Connecting social action and faith-sharing
From a booklet by Share Jesus International
SJI have published a helpful booklet about lessons learned from connecting social action and faith sharing. Lots of insights and wisdom.
One of the case studies is Transform Reading
, a network of churches and Christian organisations working together to see Reading transformed spiritually, economically, socially and culturally. Prayer has been foundational to their existence, mission and spiritual growth as an organisation.
Many years ago, a member of a church started a job with the Council and was able to set up a meeting between the Council and a number of church leaders from across the town. The relationship with the Council was not good. The church leaders wanted to find out how they could be 'good news to the city' and invited the Council to share their biggest three challenges. These emerged as:
the night-time economy
isolated and lonely people
fostering and adoption.
In the years that followed, initiatives with Street Pastors, LINK (a befriending service) and home for Good were established. When the churches began listening and started serving practically, the relationship with the Council changed and a greater trust developed. Conversations about faith and spirituality in the town have open up in formal opportunities in organised events and informal opportunities with the public.
"When you meet a need, you create a context to share something of the hope we have." Steve Prince, one of the facilitators of the network.
They work in partnership with all sectors and communities – church and faith groups, voluntary & statutory sectors, businesses – within Reading and beyond. Their work is fuelled by a deep knowledge of the life-changing power of God’s love to transform lives and communities. They have been privileged to see many lives changed by Jesus through prayer and social action; they know that when the church comes together as one to mobilise, countless more lives are transformed for the better.
The booklet gives 8 Top Tips for such initiatives and 25 practical ideas for helping social action programmes have a faith focus.
Booklets are available to buy singly or in packs of 5 for group study.
See also blogs; Transformation and Paranaque City transformation.
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