Bring the issue of child slavery to life in your church with these talking points, videos, case studies and online tools.

TALKING POINTS FOR A SERMON OR GROUP

PraxisThe points here take a “Reflection > Theory > Action” approach. We start with our own reality and understanding of the world around us. We then build on this with new information; as we wrestle with the new information we come to new understandings. Finally, we act on our new insights to help others.

Pull from the ideas below and add your own touches to make your talk come alive.

REFLECTION

  • Consider chocolate. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy it? Are you above or below the Canadian average on consumption? Do you know where your chocolate comes from? Canada Chocolate Consumption
  • What work did you do as a child? Was it a positive experience? How did it contribute to your development or to your family? Was your work ever dangerous, dirty or degrading (3D)? What do you think the impacts of 3D jobs are on children?
  • When you make a purchase, what type of thinking goes into it? What factors do you consider? Does how a product is sourced (who made it) ever make the list? Why or why not?
  • Do you consider yourself an advocate or a beneficiary of advocacy? Think of a time when you stood up for someone – or – a time when someone advocated for you. Share your story.

THEORY

  • Go to the “To Such as These” daily devotional and draw in insights from one or two of the writers who speak to you.
  • The Bible doesn’t say a lot about child slavery, at least not directly. A literal reading of the scriptures might even lead some to find support for slavery (a problem Wilberforce and other Abolitionists had to confront in their work at the turn of the 18th century).

    Child Slave Daily Existence

    Consider the story of Paul and Onesimus from the Book of Philemon. Onesimus ran away from his owner Philemon and wound up with Paul – where he became a Christian and a much beloved helper to Paul. Yet Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon – indeed, back into slavery.

    This story must be read in its context. It would have been beyond the imaginable for Paul to tell Philemon to free his slave. Slavery was an integral part of the culture and the economy of the day. Onesimus might have been much worse off if Paul had ordered that he be a free man. And Paul is actually quite a radical in his advocacy for Onesimus, using all his powers of persuasion to have Philemon accept Onesimus as, “no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother…” (verse 16).

    Paul clearly saw the importance of every person in God’s sight. It was Paul who so beautifully stated the saving grace of God’s love, available equally to us all, in Galatians 3:28: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

  • The Bible does have a lot to say about children and about the treatment of the poor and oppressed. Choose from the scripture verses below, or read them all and let God’s Word wash over you.

    Matthew 19:14 – “Let the children come to me…”
    Isaiah 1:17 – “…seek justice, rescue the oppressed…”
    Isaiah 58:6-9 – “ls this not the fast I choose…”
    Proverbs 31:8,9 – “Speak out for those who cannot speak…”
    Luke 4:16-16 – “…He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives…”

  • How would you describe God’s desire for justice for the vulnerable from these verses? What do the scriptures say to you about our role in this?
  • Consider the statistics below and the “A Child Slave’s Daily Existence” graphic on this page. What surprises you? What moves you to want to do more?
  • Numbers from the International Labour Organization:
    • 168 million – the number of child labourers globally whose work deprives them of their childhood and is harmful to their physical and mental development
    • 85 million – the number of children in the worst forms of child labour—work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development
    • 1.2 million – the estimated number of children in forced labour due to trafficking

ACTION

How will you respond? Here are some ideas:

  • Sign World Vision’s Check the Chain petition. Supply chain transparency legislation is a key first step in reducing child labour.
  • Financially support children at risk of child labour. All World Vision programs have Child Protection as a pillar. Speak to your local Church Advisor to start your support.
  • Put justice on your daily to do list. See the Live Justice Daily page for ideas.
  • Pray for the children affected by dirty, dangerous and degrading work.
  • Pray for the frontline workers who help these children and their families. Pray we might work to create a world where children no longer risk their health and their futures for the material benefit of others.

OTHER RESOURCES FOR YOUR FAITH COMMUNITY