As the church, we have a toolbox of methods for responding to human need. Our challenge is discerning which tactic to use to meet the true needs before us and getting equipped to use that tactic.
While many churches stick with what they know in providing direct service, those who go outside their comfort zone and get involved in advocacy have told me that in the process, they built capacity for new ways of discipleship. Churches who engage in advocacy (a word derived from the root word for “voice” and “vocation”) may find they are also building discipleship skills for vocal witness to the Christ who bids us to serve the neighbor. Making a visit with your legislator or writing a letter to the editor is an exercise in going public with your faith. It requires examining what you really believe. It involves taking a risk and saying, “Here I stand,” because in the matter of your neighbor’s suffering, the Gospel is at stake.
This message is excerpted from “Finding our voices” by Amy Reumann in the July/August 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), 1221.
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