When faced with a situation of injustice or crisis, it is possible to respond in one of two ways: Prescriptively or Preventively. A Prescriptive response would be one in which the priority is the immediate need (i.e. – someone is homeless and needs shelter; someone is without food or medical care and needs help). A Preventive response would be one that goes beyond the immediate need and address the systemic issues that created the crisis.
As Chicago Fellowship lives out its commitment to justice and compassion, we will respond in both Prescriptive and Preventive ways. These responses will be in three major areas: Redemptive Compassion; Education; and Empowerment.
These efforts are directed at any number of crisis situations and focus on supporting various ministries that both help relieve immediate suffering and enable people to overcome the debilitating circumstances of their life as well. An example might be a program for the homeless that provides education and job training for those willing to take responsibility for their future.
One way of attacking the systemic issues that create so much suffering in our world is through education. Chicago Fellowship believes that if we can offer solid educational opportunities to children living in poverty, we will enable them to break the downward cycle that often causes so many problems in their teenage and young adult years. In this effort we are looking to partner with people who have a proven track record when it comes to educating the poor and marginalized.
These efforts involve everything from job training and job creation to capital investments in a variety of new business and commercial ventures. We believe this is one of the best ways to restore broken communities and help people gain control of their lives. This area of response and initiative is perhaps the most creative and open of all three areas. At present, we are exploring a number of possible actions with the help of individuals who have extensive experience in both business and justice/mercy work.