Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Best Practices & Lessons Learned at a Facility Level

DBOM Awareness & Local Area Solicitation Letters :

  1. Should be sent to Organizations & Churches within 25 – 30 miles of Facility.

While Methodist churches are most familiar with the “Disciple” format, we seek sponsors and team members from any Christian faith/church.

  1. We teach the Gospel, not an “ism” ( Methodism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, etc ).

Partner with a few Key “Anchor Churches” to see if they and their members will consider helping supply facilitators and provide for occasional expenses like :

  1. Books & Bibles
  2. Photo-Copies
  3. Postage

Financial resource requirements of a successful DBOM State level affiliate include :

  1. State Affiliate Costs cover :
    1. Annual DBOM affiliation Fee
      1. DBOM Website resources
      2. Annual Training & Certification Programs from DBOM
    2. Liability Insurance
  2. Local facility costs of approximately $100 per student ( Books & Bibles )
    1. Each Participant receives their own :
      1. DBOM Student Study Guide
      2. CEB Wesley Study Bible

What are the human resource requirements of a successful DBOM affiliate ?

  1. First we have to decide how many facilities we can successfully launch in while we define the “recipe for success” in Illinois.
    1. A Coordinator or Team Leader needs to be in place for each selected facility.
    2. Facilitators willing to help conduct the Study, and share their own witness are important.
  • Building a trusting relationship with “Outside Volunteers” is one of the greatest gifts these men/women can receive.

A “Local Team Covenant” should exist to assure all members understand their obligation to :

  1. Control Expenses.
  2. Take ownership of any Unapproved Expenses.
  3. Be actively engaged in DBOM Promotion & Fund Raising.
  4. Actively seek out new team members.
  5. Commit to being in attendance most weeks, so the Team never has to cancel.

Upon identification of a local Chaplain’s name, consider having the Chaplain from an existing DBOM Facility ( like Pekin ) give a DBOM endorsement. A proven track record can help significantly in opening the new doors.

Consider using Photo-Copies of Student Book & Applicable Bible Pages for first Two weeks.

  1. When a Student shows up for the Third Session, he/she can then be given their Guidebook & Bible.
    1. This is a good indication that they are serious and will continue attending.
    2. If you hand out Books and Bibles in session one, you run the risk of a number of those students not returning.

Encourage any New Team to meet with experienced DBOM of IL facilitators, to assure “lessons learned” are transferred, and new facilitator questions are answered.

Items to be ready to discuss with the Chaplain during the initial Face to Face Contact :

  1. We need to make sure the Facility is a long term facility, not a transition facility.
    1. Disciple Studies require 24 – 34 weeks to complete, so we need to make sure the residents can complete the study.
    2. When required, we have had some success breaking the studies into individual Old Testament and New Testament segments, turning them into 12 – 17 week study commitments.
  2. Ideally we need a 2 hour time-slot to effectively conduct “Disciple”.
    1. Ask the Chaplain what weekday & time slot would best help him/her ?
  3. Confirm whether Male & Female facilitators are both allowed in this facility ?
  4. What is the availability of musical instruments, or what is allowed if you want to incorporate music ?
  5. What kind of facility space can be regularly used for the weekly sessions ?
  6. Is he/she comfortable with a “class” size of approximately 15-25 students ?
  7. Is he/she willing to Promote the Study internally, post a sign-up sheet, and screen the roster ?
  8. What is the availability of TV/DVD equipment ?
  9. Is he/she willing to coordinate the necessary Security Clearance process ?
  10. Have a copy of the Disciple Guidebook and Bible you plan to use for the Chaplain to keep & use in his/her Promotions.
    1. Confirm these exact books are acceptable for prisoners to possess in this facility ?
  11. Do inmates have ready access to writing instruments, or is it necessary for us to supply them ?
    1. If we need to provide them, what type are allowed ( Pekin allows red pencils ) ?
  12. Experience indicates the typical facility startup process looks like :
    1. Make sure the Chaplain is willing, What he/she is expecting & allowing ( 2 hr sessions needed ), and When he/she is willing to allow us to come in each week.
    2. Contact DBOM Board, to get approval to move forward with assembling a Team in the name of DBOM.
    3. Assemble a local Team ( minimum of 3 facilitators ). A team of four or five is ideal.
      1. This helps assure that the team can show up every week, but that individual facilitators can take an occasional week off without crippling the team.
    4. Get volunteer applications submitted to IDOC or BOP.
    5. Order Material for anticipated class size……. Order extra.
    6. Train the Team :
      1. Disciple Training
      2. DBOM Training
      3. DOC/BOP Volunteer Training
    7. Agree with Chaplain on exact start date.
    8. Have Chaplain inform inmates of the study and enroll the desired number of inmates.
    9. Once Badged – Execute the plan.
    10. Team Leader will become a DBOM of IL Board Member, in order to keep the Board appraised of progress and needs.