EZRA Frequently Asked Questions
Question: PDFs? What the big deal about PDF files?
Answer: Here's all you need to know, and then some: Creating PDF Files
Question: Can you please send me a Password?
Answer: The Ezra password is uniquely created for you and your weekend based on information that you have entered into Ezra and then emailed to the Ezra tech support contact. That information you email is used to create your unique password, and that password will then be emailed back to you with step by step instructions to install it. Review page 4 of the Installation Guide for directions on getting registered.
Question: Ezra is not accepting my password. What do I do?
Answer: There are three data items that you registered that cannot be changed without invalidating the Password. You cannot change your name, the name of the weekend, or the CD serial number from what you registered. So, take a moment and review your entries before you send in your registration.
Question: Why can't I name my Weekend what I want?
Answer: The registration must be able to uniquely identify your weekend from all other weekends. That is why the setup instructions say to avoid using the word "Kairos" in the name of your weekend and that you must use the name of the prison or a commonly used abbreviation for it, or if a KO weekend, the commonly used KO community name, and then the Kairos weekend number.
Question: Can I use a shared computer that gets passed from Leader to Leader?
Answer: Yes - the Installation Guide highlights this scenario. The key thing is that the previous leader MUST do a "Copy Files for Next Leader" to a USB Thumb Drive and provide that passed on data to the next leader in addition to the laptop. Failure of the previous leader to do that "Copy Files for Next Leader" will create difficulty and delays for the next leader and could result in the loss of the historical team data.
Question: We're using a shared computer. Do I have to get my own copy of Ezra?
Answer: Yes. The software license requires each leader to get their own copy of Ezra. And, since Ezra is constantly being updated, you want the most recent version rather than an old, dated copy.
Question: Can I run Ezra on more than one computer?
Answer: Yes - the software license agreement allows the Weekend Leader to make as many copies of Ezra as desired and to run Ezra on as many copies as desired as long as they are not being used to run another weekend. You'll need to make a copy of the Ezra CD using Ezra's built in CD copy feature, and for Ezra versions after 6.4.0, that will load the weekend leader's registration data and their data files on the other computers.
Question: Can I make a copy of Ezra for my OL1 and Angel Coordinator to use?
Answer: Yes - when you make a copy fo the Ezra CD, you will be asked if the copy is for the Weekend Leader, or the OL1, or the Angel Coordinator, or the Head Spiritual Director. Ezra will configure the copy for that specific job responsibility so the OL1, for example, will get the proper menus to support her efforts.
Question: How do I get the Guest and Day Angel data from the OL1 and Angel Coordinator?
Answer:The OL1 and the Angel Coordinator's screens have a button to export their data to the Weekend Leader. They should either choose the desktop or a removable USB Flash Drive for that. If they chose the desktop as the output location, then they would send an email to the Weekend Leader and attach the Ezra file from their desktop. The weekend leader has a button on Ezra's main screen to Import CT Files (CT means Core Team) and that will allow you to select the OL1 data or the Angel Coordinator data and import it into the Leader's master Ezra.
Question: Every-time I make changes to the team, ie., address changes, removing from team etc., Ezra is not saving changes. Am I doing something wrong or is it Ezra?
Answer: Ezra does update its database every time you make a change. so, let's go over the basics. You'll always start off with a list - for example the team list, or the jobs list, or the chapel list, etc. You scroll down to the specific entry you are wanting to make a change to so it is highlighted. Then, click the Change button. That will open the detailed record. You make your changes you need, then you click the OK button. When you click the OK button, that is when the database is updated with the changes you made to the record. You can immediately verify that the database is updated by clicking the Change button again and the record will show the new data. Now, of course, if you do something after you make your updates like doing a "Restore Data from a Backup" (big blue button) then you will be replacing your newly updated database with a database that contained whatever data you had at the time you made the Backup. So, just give the procedure a try and as soon as you click the OK button to update the record's changes, then click the Change button again to open the database record up again and verify the change is, in fact, there.
Question: Can EZRA CDs be created for use by other Advisory Council positions?
Answer: There is no reason that every elected person on an Advisory Council cannot have a copy of EZRA. According to the latest license agreement, we are not limited by how many copies of EZRA that an Advisory Council can make, but that a single copy of EZRA can only be used for one Weekend. Make copies of the CD for everybody and then send them a BACKUP of the most current data. Then any Advisory Council leaders who need the database of their community have it. You can contact if you have any questions about EZRA and the license agreement or you can use the form below to submit your question.
