Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Gareth Unruh, Assistant Director, Juvenile Justice Ministry, Denver Area YFC

We talk a lot about loving relationships in Youth for Christ. No core ministry is challenged more in this essential as Juvenile Justice Ministry.


Our staff work with a lot of youth who are in the news. Much of society has a host of opinions about these juveniles - many of those opinions are justified as their criminal acts are incredibly evil. But, where the world may have a pecking order on crimes that range from not bad to incredibly worse – God has asked me to love! He has asked me to be Christ’s presence in these judged, young people’s lives. I am asked to listen, to offer hope, and share THE relationship that can transform their lives forever - the story of the gospel.

When our staff and volunteer teams sit in front of murderers, sex offenders, thieves, drug addicts, gang bangers, promiscuous young people, and non-believing youth, we see them through the eyes of Christ. You see, we are not there to tell them how much they need Jesus, we are there to tell them how much we do – moment by moment, every decision of our lives, Christ needs to lead and guide. He is the judge, we have no room to judge or condemn. 

The perspective of our staff and youth is, “I’ve been saved from much, I’m treated better than I deserve … we all need Him to lead our lives and change the way we have been living.” Next time you find yourself watching the news and fear sets in, or your blood begins to boil, remember what you were saved from, offer up a prayer for victim and criminal, and pray for the work inside Juvenile Justice Centers around the nation.

 Slow down for a moment, take a breath, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What has God been challenging me to do lately?
  • Where is He stretching my perspective?
  • How can I respond to Him today?

[This blog is reposted from the original here.]

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