How much time should a church planter spend on justice issues? We want to work for justice, but we don’t want to forget the other things Jesus calls us to—evangelism, leadership development, etc. As church planters and pastors, we often feel like our schedule is full already, anyway.
But Justice vs. Evangelism is a false dichotomy; the ministry of Jesus certainly engaged with issues of justice, but never at the expense of preaching the gospel. On the contrary, we expect that the gospel will be good news on a social level, as well as a spiritual or a personal level.
Let’s hear Beth Wood, Pastor at the Halifax Vineyard, to talk about this tension from our Justice and Church Planting Webinar:
And at a personal level, justice is actually part of discipleship. If we want people to grow in their relationship with Christ, we need to teach them how to work for justice and reconciliation. The more we care about these things, the more we develop Christ’s character in ourselves and others.
Maybe the most important thing is to start embedding a concern for justice in our hearts and in the vision we cast to others. Everything we do should flow from that—an integrated vision for the Kingdom that encompasses justice. And if we have our eyes and our hearts open to how God might want to work for justice around us, our efforts are much more likely to be in tune with how God is already at work bringing his Kingdom in our communities.
How do you want to engage your community for justice? What do you find to be the hardest part about that? Weigh in in the comments section below—we want to hear from you!