Question: Why do I have to register Ezra?
Answer: Ezra is a sophisticated piece of software with thousands of hours of development hours and licensed software components and images and music. Ezra's licensing covenants require that each copy of Ezra be registered, and that each copy only be used for one Kairos. You can operate Ezra in an unregistered condition, but some critical functions are not available until you do register the software - as an incentive to take the time to complete the registration.
Question: Why do I select a State Chapter?
Answer: Every Kairos operates under the authority that is delegated to the State Chapter. Each State Chapter has signed a covenant that it will operate the Kairos program within the Kairos methods authorized by the International Board of Directors. By identifying the State Chapter which has delegated its authority through the Advisory Council to you, the Kairos Weekend Leader, you are reminded that you are part of a larger covenant in the ministry of Kairos.
Question: I don't see my Institution listed on the Schedule List.
Answer: Ezra provides a mechanism for an Advisory Council to request that their "standard" schedule for their Institution be approved for inclusion in Ezra. Once their schedule has been approved by the International office, it will be included in Ezra and future Kairos Leaders from your Institution will be able to select their Institution's "standard" schedule from this list.
Question: Why do I have to enter my name, address, etc?
Answer: First, this information is used when you register your copy of the software. Second, when you print the Team Application to send out to prospective Team members when you are beginning your recruiting, your name and contact information will automatically be printed on the Application form so that they know who to contact.
Question: Why do I enter my Team meeting Dates and Locations here?
Answer: When you print your Team Application form to send to prospective Team members when you are recruiting, the Team Application will include the dates and locations of Team meetings so that they can check their calendars for conflicts before committing to being part of the Kairos Team.
Question: How do I indicate an Overnight date?
Answer: If you are using seven meetings plus an overnight, just input your overnight date as one of the dates and indicate in the location that it is an overnight.
Question: How do I change Table Family names?
Answer: Just click on the Ezra character on the main screen, then, click the button for the Men family names or the Women family names, and make the changes you desire. Ezra will make all the needed changes EXCEPT for the table names in the job assignments. When you look at the job lists, you will still see the default family names. Just click on each table family job, and click the family name selection button, and your new list of names will be shown. Just select the desired family name for each table family job.
Question: Isn't the Kairos Leader in charge of the Weekend?
Answer: The answer sort of depends on the spirit of the question! Yes, the person selected to be the Kairos Leader for the particular Kairos weekend is in charge, but is responsible to the Advisory Council, which is responsible to the Stat Chapter, which is responsible to the International Board of Directors, which is responsible to Christ through the Holy Spirit for the Kairos Ministry. So, if the issue is the Kairos Leader wanting to "override" that authority chain, then perhaps the answer is that the Kairos Leader is not in charge. You are to be obedient to the Kairos Method, the Advisory Council, the State Chapter, and the International Board of Directors. If you want to clarify who is responsible to make sure that all the things that need to be done are getting done, then the Kairos Leader is in charge! Another way of saying this is that the Kairos Leader is to be a model of the servant leader, just as Christ was.
Question: I feel only responsible to the Holy Spirit.
Answer: The Kairos Method recognizes the apostolic call that each of us has. It also recognizes that the Kairos Method has been prayerfully developed over thousands of Kairos experiences, guided by the Holy Spirit speaking to the persons who have been "ordained" with the responsibility for guiding the ministry. Those persons are the ones who have been led by the Spirit to the guiding Board of the Ministry. That has led to the ministry's Method of delegating responsibility to local persons who are committed to the ministry at the local Institution. As the one who has received this delegated mantle of responsibility to lead the particular Kairos Weekend, you are also responsible for ensuring that the Kairos Method, developed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is properly administered. That responsibility usually means that we lay down many of our personal feelings about making changes, including changes which we may assign to the Holy Spirit speaking to us. Kairos believes that the Holy Spirit will not speak a word to you that conflicts with the word He has spoken to those who He has entrusted with the total ministry.
Question: I've never seen the Institutional Memorandum (formerly called Institutional Agreement).
Answer: Each copy of the Kairos Manual has a copy of the standard Institutional Memorandum. In some cases, when Kairos reached agreement with the local warden to allow Kairos to come into the Institution, that standard Agreement may have been modified before it was signed. The local Advisory Council is the holder of the signed Memorandum with the Institution.
Question: Am I qualified to be a Kairos Weekend Leader?
