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YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement.
In any given year in the US, there are over 850,000 teens referred to the juvenile justice system, some of whom will be confined to a corrections facility, others who will be diverted into a community-based alternative, and many who will be court-sanctioned to probation. The sad fact is that, for our young people who are actively incarcerated, a detention center may be the only place they feel safe, have reliable meals, are sober, or are not facing constant trauma. For our adjudicated young people who continue to stay in their communities, many continue to face adverse experiences such as relational trauma, racial trauma, community violence, and lack of access to basic needs. It is during these moments of crisis that our justice-involved young people are most open to hearing the transformational message of Jesus.
WHAT IS JJM?
Juvenile Justice Ministry is a relational and holistic ministry that desires to see deep change in a justice-involved young person. Since every kid is unique and their situations are all different, we come alongside young people in a variety of juvenile justice settings (i.e. detention centers, probation, correctional facilities, group homes, residential treatment centers, emergency shelters, courts, diversion). Our strategy is to help young people develop a way of living taught by Jesus Christ; balancing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of life. We build valued relationships that are sustained through ongoing involvement as young people navigate the juvenile justice system including pre-trial, diversion courts, probation, short-term, or re-entry.
WHAT DOES JJM MEAN BY HOLISTIC?
To meet a justice-involved youth’s spiritual needs, we need to meet their physical needs as well (Are they hungry? Do they need glasses to read God’s word?). Holistic ministry is proclaiming the evangelical gospel AND demonstrating the gospel through addressing the social needs of youth and their families. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
HOW IS JJM IMPACTING KIDS?
Providing outreach such as life skills, recovery groups, Bible study, and other group curricula
Practicing a ministry of presence to meet the spiritual needs of a young person
Meeting with a young person in both individual and group settings to provide sustained relationships
Building a pipeline of resources designed to meet the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of youth and their families
HOW DOES JJM WORK?
All YFC ministry sites, including JJM sites, are judged by the vitality of the 5 Essentials needed to bring about real change in a young person’s life. They include:
THE 5 ESSENTIALS
We deliberately engage lots of Christians to intercede on behalf of the ministry site.
We consistently pursue lost kids & engage them in life-long relationships with Jesus.
FAITHFUL BIBLE TEACHING
We accurately handle Biblical truth, regularly coaching kids to apply it in their lives.
COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY STRATEGY
We intentionally work together with local churches, agencies and other partners to provide sustainable youth and family ministry.
ADULTS WHO EMPOWER We strategically develop leaders to reach young people from every people group