I came across this little clipping today, on a blog called “How Matters” (www.how-matters.org), a site about Aid Effectiveness. This is something I think about a lot in my job, working on projects for an International Aid & Development organisation here in Australia. We talk about ‘best practice’, about sustainability, about how to best serve those we walk with in developing communities around the world.
In development we often talk about “teaching a man to fish” – well, even in the church we talk about this in relation to helping people improve their own lives in some form, or their journey in discipleship by giving them to tools to do so – not just providing the immediate solutions.
It goes deeper than just teaching or empowering though. The clipping talks about the importance of organising together to find solutions – not just learning how to fish. And it’s spot on. How does knowing how to fish help when the river is contaminated or a building goes up ?
This idea isn’t just relevant to the aid and development sector though. How do we, as the church, mobilise together to fashion solutions, to be activists, to materialise our mission, to be radical in our passion for justice not just within our own communities, but within our global community? It’s 2011, and the impact of our actions extends far beyond our immediate reach – it’s not just about us anymore.
Take just buying a simple chocolate bar for example. We might purchase it from our local shop in efforts to ‘support local business’. But where does the cocoa come from? Who is farming it? What are the working conditions like? Is the farmer employing young kids? Is the farmer getting a fair price for their goods? A simple decision to buy some chocolate effects families hundreds of thousands of kilometres away.
While this supply-chain choice might represent a burden on our choices, it also presents an opportunity for us to utilise the expanse of our potential impact.
That opportunity extends to this very community here at this blog. How can we mobilise together to effect change? To learn from eachother? Do we want to join together, to act, to discuss, to create, to inspire each other? Are we hungry enough?
I’m hungry for action. Some good ol, mobilising-mission action. What are you hungry for?