". . . learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."For kids raised in contemporary American churches, these words from Isaiah might ring true but they wouldn’t have many ideas about how to do those things. They just haven’t heard much in Sunday School about actually creating justice.That’s about to change.For 25 years Jim Hancock has been a youth worker and creator of youth ministry resources like The Compassion Project (to help adolescents make a difference for the poor), EdgeTV (to help youth workers create safe places to talk about unsafe things) and Good Sex (to help kids wrestle with sexuality). Now, collaborating with The International Justice Mission, Hancock has created a process to engage youth groups in God’s call to seek justice on earth.In the last decade of the 20th century, The International Justice Mission emerged as an effective global instrument for extracting children from forced labor, releasing girls from prostitution, bringing murderous cops and soldiers to justice and restoring stolen land to poor farmers--all in the name of Jesus. Now they’re telling the American church what they’ve learned about the character and methods of oppression, God’s passion against injustice and how to join the fight against evil. What a story!There’s nothing like The Justice Mission. In four sessions youth workers will engage their group in understanding and embracing four very big ideas:* How injustice works (and how to strike back).* How much God hates injustice (and how to hate what God hates).* How to answer God’s call to fight injustice (beginning where they are).* How to trust God’s resources (doing God’s work, God’s way).Beyond summer mission trips, beyond child sponsorship, beyond personal piety, The Justice Mission is the next step in doing what Jesus would do. This curriculum includes a music CD featuring music by top Christian artists, produced by Squint Entertainment (producer of Roaring Lambs), and a video for use with the leader’s guide.
|Edition description:||LEADERS GD|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 10.94(h) x 0.25(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Jim Hancock invested two decades as a church-based youth worker. Now he spends his days writing and creating digital movies and learning designs for youth workers, parents, and adolescents. He's the author of many youth ministry resources including How to Volunteer Like a Pro and The Justice Mission, and co-author of Good Sex 2.0 and The Youth Worker's Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis.
Read an Excerpt
The Justice Mission Leader's GuideA Video-Enhanced Curriculum Reflecting the Heart of God for the Oppressed of the World
By Jim Honcock
ZondervanCopyright © 2002 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTHE JUSTICE MISSION 1 OPPRESSION
List-making setup for brainstorming; video playback; The Justice Mission video cued to Oppression; Personal Inventory sheets, pencils or pens.
Brainstorm: Compile and rate a list of sources that give us information about the world.
THE BIG IDEA
Discussion: Defining oppression.
Video-driven Discussion: Oppression
Bible Study: Isaiah 1:10-17
Personal Inventory: What's most important?
WebSite: visit ijm.org/JusticeMission for more about the nature of injustice
Dig: mass media survey
Journal: Personal Journaling
When C.S. Lewis began explaining Christian faith to his post-Christian culture, he chose the notion of unfairness because everyone knows how it feels to be treated unfairly. We've all been bullied by someone stronger. We've all been lied to, tricked, cheated, and fleeced. And no one likes it, not a tiny bit. In a surprising twist, unfairness generates such deep resentment that many people end up doing to others what was done to them. It's impossible to find the logic behind hurting people-not because they hurt us but because someone else hurt us. There is no logic; it's unfair, but there it is.
Oppression is unfairness taken to extremes.
* * *
Oppressors use lies and force to take what rightly belongs to someone else. That, in a nutshell, is injustice.
Injustice is woven into the fabric of life. Open a news magazine, turn on your television; oppressors are there. In fact, most people are numb to it. Joseph Stalin, who ordered the killing of millions, is credited with the notion that the death of one person is a tragedy, but the death of thousands is a statistic. That's numbness.
Who has what it takes to look at global oppression without flinching? Not many. Not me. It's too big. I feel too small.
I suspect you feel that way too. And I think the kids we serve have grown up more or less expecting injustice; more or less accepting injustice as a statistical probability. This is a problem.
* * *
Here's a solution. We took four American kids to meet individuals who are the victims of oppressors. Ben, Charissa, Lindsay, and Trever are eyewitnesses to injustice. While we looked over their shoulders these four looked in the eyes of a girl who was forced into prostitution when she should have been in seventh grade. They met a boy whose 10th-grade year was interrupted when he was forced out of school to roll beedi cigarettes for a loan shark. These are not statistics, they're tragedies, and there are a lot more like them. Why India? We took Ben, Charissa, Lindsay, and Trever there because it was convenient timing. Consequently, you're seeing only what we saw. We're not saying this is the only-or even the worst-oppression in the world. We could have visited dozens of other places in India and hundreds, if not thousands, of locations around the globe. There's no political violence in these videos, no forced relocation, no ethnic cleansing, no crooked cops, dishonest soldiers, corrupt judges, or paramilitary terrorism. We went to India for 10 days and this is what we found.
