Compassion21's ministry to the incarcerated was started in 2006 and organized as "The Least: A Ministry of Compassion." In 2014, the two ministries merged and Compassion21 began its efforts to reach the men who had fallen through the cracks of the inner cities and were incarcerated. 

The main focus of this ministry is maintaining the Chaplaincy at Red Eagle Work Center, a minimum security prison located just a few miles from Compassion21's offices. Ministry to the Incarcerated also develops and conducts ongoing workshops and small-group programs in all of the prisons of central Alabama. 

Chap Noles has over 25 years experience in ministry to the incarcerated, the addicted, and those in transition. His passion is to help men become successful not only in their walk with Christ, but in every area of life. He is quick to express that he doesn't "fix" people or "straighten people out," but with willingness on the part of the participants, Chap challenges these men to grow into the men that God intended them to be. 

As Christians we are called to love. To radically and simply love Christ and love people. 1 John 4:20-21 says if anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.

Call 334.269.1992 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on any of our community activities.

 

Ken Kilpatrick, Executive Director

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334.260.4985


Melanah Poole, Office Manager

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334.269.1992

 

Physical Address:

For directions to our offices please call the Phone number below.

(P) 334.269.1992

(F) 334.269.9961


Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 156

Montgomery, AL 36101



 

Three Distinct Elements Of Disciple Making Part I - March 25, 2014

The lesson this month in some ways is a continuation of last month’s blog as it, too, deals with a lesson I have learned about disciple making. When you break disciple making down as a process, we quickly discovered three distinct elements: sowing, reaping and equipping.

Jesus alludes to two of these elements as He was equipping His disciples to expand their view of the harvest field. In John 4:35–38, He says, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.’

Notice Jesus says, “One sows and another reaps.” Our tendency is to think the same person does the sowing and reaping. While this sometime occurs, more often than not, it involves different people. Early on, I discovered that God’s gifting manifested itself in individuals who were gifted in either sowing or reaping. We have tried to design our various programs and ministries around these two key elements. Some Christians naturally are excellent at sowing. They faithfully show the lost Jesus by their good works whether it be sitting with a child on the bus or van, teaching at a Learning Center, delivering food or visiting a sick person. These good deeds in various forms are sowing the seeds of God’s love in the hearts of those who experienced them. These seeds of kindness grow in the hearts of the lost and if the heart is good soil if becomes a harvest for those who later will come and do the reaping.

Other believers are gifted at harvesting. They serve on the evangelism team or as individuals who share their faith to those whose hearts have been prepared by good deeds. They open the scriptures and lead these prepared hearts to a point of decision where they can choose to make Jesus their Lord and Saviour. Notice Jesus’ words in John 4:38 “ I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” The sower and the reaper are not the same person. This sometimes presents a challenge as Satan often in a ploy to hinder Kingdom work will cause the sower or reaper to feel that their gifting is superior. The reality is a person can be a great sower of good deeds but if no one is there to reap the harvest, the harvest is wasted. On the other hand, the reapers will not have a harvest to reap if someone has not been sowing seeds of kindness. Both the sower and reaper are essential to having a great harvest.
In part two of this month’s blog, we will discuss the essential element of equipping.

Ken


 


Three Distinct Elements of Disciple Making Part II - April 18, 2014

In my last blog we discussed the key essential discipling elements of sowing and reaping. This month we will discuss the essential element of equipping. It is my personal belief that equipping disciples is one of the most critical needs in the Kingdom today. My prayer is that lessons learned in these past twenty years will better equip me to better equip other believers during the next twenty years. My plan is to make this a major emphasis of my life.

This past week was another reality check for me. Two young me who made a commitment to Christ several years ago was charged with capital murder and robbery. The fact is, over a twenty year period of time we have seen a disciple convicted of being a serial rapist, one convicted of attempted murder and robbery and another waiting to stand trial for statutory rape. I have preached the funeral of a dear brother and friend who over dosed. We have had another believer who died of AIDS. While faithful believers of this work far outnumbers those who have let Satan continue to rule in their lives, I personally hate seeing Satan having his way with anyone, especially those who at some point choose to follow Jesus Christ.

