“Speak up for the people
who have no voice, for the
rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice!
Stand up for the poor and
destitute!” – Proverbs 31: 8–9
Recently a minister and I were
discussing an advocacy event for his
church. I suggested we start with some
exercises to help the members make the
connection between promoting justice
and their Christian faith. He hesitated for
just a second, then offered, “yes, we’ll
need to do that for the adult members.
The youth already get it.”
World vision supports that passion
and energy for justice among young
people. In Peru, youth host weekly
Children’s Parliament meetings, take
on local projects to help disadvantaged
children and meet with government offi-
cials to press for changes on the issues
affecting their community.
And here at home, World vision Can-
ada’s youth team helps young people
across Canada put their passion and
energy to good use in causes that are
important to them.
a space for
Here are five things we’ve learned
in our advocacy campaigns. As
you read, you might consider
what spaces in your personal life
or church could benefit from the
ministry of advocacy.
1) gooD aDvocacy
comes from an
you don’t need to go looking for an
issue to advocate on. Let advocacy
stem from something you are already
working on or that you feel passionate
about. Advocacy campaigns are used
when addressing the symptoms is not
enough, when real change requires
getting to the core causes.
What issues are you passionate about?
What issues is your church currently
addressing? Do you need to use your
influence to get to change at the root
2) aDvocacy anD
Prayer is advocacy. When we pray for a
friend or family member in a difficult situation, we advocate for them. We pray
into social causes, taking our concerns
for people and creation to God. And
we pray for government leaders, asking
that they be champions for the poor and
underprivileged (Psalm 72:1-4).
Try praying with an image of yourself
as an advocate in your mind. Go with
the image of Jesus standing up for the
outcast and the marginalized in society
(children, women, sick, tax collectors).
Advocacy is all about relationships and
constructive dialogue. We know that
we don’t really get heard when we only
come at an issue with protesting and
complaining. We get tuned out. This will
be all the more true of politicians who
have lots of people vying for their time.
When writing a letter to the government,
be courteous and solutions-oriented.
We’ve posted an effective letter-writing
model you can use.
By: Doug Blackburn