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Q&A with the President of Lifeline Global Ministries

Note: The article content below is from our newsletter archives.

Romney Ruder, ED.D (Pepperdine University) is the President of Lifeline Global Ministries, dedicated to working with the incarcerated and their families (

He is also the author of Finding Your Pace: Bridging the Gap Between Apathy and Being All God Called You To Be (Westbow Press). Ruder also serves on the business faculty at Newman University.

Ruder began working with the incarcerated while he and his family served as missionaries to under-resourced communities around the U.S.

Before being in full-time ministry, he spent almost two decades in the Forest Products Industry. He is ordained and has served as a Church Planter, Pastor, Deacon, and Elder. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain at Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Kansas. Romney received his certificate in Correctional Training and Life Coaching through the CMCA where he is an active advisory board member.

Why Serving USA?: How does your experience in networking and partnering with other organizations such as Serving USA benefit the work and vision for Lifeline Global Ministries?

The bottom line is that our ministry would not exist without partnerships, which is certainly true with our collaboration with Serving USA.

We have found that although we have an international footprint, the effectiveness of our reaching incarcerated men and women must be a local event.

For one, local partners have a vested interest in what happens in their backyards. Two, by gaining partnerships with local ministers there is a stronger case for sustainability. Finally, we all know that local discipleship is a key component to engaging the family and lowering recidivism.

Partners like Serving USA share in this thought process. Their work helps us fill in many of the gaps we need in order to reach others.

Our shared DNA also applies to lowering the silo walls between ministries that help reduce redundancy and build cohesion.

Emotional/Spiritual Health: Lifeline Global touches the lives of people in communities throughout the world, and as a minister, you consistently pour into bringing others from the dark into the light. With increasing rates of burnout affecting many leaders in this work, how do you avoid the pitfalls to keep your stream of positivity flowing?

As an organization, we aim to be malleable and tend to embrace change management as an asset instead of a liability.

Additionally, our ministry is laser-focused on developing tight relationships with local partners (Churches, ministries, chaplains, and facilities).

So while things like COVID protocols, manpower issues at prisons and jails, and deteriorating economic forecasts certainly impact our operations, we are able to quickly adjust to identify how to best serve our partners. Our staff remains small but very engaged, and decision-making is pretty de-centralized. Meeting weekly via Zoom, we are able to adjust to changes in the marketplace. This nimbleness allows us to keep an eye on today's operations while constantly watching the horizon to see what is to come.

Advice for Success: Elusive goals for your ministry include reaching tens of thousands of inmates with the message of hope in Christ throughout the world. For those in the ServingUSA community also tackling challenges the world may see as insurmountable, please share how you motivate your team and supporters to remain mission-focused.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus provides a distinct call to all Christians that we are to serve the lost and downtrodden, while specifically identifying those behind bars. One way we stay mission-focused is that our staff and partners recognize this calling in our lives.

Additionally, we see the problem of incarceration (specifically generational incarceration) as a generational sin issue.

We know that spurring on the discipleship process and bringing Christ into the equation can reap enormous positive results. Finally, we believe that a man or woman can grow in their faith regardless of the circumstances.

Our ministry is able to stay focused because we see God's redemption story brought to life each and every day.

Find More Christian Ministry Content

Each month Serving USA publishes a newsletter featuring our amazing ministry partners. We are so blessed by them as they work to make an impact with veterans, women in recovery and individuals who have been incarcerated.


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