Making Justice a Part of Everyday Life

The following is a post on justice from Live 58, an organization that emphasizes helping pastors and leaders equip and empower the Church to live the True Fast.

Justice is often invoked by passionate teachers, pastors, and leaders inviting us into new action. For example, a justice-themed sermon from a leader or pastor to encourage the church to volunteer, go on a youth missions trip, or give to a cause. Justice is often focused upon doing something new, but what about the actions you and I take every day?

Here’s the thing: justice isn’t always about doing something new; it’s about infusing what we already do with Kingdom values. We wake up every day and make about fifty decisions – we decide what clothes to wear, what food to eat, how to commute to work or school, how to treat our friends, family, and strangers, what to pray for, where to invest our money, and so on. Justice isn’t simply an action once a year; it is a lifestyle. Our prayer is that our everyday actions will be infused with justice – not our definition of justice but God’s revelation of justice in Scripture.

The scriptures and the movement of the Holy Spirit call us to seek justice and permeate our everyday life choices – pushing us not just to seek justice but also to live justly. Perhaps you too feel that call to seek justice. You are not alone in this experience–countless churches, campus groups, small groups, families, and individuals have heard the call and asked us “what’s next?”

Live Justly is an in-depth scriptural and practical study to help people live justly in 6 key areas of life: advocacy, prayer, consumption, generosity, creation care and relationships. This study is organized in 10 sessions. The first 3 explore foundational concepts and the following 6 discuss practical life application. The final chapter is about action plans both individually and for the church.

Live Justly was developed by Micah Challenge. For more information, check out the Live Justly site. You can also explore tips on leading this curriculum here. Order the book, get a group together, and begin the process of living life justly everyday.

We would love to celebrate your story of how this process changed your life and impacted your church.

Live 58 + Serve

Click here to watch the video about how Youth Unlimited, Live 58 and World Renew have teamed up to make Serve a life changing experience for students, their congregations and communities.

“In collaboration with Live 58 and World Renew, Youth Unlimited connected the one week Serve to a global initiative. Live 58 supplied much of the biblical messaging and World Renew supplied stories of international impact. Students learned about the needs in North American communities while also realizing the impact of their daily lives on food security around the world. 

Live 58’s invitation to Pray, Fast, Give and Shout became a rallying point with the hope that students will engage their own congregations throughout the year in efforts like the World Renew Hunger Campaign. Many churches and youth groups are now inspired not to simply feed the hungry, but to end hunger.

Youth Unlimited doesn’t just involve students in a one week mission trip. Youth Unlimited is engaging them and helping them to mobilize the church all throughout the year.” 

It’s not just about one week… It’s about The Other 51.

Changed Lives Changing Lives

“His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.”

Words from Betty Bartlett’s favorite song ring true each and every day in her home. Betty, a 72-year-old, cancer-surviving widow expressed her joy as eight high school students painted the cupboards and walls in her warm, loving home. With appreciation in her voice, Betty said she felt strengthened by this group of students; making her feel like a person instead of “just a little old lady”.

Coming from eight cities across the United States and Canada, the 156 high-school-aged Youth Unlimited Serve participants were mobilized by their home church to Grand Rapids, Michigan, not knowing exactly what was in store for them. With a week packed full of opportunities planned by the local host church to serve the community, these students would change more lives than they could count.

Serving people, like Betty, in their homes, in organizations, in warehouses, in thrift stores, in soup kitchens or even out on the streets, the volunteers discovered excitement in sharing the love of Christ. Equipped with a helpful, Christ-centered heart, these volunteers were giving the gift of confidence, love and respect back to the community; especially to people like Betty.

Sharing God’s heart of compassion for the poor, broken and lonely, the host church(es), Youth Unlimited and World Renew worked together to enrich the lives of teenagers. After exposing the growing physical, mental, emotional and social needs of people in the world to the students, Youth Unlimited and World Renew wanted them to see what they can do.

Youth Unlimited used principles and messages from LIVE 58 to create a curriculum that inspires students to live missionally. With the solid application of scripture and a compelling global vision exhibited in LIVE 58 resources, it was natural for Youth Unlimited to seek real life stories of gospel impact from World Renew and urge students to engage with their church in global issues upon their return home. Together, these organizations are empowering and equipping people to live out the gospel message through words and actions.

