Resources For Empowering Youth For Service and Justice
Deep Justice Research
One of our primary research objectives at FYI has been to lead students and adults deeper into their service and justice work. Like you, we believe that God has called us to serve the poor, oppressed, sick, and anyone in need, and that God calls us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them in very tangible ways as we serve. We have also heard and observed that youth workers struggle to effectively engage students in life-transforming, long-term commitments to live out God’s heart for justice.
We have listened to the needs and concerns of youth workers across the country and literally around the world, and have created a series of resources that we hope will contribute to the transformation of students and adults alike. Below you will find links to our Deep Justice in a Broken World and Deep Justice Journeys books as well as a number of free resources, articles, podcasts, and more. We pray these resources will assist you in making a kingdom difference in kids’ lives and in the world around you!
Research: Improving Short-Term Missions Effectiveness
Today we are seeing more and more students anxious to make a difference in the world, and getting students involved in mission work is easier than it has been in previous years. But for justice work to make a real impact, leaders and students need to spend more time before, during, and after their service preparing for and processing their experiences.
In response to this need, FYI developed a collaborative Short-Term Missions (STM) curriculum for youth ministries of all types. This curriculum process began with two think tanks in 2006-2007 of STM leaders and youth pastors from around the country to discuss "best practices and processes" related to effective youth STM work, co-led by Dr. Dave Livermore of the Center for Cultural Intelligence and Dr. Terry Linhart from Bethel College, Indiana.
Out of that gathering, our core research team was motivated to pursue grant funding for the further development of a curriculum youth ministries could adapt to their own STM contexts and needs. We collaborated with a research and writing team including representatives from several mission organizations as well as frontlines youth workers to develop and test that curriculum in youth ministries from across the country.
One of the core assumptions in this project is that true STM effectiveness and life transformation (both for the "goers" and those who receive them in their communities) will emerge from an ongoing focus on creating missional lifestyles. This means that our STM preparations must include strategies for before, during, and after our actual trips—they must be woven into the fabric of our youth ministry ethos.
Below are articles and resources related to the STM effectiveness research we have conducted. In addition, Kurt Ver Beek of Calvin College has put together an incredible online database of STM research if you are interested in reading more in-depth, and you may want to check out the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions site too.
When Faith Gets AIDS Research
In order to help Christians worldwide engage in issues surrounding AIDS, FYI followed up extensive research into the AIDS pandemic by working with World Vision and Youth Specialties to provide supporting resources and curriculum for youth ministries utilizing programs such as One Life and 30 Hour Famine.
In addition, a book emerged out of that research and was published by World Vision Resources Featuring Kara Powell and other Fuller authors. Born out of theological reflection on children and the mission of God, Understanding God’s Heart for Children is an expansion of papers delivered at the 2005 Cutting Edge Children at Risk Conference hosted by Viva Network. This book can be ordered by visiting www.worldvision.org.
For Further Study: Fuller’s Children at Risk Degrees
Interested in pursuing these and other issues related to children and youth at risk globally? Take a look at Fuller’s Children at Risk degree programs through the School of Intercultural Studies.
Deep Justice Resources
Use this activity within a month after your trip to help solidify the connections between serving "there" and serving "here."
Looking for a way to spice up your meals on your summer mission trip? Here's a free activity from Deep Justice Journeys to lead your group deeper while you eat.
Watch a presentation by FYI's Kara Powell on shifting short-term mission trips to become justice journeys!
FYI research partner and short-term missions guru Eric Iverson shares a new vision for missional involvement with the poor.