The Justice Chronicles: What One Person & Young People Can Do

Everyone, please welcome Kenny Sipes to the blog!

As, I pondered Natasha’s gracious request to write a post for her blog, I was reminded that I am not an expertise in any one area of justice. My heart just reflects my passion to participate in as much redemption as possible with this gift of life I have.

The greatest teacher in my life is experience.  That’s what I have to offer today.

How to lead people into justice.

Honestly, my heart for justice was stirred when I saw this video.  Global Night Commute.  I was never the same. Soon after, I went on a mission trip to the country of Lesotho. The drive from Johannesburg to the mountains of Lesotho gave us a firsthand tour of poverty. You couldn’t not see it and you couldn’t unsee it. With no education, witchdoctors controlling with fear tactics, and no legal system for these remote villagers in the mountains, the future was bleak.  My heart for Africa was solidified with these hard truths.

As a youth pastor at the time, I wanted to help our students see that justice is needed outside of our bubbles of suburbia. And God drove me to make that happen. I took twelve teenagers on that Lesotho trip.  I led two construction trips and 100 people to East St. Louis; which at the time was most impoverished city in America. Having emotion over situations is one thing, but I knew unless we participated in trying to fix it, the emotion would fade and the memory of the injustice we were fighting would leave. So, I sought to lead our students to make an impact by way of their actions and their words.

As I type this, I think of those Lesotho trip kids (who are now adults pursuing justice in the world). One of them works in the Ohio Statehouse with a heart to fight sex trafficking.  Another was scared to death on that trip, but has since returned to Africa several times mentoring young African children. Now she gets to watch them become thriving teenagers and adults in their communities. My daughter was nationally recognized for leading her fraternity to establish a music entity in an inner city school that didn’t have one.  Another young lady left elite suburbia and took her education to be a teacher in inner city Chicago. Honestly, I could write a story on each one of those kids. They are now all adults making this a safer and more just world. 

We need to lead others into the story of justice.

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Finding Faith in Freedom Fighting

Sara PomeroyI’m glad to have Sara Pomeroy sharing with us on the blog today. Sara is the Founder and Executive Director of the Richmond Justice Initiative. Here post is such an appropriate follow-up to yesterday’s post discussing discipleship and justice. It all starts here:

I was on my way to this speaking engagement dragging my feet a bit (not gonna lie) as I was not sure of the turn out and, as I suspected, there was a small group of 6 people. Given the crowd I decided to gather in a group together and share from my heart, but I wanted to hear their stories first of how they initially heard about the issue of Modern Day Slavery.

My message that evening was my personal story of going from worship leader to freedom fighter, the walk of faith it has been, and then informing them of how they can join the battle against injustice.

“When it comes to the work of justice, prayer is where we begin, prayers is how the battle is fought and prayer is how the battle against injustice is won.”

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Book Review: The Just Church

The Just Church“Has God called us to live safe lives?” That’s the question being pondered in the book, “The Just Church” by Jim Martin. The subtitle is equally as riveting, “Becoming a risk-taking, justice-seeking, disciple-making congregation.” For Christian leaders who embrace the whole gospel, this book is a call to action. If time allowed, I would write more posts on this book. (Let me know if you have read it or plan to read it and would like to have an online discussion in the fall.)

I’ve known that I have wanted to read this book for a while. It has been sitting on my shelf with countless other desired reads I was looking forward to devouring post seminary life. When I decided to complete my last independent study on biblical justice, however, I saw an excellent opportunity to read this book now. It is an International Justice Mission (IJM) resource and I finished it right before attending the Global Prayer Gathering a few weeks ago. Part of IJM’s mission and the focus of this book is to mobilize churches to live out God’s character as redeemed people who transform the world.

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