What is Kairos?
Changing Hearts, Transforming Lives, Impacting the World is the essence of what Kairos does.
Kairos ministry is based around short courses, typically lasting three to five days. These are run in prisons with the co-operation of the chaplain or outside prison to reach out to prisoners’ families.
Kairos Prison Ministry International (KPMI) is a Christian based ministry which addresses the spiritual needs of imprisoned men, women, youth and their families. By sharing the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, Kairos hopes to change hearts, transform lives and impact the world.
Transforming Lives: Following their course experience, participants are encouraged to take responsibility for their life choices and their relations with God; they are invited to engage in small accountability groups. Kairos volunteers continue to return monthly to provide mentoring and guidance through these accountability groups. It is here that Kairos participants begin to replace old ways of thinking with new and they learn they are not alone on this journey. They realize there is a hope for a future. The prison environment begins to change; family relationships start to heal…..God is transforming lives.
When I was sick you took care of me and when I was in prison you visited me. Matthew 25:36
Impacting the World: As the Kairos community inside a prison grows and begins to gain influence, the incidences of violence decreases. Participant prisoners who are released re-enter the outside world with a God centred, perspective and focus on becoming productive citizens. Female family members find support, strength and encouragement. Youthful offenders acquire new God centred values and change their direction in life. Families are reunited with a hope for the future.
Kairos sprang from the Cursillo movement and is support by volunteers from the 4th day movements such as Anglican Cursillo, Catholic Cursillo, Lutheran Via de Cristo, Upper Room’s Walk to Emmaus, Tres Dias and volunteers from many churches. As a ministry, Kairos embraces a diverse group of volunteers working together to fulfill Christ’s call to action as found in Matthew 25 vs 36: ‘ … When I was sick you took care of me and when I was in jail you visited me.’
Kairos Prison Ministry UK (KUK) was formed in 1997 (a joint venture between 2 ministries which known as Kairos APAC). This partnership was dissolved in 1999 with KUK offering its 3 programmes whilst APAC changed its name to Kainos.
KPMI (and KUK) are ministries of the Christian church … a ministry of the apostles whom Jesus Christ called into community and sent forth into the prison environment. KPMI has been called the best example of the early church in existence today.
An extensive 4 year recidivism study in the USA concluded that 55% of released offenders return to prison where as the figure dropped to 16% for those who had attended a Kairos programme. In the study this equated to 7,902 fewer offenders (at $ 26,500 per person pa as compared to £ 34,766* in England and Wales) returning to prison with a resultant $209.4 million savings to the taxpayer.
(* Ministry of Justice Information Release dated 17 October 2013).
Kairos volunteers serve in over 400 prisons in 9 countries and 32 states of the USA. Each country will have its own executive body and may adapt to the requirements of its local laws and institutions. However, the same core values, resources and course structure are used throughout. Communications between Kairos participants in different countries occurs through the creation of “agape” such as posters in which one Kairos group offer encouragement to another.
In the US Kairos Inside, Kairos Outside and Kairos Torch is supported by a staff of 12 and has over 36,000 volunteers donating more than three (3) million hours of service each year. Link: Kairos Prison Ministry inc.
Around Australia, Kairos is operating in over 20 correctional centres, Kairos Outside in over 11 regions and Kairos Torch in 2 juvenile facilities. Kairos Australia is in a growth phase, with regional and developmental committees in all states and territories planning and negotiating new opportunities. Link: Kairos Australia