Truth be told, it hasn't been that long since all this oppression and more was common in North America. Oppression is every place. So, no finger pointing.
Except at oppressors.
Whatever they look like and wherever they live, they're the bad guys. God, who is enormously tolerant of failure, mistakes, slips, backslides, and screwups, is pointedly, passionately intolerant of oppression. That's what we want your kids to get in this session.
They already know what God loves. We want them to start thinking about what God hates.
Brainstorm: Compile and rate a list of sources that provide information about the world.
[ASK SOMEONE TO WRITE THE LIST ON A BOARD SO EVERYONE CAN SEE IT. PUSH YOUR GROUP TO THINK FAST AND SPEAK THEIR MINDS.]
Let's make a list of sources that give us information about the world.
* * *
I'll go first: CNN. MSNBC. FoxNews. OK, fill out the list with other sources of information about the world. I have another one: The Daily Show. What other sources give us information about the world?
[WITHOUT HIJACKING THE PROCESS, KEEP PRIMING THE PUMP IF THINGS MOVE SLOWLY.]
How about business travelers?
What about tourists?
Artists and storytellers?
Let's rank this list from most to least reliable? [ASK YOUR LIST MAKER TO NUMBER THE LIST AS THE GROUP VOTES.]
Do some of these sources strike you more as propaganda than reliable eyewitnesses?
* * *
Talk about that: What do you think makes one source more reliable than another?
THE BIG IDEA
Here's a working definition of justice:
[HIS WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE FOR A SLIDE OR POSTER
"Justice is working to see that every person has what is rightly hers."
Can you improve on that definition?
Here's a working definition of oppression:
[THIS WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE FOR A SLIDE OR POSTER
"Oppression is using force and lies to deprive others of what is rightly theirs."
Can you improve on that definition?
What are some things our most reliable sources tell us about justice and oppression around the world?
I want to show you a short story about some people who have seen what we're talking about with their own eyes. It's called Oppression.
[WHEN THE VIDEO ENDS.]
On a scale of one to five, how credible do you find these storytellers?
[IF YOU WISH TO CREATE SOME PHYSICAL MOVEMENT AT THIS POINT, HAVE THE GROUP RESPOND BY MOVING TO A PLACE IN THE ROOM THAT REPRESENTS A SCALE OF ONE TO FIVE AND COMPLETE THE SENTENCE TO EACH OTHER. OTHERWISE, ASK THEM TO RESPOND WITH A SHOW OF HANDS OR SIMPLY SPEAK UP.]
They're hard to believe, because ...
I'd need more evidence, because ...
I'm torn, because ...
I think I believe them, because ...
They're easy to believe, because ...
Were there any surprises for you in their stories?
What's the most significant thing you heard or saw in the video?
Why do you think that's important?
Compare what you saw and heard about oppressors with the worst bullies you ever knew at school or in your neighborhood.
What differences do you see between ordinary bullies and oppressors?
Have you ever been at the mercy of a bully? [IF YES, ASK HOW THAT FELT AND HOW IT WAS RESOLVED (IF IT WAS RESOLVED).]
Ben says oppressors trap their victims. What do you think about that?
What evidence did you see that supports or contradicts Ben's claim?
Charissa thought the rock quarry was the worst thing she saw. Describe the worst thing you saw.
Why do you think that struck you?
Lindsay thinks the church focuses on what God loves to the exclusion of what God hates. What do you think about that?
How can we make room for both?
Trever says if it weren't for oppressors we could solve the problems of poverty. What do you think about that?
What do oppressors do to make difficult circumstances impossible?
Ben just graduated from high school where he was one of those athlete/scholars who make the rest of us feel uncoordinated and/or ignorant. Ben is on his way to college to study computer science.
Charissa recently moved to a new city, so she's still adjusting to her surroundings. After school, Charissa indulges her passion for water polo and opera (is that well-rounded or bipolar?). She just completed her sophomore year in high school.
Lindsay's parents rescued her from an orphanage in Korea (where they were told she was hopelessly autistic). Lindsay went to college on a diving scholarship. She just finished her sophomore year.
Trever is a high school senior. You may recognize him from his after school job as a Hollywood actor. But he's not acting here. Trever is on this trip because he loves Jesus and cares about people.
The other two Americans in the video are Bob Mosier and Gary Haugen.
