Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Cunningham and hear more about his dream of Steps of Justice and their October Justice Awareness Month.
NNYM: “Phil, how did this project get started?”
Phil: “In 2004 I was asked to write a prayer focus on areas of injustice. I researched and wrote on things like human trafficking, poverty, the sex industry, hunger, gender injustice, etc. The more I looked around the more I saw just how screwed up the world was and how far off from completing the work of Jesus I was.”
NNYM: “How did that perspective change you?”
Phil: “My next step after the prayer focus was to tell as many people as I could about how messed up the world is. I started talking about it to my friends, in church, at Bible studies and prayer meetings. Everywhere I went and everyone I met knew that I cared about these issues. After a while this step wasn’t enough, it was time to take another step.”
NNYM: “What was the next step you took?”
Phil: “How could I just go around talking about this stuff if I was not doing anything about it personally outside of making awareness of the issues? My thought, make a calendar/prayer action guide that will help connect people to other ministries and ways of fighting injustice. So, a year ago I started thinking of creative ways and ideas to present these issues to people over a period of 30 days in ways that brought awareness coupled with prayer and action. So we created the Steps of Justice 30 day action guide and web site.”
NNYM: “Now that you have this created what is next for you?”
Phil: “Starting on October 4 and going through the end of the month we will be walking through what it looks like to take up the call as the Church of Jesus to “do Justice.” Through stories of people who have bravely answered Gods call, the October Justice Month points to practical and biblical ways that you can be involved in bringing God’s justice into an unjust world.”
NNYM: “How can people get involved with October Justice Awareness Month?”
Phil: “Challenge yourself to walk out the action days we post on our blog, engage with the media and pray for the hurting, the broken, the poor and the oppressed. Don’t feel overwhelmed, you can’t engage with everything. Pray and ask God what things he is most burdening your heart for throughout the month and dive into that. Finally, please take time to respond on our Facebook group. Post your comments, your thoughts, your actions and any stories that have happened as a result of “doing justice.” Your stories will inspire others to engage and create their own cool stories.”
NNYM: "What do you hope comes from this month?"
Phil: "I hope that justice issues can be brought to light and that youth groups can find ways to enagge their kids to be part of the solutions in real pratical ways."
I encourage you to explore Steps of Justice and see how your group could put this resource into action and be on the lookout for them at the NYWC this year.
You can follow @stepsofjustice or @PhilCunningham on twitter