Answer: Your Advisory Council feels that you have a good blend of experience in the Kairos Method, coupled with an obedient and teachable spirit. They have prayerfully selected you for this sacrificial journey and trust that you will place yourself in the role of a sevant leader. They recognize that you may not have the best of skills in all areas, but hope that you will be a good student of the Kairos process and will use the tools and training that Kairos has provided to prepare God's team for this Kairos. So, pray, study, use the gifts of the Team members, and extend yourself on behalf of the Team to prepare them for their acts of servanthood. That spirit makes you qualified!
Question: What if I'm not a detail person.
Answer: Many of us are not! However, just because YOU are not a detail person doesn't mean that attention to details is not a REQUIREMENT of proper preparation for the Kairos Weekend. Do not dismiss the need for attention to detail. Make use of Ezra to help you stay on track. Use an assistant who is strong in detail to help you. While YOU don't have to be a detail person, YOU do have to make sure that the details are being handled.
Question: What if I don't think that I'm capable of spiritually forming others?
Answer: The good news is that YOU are not responsible for spiritually forming anyone. The Holy Spirit does that! What you are responsible for is making sure that an environment is created that is conducive to spiritual formation. Ezra provides a lot of tools, training, leader guides, and handouts that will help create such an environment. Seek out the gifts of your clergy team members to help in this process - they have been gifted by God for just this kind of task. Just help them understand the Kairos Method by providing them the guides and handouts from Ezra. Once again, YOU don't have to be the one to do the work of spiritual formation, but YOU are responsible to make sure that it is being done.
Question: Why doesn't my timeline reflect the dates of my Kairos and Team Meetings?
Answer: Ezra's default timeline doesn't have knowledge of your specific Team Meetings - unless you tell Ezra about them! Once Ezra knows of your Team Meeting schedule, it an create a Preparation Timeline that is specific to the timing of your schedule. You tell Ezra of your Meetings by filling in the Meeting Dates and Locations in the Setup screen that was presented to you when you first started Ezra. If you didn't enter the dates at that time, you can go back and input your dates by clicking on the big blue button called Setup Info and click the Next buttons until you get to the Team meeting dates and locations screen and there you can make your changes.
Question: Can I change the Timeline?
Answer: Yes! You can add additional steps to the Timeline, and you can remove items from the Timeline.
Question: Do Team members have to be part of a 4th Day community?
Answer: There is great value in having Team members who are part of a 4th Day community because they understand both the methodology of the process and the importance of the on-going weekly Prayer and Share meetings. However, the 4th Day experience has not penetrated a number of denominations and all ethnic communities. In order to have the diversity in Team membership that is so important to the health of the ministry, the Board of Directors of Kairos has approved a Team membership that can have up to 20 % of the Team not having a 4th Day background. However, this does not lessen the importance of having an understanding of the 4th Day methods, so you are required to assign an experienced Team member to act as a "mentor" for each non-4th Day Team member. This mentor must spend time with the new person to make sure they are gaining an understanding of the foundations of the Kairos Experience.
Question: Do Team members have to be in a Weekly Reunion Group?
Answer: This can be a difficult question for some. For example, are YOU in a weekly reunion group? If not, perhaps you are not as sensitive to the need for Team members to be in a reunion group. Recall that the purposes of Kairos (to Christianize the Institutional environment) are best fulfilled with the ongoing, weekly Prayer and Share grouping. The big, "flashy" Kairos Weekend that you are leading is only the entrance door to the heart of Kairos - the Prayer and Share grouping. It is therefore very important that Team members - especially Table Family members - can encourage the Participants to become part of a Prayer and Share group by their own testimony of its importance in their own life. The fewer people on the Team that are active in their own weekly reunion group results in a weaker emphasis on the importance of the Prayer and Share grouping, and the resulting weaker Prayer and Share community within the Institution. While it is not a firm requirement that each Team member be grouping, it is nevertheless a very important consideration.
Question: Do I have to pay attention to Denominational balance?
Answer: Yes! Kairos is a non-denominational ministry. We represent Christ rather than a particular denomination or tradition. The Participants come from a wide variety of Christian traditions, and the more balance we have in Team denominational backgrounds, the better connection to the true meaning of the Body of Christ that is made with the Participants. That's the reason Ezra provides places to indicate the denominational background of each Team member and the reason that Ezra shows you the breakdown of the Team - to keep reminding you that the ministry is better served when you have not simply invited "your friends from your church."
Question: Can I have "opposite gender" Team members inside the Prison?
