"What Can We Do?" Kids' Jobs and Justice

Kara Powell | Aug 23, 2011

Brad Griffin and I, as well as others at Fuller, have loved rubbing shoulders with Dave Livermore and Terry Linhart. We collaborated together on our Deep Justice resources and books, and actually, one of the key models for our Deep Justice work is derived from Terry’s research.

So glad that they have teamed up on the book What Can We Do? The subtitle captures the heart of the book : “Practical ways your youth ministry can have a global conscience”.

In the midst of their eye-opening but not-too-long analysis of complex issues like global warming, sex trafficking, poverty, and disease, they repeatedly mention the role that we as youth leaders and parents can play in “vocational counseling” with teenagers. As they describe:

“Some of your students might be future researchers who can discover ways to improve the support systems. Others might be future aid workers or missionaries who gain expertise in local settings and bring about tangible change that addresses poverty in local communities. Still others might be future business people who outsource differently after having interacted with the raw realities of poverty…And most of them will be parents who have a deep influence on their own families.”

This book was a great reminder for me of how I want to talk with teenagers and emerging adults about their futures (and their college majors and their potential jobs and internships) in light of God’s heart for justice. Imagine what the world would be like 10 years from now if today’s teenagers had these sorts of questions and dreams planted in them now.

Dave and Terry ask, “What Can We Do?” Part of what we can do is just have dream-inspiring conversations with the teenagers we know.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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