Last weekend Anika and Claire spent a great 48 hours at Movement Day in London. It was a fantastic time surrounded by amazing people. We took part in the track on Social Transformation. Our task was to bring one or two things that Fusion Y&C UK has learnt over the years on our journey working for Community Transformation. Of course being part of an international movement that started in Australia 57 years ago, there’s a lot of learning to draw from – often things we learnt the hard way!
Here are some of the things we shared:
It takes just a small group of friends to change the world.
Throughout history, at the heart of every Christian movement of social – cultural transformation there has been a small group of friends with a whole hearted commitment to Jesus, to mission and to their fellowship.
Matt Garvin’s book 6 Radical Decisions, explains this trend and a further three core commitments common to these small group of friends throughout history.
Fusion’s Process of Mission begins with Prayer. When a small group of friends with a common heart and love for Jesus spend time seeking his face, a couple of things happen. They begin to connect with the heart of God for the place or people God has brought them to, and they start getting a sense of how he is calling them to respond. Praying in the context of fellowship knits us together as brothers & sisters like nothing else does.
The first step when someone develops a vision for change in a particular area or sphere, is for them to find one or two others with a similar heart, and begin to pray. Developing a culture of prayer & intercession that will last throughout the long haul of transformation is vital, and the great thing is that anyone can do it!!
We need the whole Church …
Those of us working for social transformation are quite good at discerning the needs around us and finding a response to those needs. This work is all part of us seeking the shalom and the reign of Christ in the place where we are. However we have seen that at the heart of much of the brokenness in our society are issues of power, identity, worth and hope; all of which can only be adequately addressed as we look into the eyes of Jesus. Surely if we are seeking the transformation of society, that includes the opportunity for individuals, families and communities to find life and purpose in Christ. So how do we link our social action with spiritual transformation?
One of the things that the Fusion family have learnt through trial, error and observation is that unless our work is integrated with the life of the local church, at worst we won’t address the spiritual needs of our people and at best we will end up with a legacy of spiritual orphans.
In Fusion we have learnt to see our social action responses as structures in which the Christian community can build relationship and do life with those who we are serving. In so doing we are role modelling the life and love of Christ within our community. When the individuals and families we have been serving find Christ or just want to explore faith, their journey is smooth because they are already connected to the body of Christ through relationship!
We have learnt the importance of working with the local churches (of which we are a part any way!) so that together with us, they are ready to receive and disciple the people we have all been working with through our social action. Many will want to find their place in the church family even before making a profession of faith; creating space in our church culture, strategy and programs where this can happen is hugely important.