Answer: No. It is Kairos policy that only persons of the same gender as the Participants may be part of the Inside Team or participate in any way that places them inside the Community Room / Chapel / Dining Area. This prohibition includes clergy. Kairos is aware that this may reduce the availability of certain persons for the Team, and thus make your job of recruiting more difficult. But we are asked to be reminded that our focus is on the needs of the Participants, and many of them will be distracted by the presence of the opposite gender in their presence. This distraction may be because of bad experiences with the opposite gender, or because of sexual stress created by the close physical association. In either case, the presence of opposite gender has created a situation where the Participant is distracted from total immersion in the focus of the talks, discussions, meditations, and the movement of the Spirit.
Question: What if I can't find enough Clergy?
Answer: This is a concern for many Kairos Leaders as they begin their recruiting efforts. The presence of clergy in Team formation and on the Weekend can't be overstressed. So, they are very important and they are difficult to recruit - that means that you will need to place special attention on the recruitment of clergy. Here's a few hints:
- Get started early. Many clergy are scheduled with Church commitments months in advance.
- Offer to arrange for Lay Speakers to substitute for them in the pulpit during the Weekend
- Don't forget to consider Associate Pastors
If you are still short of fully qualified clergy, but have at least 3, you can fill out your table family roster with mature Team members who understand table dynamics.
Question: Why don't I see my Team on the Team List?
Answer: Ezra makes use of a "team recruiting" database that contains the names and other information for all persons that you might consider for the Team. However, you must "SELECT" them to be considered part of the Team. You will see all persons in the database when you are in the Recruiting Section of Ezra. However, when you move to the Team Assignments and later sections of Ezra, you will only see those persons that you have "SELECTED" for the Team. If you don't see someone on the Team listing that you believe should be on the Team, it is because you have not clicked the "Selected for the Team" checkbox. Go back to the Recruiting listing and you will find them there. You can then click their "Selected" checkbox, and they will then be on your Team.
Question: Do I really need to have First Time Team members?
Answer: In the Wisdom of Kairos, having new Team members is critical to the long term health of the ministry. For that reason, your Team is expected to be made up of one-third first time Team members. In fact, to help "force" room for them, it is Kairos' policy that no Team member can serve on more than three consecutive Teams without sitting out for a Kairos. (Note that person who have been selected by the Ad Council to be on the Leadership track are an exception to this.)
Question: Why show the racial balance on the Team?
Answer: The Kairos Method establishes a racial balance of the Participants in the table Families to begin the process of breaking down racial barriers - especially in the Body of Christ. Yet, many Kairos Leaders recruit Teams that are not racially balanced. By showing you the racial balance of your Team, Ezra is trying to keep you more aware of the profound need to work at recruiting all races to the Team.
Question: How many meetings should I have?
Answer: In the spirit of the Kairos Riverbanks, you have quite a bit of flexibility in deciding on how many meetings you will need to have. However, where you are asked to be obedient to the Kairos Method is that you must spend 34 - 36 hours of Team Formation time. If you choose to have fewer rather than more meetings, then the time for each meeting will have to be longer in order to get the 34 - 36 hours in. As you consider the question of reasons for more or less meetings, experience has shown that one big factor that many Leaders consider is the travel time to Team meetings. If the Team doesn't have to travel too far to get to the meetings, then you might choose to have more, but shorter meetings. However, if large groups of the Team have to travel a long way, then you might want to have fewer meetings that last longer.
Question: Do I have to have an overnight meeting?
Answer: You are not required to have an overnight meeting. You are, however, required to have 34 - 36 hours of Team formation time. Some Leaders like to incorporate an overnight meeting as part of that required time. For some, the benefit to Team formation outweighs the costs of accommodating and overnight meeting; for others, perhaps not. As the Leader, you are empowered to decide what is in the best interest of your Team.
Question: What do I need to bring to the meetings?
Answer: The easy answer is EVERYTHING! Part of the Ezra methodology is that every handout will be provided (by you) rather than asking people to turn to a certain page in their Kairos Program Manual. Yes, you will have to use paper and printer ink, but the benefit to Team training is so much greater when you know that everything that is needed is provided to every Team member. Also, by design, there are many items that are only available through Ezra, so you are the only source of many items.
Question: Do I have to have all the data for Participants that Ezra asks for?