Bob is the chief investigator for International Justice Mission, the good folks who guided us through our discovery.
Gary is the president and chief storyteller for International Justice Mission. You'll learn more about IJM as the series unfolds. If you can't wait, check out ijm.org or f ind Gary's book, Good News About Injustice from InterVarsity Press
* * *
Here's a laundry list of oppression. Stand up if you know about specific examples of each injustice (in the video or wherever), sit down if you don't.
[USE THE EXPLANATIONS OR NOT AS YOU SEE FIT.]
abusive child labor: depriving children of health, safety, and wholeness by forcing them to work for unfair wages or in dangerous conditions
child pornography: sexualized images of children for adult gratification
child prostitution: forcing children to engage in sex acts with adults
forced prostitution: forcing adults to engage in sex acts against their will
extorting or withholding wages: depriving workers of rightful payment
corrupt seizure of property: taking property from its rightful owner by force, intimidation or dirty dealing
corruption of justice: unlawful use of courts and governmental bodies
intimidation: the unlawful threat of force or economic deprivation
abusive police or military actions: unauthorized use of power by police or soldiers against law-abiding people
state-supported discrimination and abuse: legal but unjust actions against law-abiding citizens or immigrants
torture: individualized cruelty and mutilation against detained persons
forced migration: unlawful eviction and relocation
kidnapping or detaining without lawful charge or trial: just like it sounds
execution without lawful charge or trial: assassination and other murders
state, rebel or paramilitary terrorism: unlawful use of sudden force against non-military targets
racial or ethnic violence: unlawful violence against persons because of racial or ethnic characteristics
In every case of injustice, an oppressor abuses power to take what rightly belongs to someone else: his life, property, dignity, liberty, or the fruits of his legitimate effort.
What sort of person would do that to another human being?
Faced with all this oppression, what are we supposed to do?
Do you think it's fair for a person to say she loves God if she doesn't love what God loves? Why?
* * *
Let's create a quick list of things God loves-everything we can think of in three minutes:
[ASK SOMEONE TO WRITE DOWN THE LIST SO EVERYONE CAN SEE IT.]
What makes you think God loves those things?
The next question demands to be asked: Do you think it's fair for a person to say he loves God if he doesn't hate what God hates? Because ...
* * *
Let's make a list of things God hates. We'll take three minutes.
[ASK SOMEONE TO WRITE DOWN THE LIST SO EVERYONE CAN SEE IT.]
What makes you think God hates those things?
Let's look at Isaiah 1:10-17.
[HERE'S A LITTLE BACKGROUND: THE PEOPLE OF GOD WEREN'T ACTING MUCH LIKE PEOPLE OF GOD AND THEY WERE IN DEEP TROUBLE. VERSE 9 SAYS: "UNLESS THE LORD ALMIGHTY HAD LEFT US SOME SURVIVORS, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE GOMORRAH." ALL GOD'S CHILDREN KNEW THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH, TWO TOWNS WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE SO EVIL THAT GOD WIPED THEM OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH WITH A RAIN OF FIRE.
ISAIAH PICKED UP THE PANICKY TONE IN WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH AFTER MOST OF THE POPULATION WAS HAULED OFF TO FORCED LABOR IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. IN THE AFTERMATH, EVERYONE WAS FEELING RELIGIOUS. IN VERSE 10, GOD SPEAKS TO THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH AS IF THEY WERE SODOM AND GOMORRAH:
HAVE SOMEONE READ ISAIAH 1:10-17]
10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
11 "The multitude of your sacrifices-what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-I cannot bear your evil assemblies.
14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;
16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."
Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable reading this? What feelings does this passage raise for you?
When push comes to shove, what does God seem to want more: worship or doing the right thing?
Which do you think is easier: performing acts of worship or seeking justice? Because ...
Maybe this is obvious but, which do you see more of in the modern church: worship or seeking justice? Why do you think that is?
Let's break out the list of actions God calls for in this passage. What does each of them mean to you?
verse 16: "wash and make yourselves clean." What do you think that might look like for people like us in places like this?
verse 16: "Take your evil deeds out of my sight!" What's that about ... hiding better?
verse 16: "Stop doing wrong."
Excerpted from The Justice Mission Leader's Guide by Jim Honcock Copyright © 2002 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of ContentsFOREWORD..9
GOD IS BIG ON JUSTICE...10
2 WHAT GOD HATES..33
3 JOINING THE FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE..53
4 GOD ’S VISION BRINGS GOD ’S PROVISION....69
5 DO IT NOW..87