The technical, tactical and practical of The Just Life ministry encompasses five interconnected “change agent” engagement strategies. Each of these strategies on their own play a part in a holistic vision for transformational justice ministry. These building blocks are Justice Initiatives, Professional Fellowships, Missional Entrepreneurs, Community Development and Advocacy. More information can be discovered by exploring the categories in the main navigation of this website.
Justice Initiatives: Issues engaged
1Passion centric groups made up of all walks of life have come together to creatively respond to specific injustices. These groups typically make up the largest part of a local meet-up of The Just Life. The three big issues of race, poverty and gender are often addressed through more specific problems such as: disease, education, homelessness, hunger/clean water, human trafficking, bioethics, immigration, politics, special needs, war/genocide and the environment.
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Professional Fellowships: Capital Leveraged
2Inevitably we need to bring our best minds together to engage specific structural issues. A fundamental development goal of The Just Life community is the creation of “fellowships” within local communities in order to work through how to use specific gifts and callings to live a life of love and justice. These fellowships typically form organically as the initiatives reach a point where specific professional talents need to be brought to bear on the issues. These fellowships are limited only by the professional acumen of a given community. Primarily intended as edification within the specific complexities of each profession, they are not meant to simply feed the justice initiatives with talent. However, that sense of purpose is what keeps these groups strong and functioning. Fellowships often are organized categorically: Builders, Business, Child Development, Communications/Creative, Educators, Financial Services, Health Care, Law Enforcement, Legal, Public Policy, Real Estate, Social Entrepreneurs, Social Work, etc.
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Missional Entrepreneurs: Tools and Technology Applied
3Social enterprise is not a new idea, but the recent explosive growth in the concept as a movement has made it a fundamental element of modern justice ministry with exciting potential yet to be explored. Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach a person how to fish—they will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. Distinct from a business entrepreneur who sees value in the creation of new markets, the social entrepreneur aims for value in the form of transformational change that will benefit disadvantaged communities and ultimately society at large. Social entrepreneurs pioneer innovative and systemic approaches for meeting the needs of the marginalized, the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised—populations that lack the financial means or political clout to achieve lasting benefit on their own.
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Community Developers: Spaces and Places Renewed
4The philosophy known as Christian Community Development is not a concept that was developed in a classroom, nor formulated by people foreign to the poor community. It is based on Biblical, practical principles evolved from years of living and working among the poor. CCD was conceived through the ministry of John and Vera Mae Perkins and has a proven track record with over 600 models around the country making great progress in communities devastated by poverty. CCD has eight essential components that have evolved over the last forty years. The first three are based on John Perkins’ Three R’s of community development: Relocation, Reconciliation and Redistribution. The rest have been developed by many Christians working together to find ways to rebuild poor neighborhoods: 1. Church-Based, 2. Presence in the Community (Relocation), 3. Reconciliation, 4. Listening to the Community, 5. Holistic Approach, 6. Empowerment, 7. Leadership Development, 8. Redistribution.
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Advocacy: Legal, Political, Institutional and Systemic Change
5As a justice ministry The Just Life is always pushing toward systemic change and the redemption of structures. Particularly in America, that drive inevitably leads to engaging the legal and political system to affect laws, programs and policies. We must pick up the mantle of non-violent social change from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and add to it our opportunity to leverage influence through involvement in the political process. The Church has always had a complex and often misguided relationship to American government. Nevertheless, American Christians in particular have been given remarkable opportunity to participate in the government and have an added responsibility to make the most of the opportunities that democracy provides. Our government provides tools too powerful to pass up! Christians, motivated by faith, are fully justified in taking a public stand for biblical ideals using legal and political advocacy to directly combat the sinful structures of this world, but they must do so in harmony with democratic principles, as well as with biblical dignity and respect.
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