Tag Archives: christians

>#cisforchurch (and everybody else)

>Earlier today I saw a tweet from @ShareCreative about CisFORchurch. Behind the link was some church research inspired by Seth Godin’s book ‘Tribes’. Through discussions with church leaders and members the authors consider what 21st century church community looks like and some of the common obstacles or concerns that exist.

The Conservative slogan of ‘Broken Britain’ gained traction because there is the perception that communities have fractured. Perhaps that’s supported by people not knowing their neighbours and 70% of us being selfish but the internet has seen them reborn. The social web exists because people want to share their lives with others, they desire more than simple individualism or quiet desperation. And while some of those social spaces remain entirely virtual the real value of everything web 2.0 is seen in the act of transition to the real world. It is word becoming flesh.

And it’s great to see some creative people recognising this and trying to help the church understand it. Christianity is all about relationships. The Trinity is a beautiful image of relational community. The Bible is the story of God’s desire for relationship with His creation. The church exists to encourage and support, to connect and transform, to be both home and sanctuary. We’re meant to be modelling community beyond just pitching up for a few songs and a prayer predicated on subscription to some specific beliefs.

So whilst C may stand for Church, what we discuss on a Sunday is not just for Church and Christians. The relevance and value remains without belief in God. There is a massive amount to say about the leadership of people, the management of performance and the very nature of organisations. In the last 7 years, at work and in study, it’s remarkable how much of what has been offered as good practice has characteristics or motivation that resonates with my theology.

The first page of text ends with this paragraph, it’s good stuff for everyone faith loaded or not:

when there is a thriving sense of community, there is a healthy degree of communication and an increase in communication leads to more collaboration. This type of environment is conducive to developing innovation, creative ideas and productivity

Take a look, have a think and let me know if you think I’m talking absolute rubbish 🙂

The acceptable face of apathy?

Over the last year or so I’ve become incredibly impressed by the tireless efforts of one person who has taken two causes by the scruff of the neck and harnessed social media to push the issues onto individual agendas.

Lance Laifer has championed the causes of malaria and pneumonia both on and off line with remarkable consequences. The ‘March of Washingtons’, for example, has seen $85k donated (although this is by no means just about facebook) so far whilst thousands of people have joined the Facebook groups, causes and events.

And as far as any of that is concerned I’m not aware of his being spurred on by anything other than the fact that at least 300000000 (three hundred million) people will contract malaria or 4000000 (four million) will die from pneumonia this year.

Reason enough I think you’ll agree.

This Saturday just gone was World Malaria Day and as a small way of participating and showing support and solidarity it was suggested that people blackout their Facebook and Twitter profiles. Not requiring anything more than people taking 5 minutes to change their profile pic.

I’ve been annoying people by inviting them to causes, groups and events as well as giving my ‘Status for Humanity’. Unfortunately, only a handful bothered to do anything about it.

Understandably not everyone checks their social media every day but at a weekend the vast majority will at some point.

It’s disappointing that more people didn’t join in, not because people don’t care of that I’m sure but because it’s not a priority, because after all it’s only something on Facebook or Twitter and for a number of my friends I’m not really bothered.

The problem I have is with the Christians.

There isn’t an excuse for not being involved with these campaigns. there’s nothing anyone could say to me that would lessen the importance of raising awareness and helping to combat diseases that cripple the poorest in the world. Nothing.

Fortunately global attention is getting to grips with Malaria, it’s getting the kind of funding that could start to make real inroads. The global economics shouldn’t change that (check globalrichlist.com to see how plentiful our lives are) so maybe lives will start to be saved.

So the grassroots focus is switching to pneumonia. When I was invited to the cause it was a no-brainer to join. Pneumonia is a big deal. Bigger than I had registered. Just visit worldpneumoniaday.org to see. So I looked at my friends and I saw some influential people, other Christians with time and resources, passion and compassion and cherry picked the people I invited.

The response has been rubbish.

This is not an invite to play Attack, it’s not getting you to see which fictional character you’re most like, nor is it even an invitation for any sort of financial or physical commitment.

It’s an invitation to stand shoulder to shoulder with people in need. Bluntly, that’s why there’s the church. That’s why God sent His only son. That’s why we are involved as a body. To roll up our sleeves and see people’s lives transformed. And to take a lead that shows the world the incredible love of God and the power of grace.

For sure there’s an incredible amount of prayer going on but far more often than not God is going to use people to answer them. People like Lance who put the Body of Christ to shame. Is ignoring online campaigning ok? Is ignoring non-church instigated action an acceptable apathy?

I don’t think so…