The Socially Active Church
Every year our local pro-life pregnancy center does a city-wide fundraiser called the Walk for Life. It is one of my favorite times of the year. The organization has done a great job of addressing the many complex factors in the abortion debate, including pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, counseling, parenting classes, financial support for young mothers, adoption assistance, and abstinence education. But I like the Walk for Life for more than just its fundraising. For years it has been one of the only things in our city that brings Christians together in unity. Its too bad that churches working together to address a societal problem should be so rare.
This year, however, I became somewhat troubled by an aspect of the walk. I saw a flyer for the event that listed the previous year’s top ten fundraising churches. I was familiar with most of the churches on the list, which was why I was surprised at the numbers. The 6th place church had raised $2,500 more than the 7th place church, which isn’t really surprising, except for the fact that the #6 church has around 200 members and the #7 church boasts around 12,000 members. The amount of money the smaller church was able to raise is astounding, the lack of money raised by the mega-church is even more astounding, and for the wrong reason.
It is very popular to bemoan the lack of social engagement in the Church today, and I do not want to join the hate-on-the-bride-of-Christ bandwagon. What I do want to point out is what amazing things are possible when a church, no matter the size, comes together and takes on a problem in society. Because of the efforts of 200 or so people, young mothers in our city will receive counseling, support, and love in the name of Christ. If a church of that size can make an impact, imagine what could be accomplished by a church that has 12,000 members! In order to be salt and light in a broken world we will need to motivate our churches to be socially engaged. Abortion is a hot-button issue for Christians, and is well worthy of support, but we must also get our churches engaged on issues of poverty, racism, sex-trafficking, and many more. Let me encourage you to take a moment to identify the problems your city faces, ways your church could address the issues, and then to get involved. No one can possibly imagine the way our world would be transformed if we all encouraged our churches to become more socially active.