As church leaders, we have our ears, hearts, and words. We pray that God will use them. But we also have limitations--time, energy, and ability. And even though we feel helpless, like we can never do enough, sometimes being the person who takes the picture, who tells the story is our most important job.
As a writer, being a part of denomination has incredible benefits and difficulties. Here are some things I learned about the relationship between the two.
Social media can reduce activism to a fad—something that we take part in because a particular Twitter hashtag is trending, a video has become viral or a Facebook cause has become popular. It can ignore the hard work that has been taking place over decades and discount a long-term strategy that a community might have.
The whole Kony-video thing seems to be over. Most of the millions of viewers watched the half-hour film about Joseph Kony right after Invisible Children released it. The group's action kits are sold out. Lots of thoughtful criticism has been written and widely shared. Yet I keep coming back to it, because these conversations have revolved around questions I wrestle with regularly as a missionary in Nicaragua.
"I met an activist who said, 'You should go back to Virginia and start to organize.' It took me about three months to send out the first e-mail."
Whatever its explicit message, Occupy Wall Street has made a powerful statement with its very mode of existence.
Global warming is dry science, an entirely rational question that should be addressed by experts working on our behalf and with our thanks. But it's not happening.
The call to make the world a better place is inherent in Christianity. But why have so many efforts by Christians gone so tragically wrong?