Answer: It depends on the requirements of your Institution and your Advisory Council. In some Institutions, there are restrictions on who you can place together in Families based on, say, their cell block/dorm area. If so, then you will need to record that information so you can make proper Family selection decisions. So, if your Institution or Advisory Council requires certain information in order to properly handle the Family Assignments or the on-going ministry, then you should include that info. If it is not required, there is no need to include it.
Question: Do I have to assign a Host?
Answer: Yes. The Kairos Method assigns a Host to each Participant. As the Leader, it is your responsibility to make the decision about who to assign to whom. You are also responsible for communicating those assignments to the Hosts so they know who they are looking after.
Question: Why do I have to select a schedule?
Answer: Perhaps you don't. In many cases, you are offered only one schedule to select - the standard "national" schedule. You can also load the schedule that was used by the previous Leader - assuming that they made modifications to the standard schedule that were required by the Institution. Usually this would only be the specific time of various activities. By loading the previously modified schedule, it will prevent you from having to do this modification work again.
Question: Can I make changes to the Schedule?
Answer: Yes, you can change the time of scheduled events and you can add items to the Schedule. You can also make changes to descriptions and comments that you may find to be helpful to the assistant Leaders during the Weekend. Caution is advised, however, because Ezra's schedules are quite complex and there are many, many pieces of data that Ezra makes use of in the Schedule, and if you make changes to these items, you may cause something to disappear that you didn't want to disappear (such as a Chapel Meditation).
Question: Can I use the Schedule that the previous Leader used?
Answer: Yes. In fact, if your Institution requires changes to the schedule, and the previous Leader painstakingly revised the schedule timing to reflect these requirements, it is very handy to be able to make use of that schedule so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Question: How do you use the Chapel Reminders?
Answer: We all recognize that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about changes in people. But, we are part of the effort to break down the walls that have been built that shut out the light of the Spirit. When we go to Chapel, we want to do everything we can to minimize distractions from the movement of the Spirit. Perhaps a Participant has been moved to a new openness through a meditation, and they have been ushered right up to the edge of saying "Yes" to the Spirit. Then, in that moment of vulnerability, there is a distraction in Chapel caused because the next speaker doesn't know that they are supposed to do their part of the Chapel time, and our flesh latches onto that distraction and the vulnerability disappears and the moment is lost. Ezra uses the Chapel Reminders as a tool to help the persons who are involved in a particular Chapel service know who is involved and in what sequence and what each person will be doing. The Chapel Coordinator should quietly pass out the Reminders for the upcoming Chapel participants prior to the start of the Chapel. You should provide a copy of each Chapel Reminder to each participant in that service.
Question: Do I have to use Bible Markers?
Answer: The purpose of the Bible Markers is to give the Chapel Coordinator markers that are needed for the upcoming Chapel service. That way, only the markers are in the Bible that are relevant at that time (rather than the speakers having to thumb through a lot of pre-existing markers).
Question: What is the Chapel Speaker'sGuide?
Answer: Ezra's Chapel Speaker's Guide is a complete set of the Chapel meditations and speeches that are put together in a way to help reduce the distractions of a speaker trying to find their place. Only the mediations and speeches that are relevant to your Kairos are included (for example, the women's meditations appear for a women's Kairos). Just print the Chapel Speaker's Guide and put it in a three-ring binder and give it to the Chapel Coordinator to place on the Chapel podium prior to the Chapel session. Note that you will have to check with the clergy to whom you assigned the Isaiah Homily to and see if they want you to put a copy of their Homily (which they will have to provide) in the Chapel Spealer's Guide for them.
Question: Who is the Leader for the Instructional Reunion?
Answer: The Kairos Method uses the Leader of the Kairos Weekend as the Leader of the following Instructional Reunion. This is a time of connecting back to the Weekend, rather than a time of training for future Leaders.
Question: Is it OK to skip the Instructional Reunion?
Answer: Recall that the heart of the Kairos prison ministry is the weekly Prayer and Share fellowship. It is through the Instructional Reunion that this critical foundation of the ministry is built. Even if your Institution does not allow the formal, weekly grouping, the Instructional Reunion would focus on the importance of establishing an informal Prayer and Share fellowship.
Question: Can we bring food to the Instructional Reunion?
Answer: Food is not a requirement, and many have found it to be a detriment in the sense that setting a tone that Kairos activities mean food from the outside is weakening the reason for the gathering. Some will choose to leave any food out so that it is more clearly understood that the purpose of the brotherhood/sisterhood coming together is for spiritual nurture.
Your EZRA Technical Support Team