NEWLIFE BEHAVIOR REACHING MANY IN THE US AND INTERNATIONALLY
by: H. M. Motsinger | April 11, 2017
Part I : NLB USE IN PRISON MINISTRIES: Current Status
NewLife Behavior Ministries interacts with many prison ministries throughout the United States. It was founded by Dr. H. M. Motsinger in 1984 in Dallas, Texas. In 2002, CASA and NLBM merged and Buck Griffith was named its President. The central office relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas. This made it possible for Dr. Motsinger to begin answering calls and invitations to offer the NLB curriculum and training beyond the US. (See Part Two below.)
As a curriculum-based program, NLBM has sent requested materials to forty-two states. In order to better serve ministries all across the country, we now have thirty six “Regional Directors” and states like Oklahoma and Alabama have organized statewide to increase their impact. A bi-monthly newsletter is circulated for the benefit of fellow workers, ministry friends, prisoners and spouses. Our website is www.nlbm.org.
The first National Jail & Prison Ministry Workshop was co-directed by James Curry and Buck Griffith in Grand Prairie, Texas in 1974 with fifty-three workers in attendance from six states. Since then, the workshop has been held in sixteen states. The 44th National Workshop is scheduled for June 14-16, 2017 and will be hosted by the Elysian Fields Church of Christ in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jail and prison ministries have grown dramatically since 1974. To improve follow-up efforts on new Christian prisoners and those released, we maintain a National Directory of Churches of Christ and Individual Christians Involved in Jail & Prison Ministries. Updated CDs containing the list are distributed at the National Workshop each June and from our USA office in Corpus Christi. In 1978 only twenty-four congregations and 110 individuals were listed but today, there are 1028 congregations and 2384 individuals! We estimate those connected with churches of Christ in the USA baptize more than 10,000 prisoners each year.
NewLife Behavior Ministries now has 12,000 trained instructors in the USA. In addition to the use of NLB curriculum in jails and prisons, a growing number of free-world congregations use this material in regular Bible School classes and community “outreach” efforts. Christians Against Substance Abuse (CASA) is a study of the 12 Steps, found in the Bible. It is one of the most popular courses and is used both in local churches and prisons.
Part II: International Ministries: Current Status
Christian workers outside the United States learned about the NLB curriculum and requested to be trained to teach it, so Dr. Motsinger officially founded NewLife Behavior International (NLBI) in 2007. NLBI now has thirty-five volunteer native certified trainers who, along with Motsinger, have taught more than 21,000 in their own national people groups from thirty countries in North America, South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, Philippines, and Eastern and Western Europe. These, in turn, are able to teach others.
These efforts lead to people becoming Christians, churches being established, and people being reconciled to their families and communities. NLBI offers fourteen Bible-based behavior change courses, including one for children and one on how to become a Christian. Each of these sets of studies offers thirteen individual lessons.
Dr. Motsinger has developed a sound network of Christians and Christian organizations to support the work. These resources predominantly are used to provide travel funds for volunteer trainers, language translation, curriculum lessons, teaching supplies, solar players, and CDs. These CDs contain PowerPoint slides, short videos, and other items to enrich the curriculum and the teaching-learning experience.
NLBI primarily serves 5 groups of people.
- Bible colleges, Sunset International Bible Institute students abroad, and private schools from the elementary level to the university level;
- Women whose husbands have abandoned them;
- Juvenile detention centers and prisons;
- Public schools from elementary to the university level.
The testimonies of the trainers and attendees speak to the effectiveness of the work.
“We baptized a man who has been practicing witchcraft for 20 years. He confessed Christ Jesus as His personal savior and denounced all small gods he has been worshiping for all those years.” -- Duncan Ojiambo, NLBI Trainer, Uganda
“NewLIfe Seminars provide an effective and Christ-centered means of rebuilding, reorienting and revitalizing the basic building block of our society -- the family.” -- Chaplain Powell Pendergraft