10 Point Plan to Mobilize the Churches

This plan emerged from churches working in Boston's inner-city neighborhoods.

The following 10 point proposal for citywide church mobilization is born of the realities of our day-to-day work with the youth on the streets, in the crack houses, and in the courts and jails of this city. We seek to generate serious discussion regarding the specific ways the Christian community can bring the peace of God to the violent world of our youth.

We therefore call upon churches, church agencies, and the academic theological community throughout the city to consider, discuss, debate, and implement, singly or in collaboration, any one or more of the following proposals:

1. To establish four or five church cluster-collaborations that sponsor "Adopt a Gang" programs to organize and evangelize youth in gangs. Inner-city churches would serve as drop-in centers providing sanctuary for troubled youth.

2. To commission missionaries to serve as advocates for black and Latino juveniles in the courts. Such missionaries would work closely with probation officers, law enforcement officials, and youth street workers to assist at-risk youth and their families.

To convene summit meetings between school superintendents, principals of public middle and high schools, and black and Latino pastors to develop partnerships that will focus on the youth most at risk. We propose to do pastoral work with the most violent and troubled young people and their families. In our judgment this is a rational alternative to ill-conceived proposals to suspend the principle of due process.

3. To commission youth evangelists to do street-level one-on-one evangelism with youth involved in drug trafficking. These evangelists would also work to prepare these youth for participation in the economic life of the nation. Such work might include preparation for college, the development of legal revenue-generating enterprises, and the acquisition

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Sojourners Magazine February-March 1994
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