Grow: Justice Kids
I mentioned last week that I was introduced to some great resources at The Justice Conference— a conference dedicated to reaching “tens of thousands of people over the next decade through a leading national conference that annually educates, inspires and connects a generation of men and women around a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed.” I had a fantastic time at the conference, but one of the questions I had while I was there was- how do I teach this to my kids?
As a college student and then as a newly married person, I found it easier to pursue justice issues. I had time to research, time to volunteer, time to pray and think about the needs of those around me and respond to them. But as the kids kept on coming, my time became more consumed with things like menu planning, changing diapers, potty-training, naptimes, cleaning after kids went to bed, etc. Sure, I would LOVE to go downtown and work in a soup kitchen, but who is going to watch my 3 kids who aren’t old enough to help out? Yes, I want to invite the refuge couple from down the street over, but by the time I get home from work, the kids are ridiculously cranky and just ready for bed (have you ever tried to have dinner company over with three tired kids who haven’t seen their momma all day?) Anyway, I knew the answer was not DO NOTHING, but I was having trouble finding time to think up ways to teach my children about God’s heart for all people- and how JUSTICE is more than just giving someone a granola bar or sending in some cash to buy someone some chickens. Justice is a part of our everyday life, and a part of THEIR everyday life.
In comes Justice Kids.
While reading through the book Pursuing Justice, by Ken Wytsma, I was introduced to Justice Kids through a little endnote. I jumped on their website and learned that Justice Kids’ goal is to help kids move beyond learning to doing, meaning that they want to help head knowledge become what kids do in everyday life.
Justice Kids offers materials that are designed to help parents and the church teach kids about who God is and what matters to Him, and then give kids the chance to put this knowledge to action. Our heart is to help you teach kids about Biblical justice, and then give kids opportunities to live out compassion, mercy, and care for others!
They offer several mediums through which they try to do this:
1. Family Activities– fun, low-prep, meaningful ways that kids (well, families) can live out justice together. Visit this page, scroll down to Family Activities for 3 free ones you can use with your family.
2. Kid Bios– kids can read about kids from other cultures and locations, in hopes of raising awareness of how not everyone is like them, and that’s okay! One of the goals is for kids to be able to learn about other cultures and to develop an appreciation (and empathy) towards all people. On this same page, you can scroll down to Kid Bios and download a few free ones.
3. Sunday School Curriculum– churches can purchase packs that they can use to teach about justice in their classrooms. Here’s a link to a free 4-week curriculum about service to get a feel for what it is. And another free one on diversity.
Over the next several months, I hope to highlight an activity or bio every now and then that has been particularly meaningful to our family as we together explore God’s heart for justice issues. My hope is that your household and/or church community would be encouraged and blessed by these great resources!
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