I know that while some will quickly judge our work and my openness of admitting we lose some, the reality is we are trying to reach some of the most hard core outcasts in our city. The temptation is to say, “Oh well, we tried!”, but that rings hollow with me. As a former shepherd of some of these precious souls I question myself as to whether we could or should do some things differently or is this just a reality in which nothing can be done? Compassion21’s results truly reflect our Lord’s parable of the soils. The question remains can we do a better job preparing the soil, equipping the new believers and helping weed the field so it can produce a crop. My conclusion is we can do a better job as leaders, shepherds, teachers and members of the body of Christ. The secondary lesson for the blog this month is that if this work is to remain for another 20 years it must constantly reevaluate and change to continue to be better aligned with God’s will and mission on this earth. In my next blog we will take a closer look at the essential need to equip the believers.

Ken


 


Disciple Making is More than just Evangelism Part I - January 14, 2014

As stated in my previous blog, 2014 celebrates our 20th year of ministry among Montgomery’s inner city. Being with the ministry from its conception has been a tremendous blessing to me and my walk with our Lord. During 2014, I plan to offer in this Blog one lesson a month that I have learned from this Twenty Year Journey.
When Compassion21 started in 1994 as Montgomery Inner City Ministry, it began almost solely as an evangelistic effort to the Inner City of Montgomery. Because the work was new, there were no new Christians who needed someone to pastor them or to be discipled. The word “Evangelist” is the noun form of the verb in the Greek language that means, “To announce news”. This new mission field, in the heart of Montgomery, was an Evangelist’s paradise. Just as it is today, there were people everywhere that needed an announcement of Good News. Since many of the early workers were of an evangelistic mindset, the emphasis was placed on leading a person to Christ and an unintentional lesser emphasis was placed on maturing those led to Christ. This, of course, eventually led to an unbalanced church.  One of the early new Christians correctly analyzed the situation by saying, “The Inner City church is like a nursery where we keep having babies but there are not enough people to take care of them.” She is right! You need people who are gifted in going and announcing good news but you also need those gifted in pastoring and maturing to minister to those led to the Lord.

Herein lays the struggle and a hard lesson to be learned. The tendency of our volunteers was to fit into one of two camps, rescuers or those that mature the rescued, evangelism or those who mature the new believers. This is further complicated when one gifting feels more important than another. For example, I have heard it said with a since of pride and arrogance, “I’m just about evangelism. Evangelism that is all I’m interested in.” Someone says”I’m just about ministering to people, teaching a class, I’m not in to this going door to door stuff.” The reality is true evangelism involves leading people to Jesus and maturing those led to Him. You really need both and one is no more important than the other. It is like an airplane. Which is more important the left wing or the right wing? You need both if you want to fly. Paul in 2 Timothy 2:5 charges Timothy to “… do the work of an evangelist …” but writes him what is referred to as two “Pastoral Epistles”. In Ephesians 4:11–12, Paul says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up “. In 1 Corinthians 12, an entire chapter is dedicated to helping us understand that no one part of the body or gifting is more important than another. It takes all parts of the body working together for the body to grow and be healthy. In my next blog we will take a closer look at the Great Commission and the challenge to make disciples.

Ken



Disciple Making is more than just Evangelism Part II - February 14, 2014

A closer look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 will reveal that evangelism, going and proclaiming good news, is only a part of what Jesus has called us to do. The goal of the great commission was to make disciples not just evangelism in the strictest sense of the word. Disciple making, involves evangelism, but it is more than just telling the good news. Notice the four verbs used, “Go, make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them” The key here is to “make disciples” and that is to be an ongoing process. It does not end with baptism as typically defines evangelism today.

The apostle Paul never viewed his mission work in terms of just evangelism. His goal was to make mature disciples. In Colossians 1:28–29 he writes, “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Again in Galatians 4:19 he states, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.”

One of the major shifts the ministry is undergoing today is to place the emphasis of our outreach on disciple making and not just evangelism. The reality is in today’s religious environment if you place the emphasis of our work on evangelism you will not always make a true disciple of Jesus Christ but if you place the emphasis on disciple making you will always be evangelistic.

Ken