Bob Grussing, the youth pastor at LaGrave Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI, explained how Serve helps equip and shape teenagers’ futures. Giving teenagers the opportunity to serve in communities across Canada and the U.S. allows for them to expand their thinking and know they are part of a bigger world. The Serve volunteers shared in the mission of Isaiah 58, showing the love of God through their work.

As Grussing explained, embracing your own church and then your own community sets you up for embracing the broader community, eventually leading to embracing the world. Continuing on, he said, “This is a beginning of what students can do with their lives. They can make an impact here at Serve and then at home by showing that same hope and passion.”

“In doing the work, we are building relationships,” said Jennifer Heerema, a Serve participant.

“It changes how you look at people and it’s a lot easier than what you would expect,” said Chris Beezhold, another Serve participant.

Nick Moelker, Worksite Coordinator of Grand Rapids Serve said, “Our shirts say ‘Serve’ and that is a piece of it, but it’s more of getting the kids to build a relationship with Christ.” Building a relationship with Christ is the foundation for building a relationship with other people.

Jay Knoblock, the leader of street evangelism at Grand Rapids Serve, said, “Being the hands and feet of Jesus is what we are created for. We need to minister to people where they are at; reaching outside the community and being willing to take a risk.”

Nick Hoffman, a Serve leader from Minnesota, took that risk to reach outside the community. Previously, he went on a World Renew mission trip to Guatemala with a church group where he was inspired by Lazaro Aguin, a man that has collaborated with World Renew over the years. As an expert in organic agriculture, Lazaro teaches countless communities around the area how to fertilize, water and maintain crops.

After seeing what Lazaro was doing, Nick saw the hope and excitement of growing plants in Guatemala and wanted to bring that back to his home community. During his week at Serve, Nick thought of ways to give hope back to people. One idea was to have a community garden to give people hope, dependence, excitement and ambition.

Although the plans are just an idea yet, Nick has learned through a life-changing World Renew Guatemala trip and a Youth Unlimited Grand Rapids Serve trip that people are in need everywhere. “Physical needs are slowly being met, both in Grand Rapids and in Guatemala; but the lack of hope, the lack of love, that is the real poverty.”

Deepening the understanding of global issues and encouraging action is what Youth Unlimited and World Renew are working to do for today’s youth. By broadening their perspectives and challenging their previous world views through experiences, relationships and passion for Christ, Serve participants get fully engaged into God’s community.

So what’s next? What will these kids do the other 51 weeks of the year? What can you do to mobilize the Church and help build the world view of global service to Christ in the next generation?

Pray for direction in continuing the good work God is doing through Youth Unlimited and World Renew. 

Give of your time and blessings to end world hunger by participating in the World Renew World Hunger Campaign this fall. Find out more at:

Fast during the campaign using Fast Forward Resources at:

Show the LIVE58 Film to your church. Find it at

Just as these teens had a week-long experience of community change, we can make a change together. Talk with your pastor or meet with your church council to see how your church can use your blessings to help spread the gospel and mobilize the Church.

Together, we can make a difference around the world, feeling comfort in knowing that, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Shout it Aloud

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” –Isaiah 58:1a

May this be your prayer, today and every day:

God, you are holy, loving and just. I want to walk with you in the adventure of transforming this world. Pursuing justice and caring for the poor are central to your heart and will be integral to the way I think, pray, act, hope, believe, work, spend, live, and love.


I will seek to help a community of people (my church) live out the full gospel message. We will share the good news of Jesus in both word and deed. We long to serve together as a worldwide alliance of Christ followers in unprecedented unity with our families and friends, in our neighborhoods and communities and with people around the world.


 Thanks to for the use of the icons and this suggested prayer. 

Fast Without the Furious

A pastor I’ve known for a long time challenged me to fast periodically. I used to grit my teeth and commit to grind out the duration of the fast, believing it was good for expanding my heart’s passion for the Lord and compassion for others. I joked about reversing the Daniel Fast and only eating meats and sweets. Of all the spiritual disciplines, fasting is the one I’ve struggled with the most.

