and with practical experience working with an actual prison chaplain — you can make a real difference in the lives of prisoners near your home. Your home itself can become an "Outpost" — a vital link in a chain of Christian love and prison service which may one day encircle the globe.
Our commitment to you — as a volunteer — is to equip you, to pray for you, to encourage you, and to have fellowship with you as we are able.
Qualify for Advanced Training
You may become qualified for our Advanced God Squad training, and perhaps be part of weekend "Prison Seminar Teams" serving in your area. You will learn about the art of prison discipleship from one who has developed useful skills in over 40 years of hands-on jail ministry.
In time, you may be invited to help in a leadership role, as others in your area enter the program.
Unique Focus on Disciple-making
You will find yourself part of a unique, Spirit-led group of volunteers and professionals. It is a group that stresses "disciple-making" — the development of prisoners themselves to minister to their fellow prisoners — raising up missionaries "inside" to carry on the work of evangelism and disciple-making in their respective living units.
The Follow Up Ministries "God Squad Orientation" course is recognized by chaplains and prison officials in many places. It's teachings are Bible-based and evangelical in scope. It's graduates are encouraged to focus on the basics of faith and Christian life, leaving sectarian doctrines to the teaching of local churches.