What has been your experience with PRS?
I attended the Pastor’s Prayer Summit in January 2018. There was a segment on the Public Reading of Scripture (PRS). As a follow-up, The Grace and Mercy Foundation invited me to a PRS at its offices. I accepted the invitation. There were all these people. They served breakfast; Pastor Mark Gornik introduced the Scripture. No one talked. I was shocked as I felt peace and awareness hearing and reading along to the Scripture. I later attended the Wednesday afternoon session regularly.
What have you learned?
I have learned that the Word is powerful and needs to be heard. No other thing change lives but the Word of God. I fell in love with hearing the Scripture aloud as my relationship with God deepened.
Have you had an “a-ha” moment?
I wondered why anyone didn’t offer or suggest for me to listen to Scripture. I grew up in the Church, read Scripture, and knew God’s plan for me, but hearing and reading the whole Scripture gave me understanding. I experienced His wisdom and knowledge anew.
How has PRS benefited you and your organization?
I work for Youth for Christ (YFC). It is a national ministry with a 73-year history of discipling young people. Youth for Christ is a big umbrella serving schools, local communities, and the disabled. Mentoring young people one-to-one is a key practice.
I lead YFC’s New York City Juvenile Justice Ministry, which is one of 200 such groups. My assignment includes the Crossroads (Brooklyn) and Horizons (Bronx County) detention centers. They hold arrested thirteen to eighteen-year-olds for up to a year between arrest until sentencing.
Earlier, I decided to lead PRS at my Church, Park Slope Christian Tabernacle, as the Youth pastor. Their 45 minute Wednesday evening PRS continues today. The strong acceptance of PRS at the Church encouraged me to try it at the detention centers.
We offered Chic-fil-A to the children. In the beginning, they came for the food and left before PRS. Then, every week more stayed to hear and read along with the Scripture. After that, the children and the staff fell in love with PRS.
Kids asked questions like, “Who is Paul?” and, “Who is John?” Many great mentoring discussions followed PRS.
The children I minister receive the same blessing I do from PRS.