About this series:

With a focus on social justice, we’re going to talk about the principles of loving mercy, acting justly, and walking humbly with the Lord through this series. Our overarching goal with this series is to help students understanding that social justice is about doing something, not just posting about it (although sometimes that is doing something).

Week one:

Bottom line:

Love Mercy.

Scripture:

Micah 6:6-8: “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God

Luke 7:36-50: The story of the sinful woman who anoints Jesus with the alabaster jar.

Questions:

  1. Memes. Memes. Memes. What’s your favourite one?

  2. Have you ever seen someone post something mean about someone else online? In a post, or even the comments.

  3. Have you ever participated in a social movement online? What did you experience?

  4. Did you see any results of your personal involvement in the movement online?

  5. When it comes to social justice, what do you believe the best method is to make wrong things right?

  6. What do you think about forgiving those who hurt you or others? Is it easy? Should we do it? Why/why not?

  7. Who is one person in your life that you need to forgive, but maybe don’t want to (Could be a friend, family member, or even public figure).

  8. What will you do this week to make a wronged thing right?


Week TWO:

Bottom line:

Act Justly.

The question that we’ll be helping students answer is this: How do I know what justice is? Where should I look for the best model of what justice should look like?

In other words, we’ll communicate that the best place to find the clearest picture of justice is God’s word. Then we’ll brainstorm in small groups some great ways that, as a small group, we can actually go out and DO SOMETHING.

Scripture:

Micah 6:6-8: “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God

James 1:22 & 27: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves…Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

Psalm 82:3: Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute”

Zechariah 7:9-10: This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other”

Proverbs 31:8: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed”

Amos 5:24: Do you know what I want?

I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

Questions:

  1. What is your biggest takeaway from this series so far?

  2. What questions do you still have about biblical justice?

  3. What makes biblical justice different from the world's understanding of justice?

  4. In your fight for justice, what's one wrong you may need to right in your own heart?

  5. Choose at least one passage of Scripture that stood out to you today. Let’s re-read it together. Why did it stand out to you? What questions do you have about it?

  6. Dr. Cornel West said, "Justice is what love looks like in public." What do you think he meant by this? Can you think of any examples?

  7. Tell us about something you've done to fight injustice.

  8. What's one way you could fight injustice by meeting a physical need?

  9. What's one way you could fight injustice with a relationship?

  10. What one example of a systemic injustice that you would like to learn more about?

Small Group Social Justice:

This week we want to put actions to our words. So as a small group, we’re challenging you to brainstorm some ideas that you will do to help make wrong things right in the world around you. Things that you’ll actually do as a group. Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each group that does stuff (not that it’s about being recognized, but to help spread awareness).

Need some ideas?

Here's an idea, on a whiteboard, piece of paper, or on your phone, brainstorm as a small group some ideas to meet those needs.

1. PHYSICAL. 
One of the first steps we can take toward justice is to help meet people's physical needs. What are some ways we can do that?

  • Hand out food, water, or hygiene bags to the homeless or in need.

  • Serve food at a local soup kitchen.

  • Deliver food to families in need during the holidays.

  • Rally your friends, family, or church to provide free school supplies.

  • Coordinate a Christmas toy drive.

2. RELATIONAL.
Sometimes when we think about justice, all we think about is meeting physical needs. But justice is so much more than just giving people clothes, or money, or food. Justice can mean giving the gift of relationships to others, or it can mean receiving the gift of relationships from someone else, or leveraging our relationships for justice work. What are some ways we can do that?

  • Make weekly visits (not just a one-time visit) to the elderly, sick, or bedridden.

  • Share a meal with a person who is homeless (instead of just serving the meal).

  • Teach ESL classes to new immigrants who need assistance.

  • Volunteer at church or a local organization as a mentor.

  • Identify a justice issue you want to learn more about and find a mentor who can help guide and educate you in that area.

  • Educate your friends, family, and circle of influence on a particular justice issue that needs attention and action.

3. SYSTEMIC.
While so much can be done for justice on through one-on-one interactions, local projects, and short-term initiatives, fighting for justice often requires a much deeper dive into the systemic, deeply rooted issues that cause injustice on a large scale. That might require political involvement, activism, protests, and (of course), consistent and focused prayer. What are some ways we can do that?

  • Participate in a march.

  • Peacefully protest.

  • Boycott oppressive or unjust businesses or facilities.

  • Campaign by writing letters, making phone calls, and reaching out to representatives in the government who can legislate change.

  • Use your voice! As soon as you are old enough to vote, do it!

  • Pray for change and for wisdom to know how to move in accordance with God's mission.

Use the hashtag: #transitsmjustice so we can highlight your groups! We want people to see God’s love displayed in public.