In the book, Fast Living, I finally caught a glimpse of fasting that touched my heart and moved me to a more genuine act of worship. The author points out that there are moments in the human experience that no one would consider eating, such as a bride taking the arm of her father to walk down the isle. At that moment stopping for a meatball sub would never cross her mind. Similarly, no one approaching the scene of a tragic accident reaches for a snack. No one enters an appointment to hear a serious diagnosis with a to-go bag.

There are moments in life, points of impact, when human appetites fade due to something more significant. Life priorities shuffle. We realize the most important things in life are unseen, untouchable by hands and only touched in the deepest places of our hearts.

This is a good introduction to fasting.  As we get a glimpse of this world the way God sees it, our human appetites for the things of this world fade and laying them aside for a season is just reasonable or even welcome. With a true view from God’s perspective one could ask: “How can I consume so much when others have so little? How can I enjoy such comforts and excess when God’s heart is broken for people in need of basic life resources? Can’t I use more of what he has given me to help them?”

We are convicted that for a season we could:

  • Eat less and less often so that, through God’s leading, we can pray more and more fervently for those around the world in need.
  • Shower quicker and pray more as an act of solidarity with those who have little water.
  • Abstain from an entertainment in order to spend more time with the Lord and others following him so we can pray, listen and then act.

Listening to the Lord and becoming educated on his view of the world is essential then for True Fasting.

This is why Youth Unlimited has collaborated with both LIVE 58 and World Renew for the 2014 Serve theme material. Together, we just sent 2,500 copies of Fast Living to church pastors across Canada and the U.S.

LIVE 58 has become an amplifier for Isaiah 58, making the message of God’s heart for a hurting world simple to access. Their website and resources are creative, fun and meant for friends and groups to do together. Check them out at

World Renew has many real life stories not just of need, but of courage and hope and followers of Christ around the world who pull together the assets of a community and make a difference through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Check them out at

This year, we want to help your students sense the heart of the Lord for this hurting world. We want to see the appetites of this world fade in the light of God’s longing for his people to help others. The Serve experience will call students to fast for a week from ordinary comforts and conveniences and inspire them to engage in praying, fasting, giving and being an advocate in their church for the rest of the year.

Divine Normal: Kingdom Living by Mere Mortals

We recognize that it can be hard for high school students to feel as though they are truly living for Christ and for the Kingdom. On youth mission trips students often hear the invitation to go into all the world with the gospel. Youth leaders and speakers clearly present Christ’s words to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow him. But that can make it sound like missional living requires world travel and gospel preaching on a diet of bugs. That might be either scary or exciting, but it’s not an accurate picture of Kingdom impact for everyone.


Students can get even more confused after returning home, because changing the world often gets put on hold altogether. Thoughts of world restoration can be drowned out by the need to get good grades, a good job, enough money and a successful life. But is it really one or the other? Can a student in the midst of homework, sports, tests and friends really help change the world with the gospel? Or for some of us, are our lives just too normal to have divine Kingdom impact? We may wonder if we’re missing a higher calling or if there’s a way that everyday life can become more radically Christian.


Inspired by God’s exhortations to his people in Isaiah 58, the theme for 2014 will address issues of justice that “ordinary” people can do something about right away. “Normal” will be redefined in light of heavenly, and not earthly, standards, so that students will see just how radical everyday Christian life and love can be.


The fundamental truth is that God exists, and he is engaged in creation and culture. Students will be encouraged to celebrate their gospel call to be co-workers with Christ by bringing about restoration in the world. They will be challenged to add practical justice initiatives to their existing routine of spiritual disciplines. By the end of the week, students and leaders will be encouraged to engage their congregations back home with a Kingdom-impacting project that will take place in the fall or winter in order to keep the momentum from their summer trip moving towards a lifestyle of missions.


This year, Serve student mission trips is excited to partner with Live58 and World Renew to bring real stories of community impact and resources for continued service after the Serve week. If you want to get a head start on this theme, read the book Fast Living by Dr. Scott Todd. All Serve Speakers and Worship Leaders will be encouraged to read this before Serve, and both the Host and Sending Churches will be encouraged to watch the movie, LIVE 58.