I am hopeful about the future of Christian engagement because I think Christians are merging faith and action more than ever. I’ve been reading a book called What Have You Done for Me Lately? that documents the history of Christian contribution to culture. Anyone who is a serious student of history would have to say that Christianity and its underpinnings have been, in most cases, the fuel in the engine of social revolution.
Even though Christians have historically been at the forefront of these kinds of movements, I believe in these days it is being embraced as much as ever – it’s all about faith plus works. You will show me your faith by your works… it is the merging of these two things together that brings amazing power.
Our organization, Passion, recently hosted a global gathering in Atlanta of over 23,000 college students who consider themselves Christians. Instead of the typical Christian conference with a consumerist appetite for great speakers and music, we made the centrepiece of these four days the “Do Something Now!” campaign. We put eight global opportunities on the table and said to students, “We think you have money in your pockets to change the world.”
And sure enough, they responded.
Those poor college students pledged or gave over one million dollars to build fifty-two wells in Africa, to provide New Testament translations for six people groups of Indonesia, and to combat the human sex trafficking industry.
It is clear to me that something significant has absolutely shifted with this generation. I think it is God’s great kindness stirring our hearts to show his great kindness to the world. With this behind us, the students at Passion aren’t the ones who look good, and this generation doesn’t look like a hands-on, get-involved, do-something generation. God looks good. And God looks like a hands-on, get-involved, do-something God. I think that is what this generation wants – an action-based worship. There is nothing wrong with jumping to a David Crowder tune and telling God he is great – that is worship. But worship is also doing the right thing and sharing with others in need. Those are the things that make God happy, and this is a generation that wants to make God happy. They demonstrate this by moving in action to touch the last and least of these in the world.
Pastor, writer and founder, Passion
Quote from Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Fermi Project (Baker Books, 2007) pg. 143-144
Original title as ‘Emerging Faith and Action’
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.