Monday, February 12, 2007

How global justice can transform suburban discipleship

After being in San Diego last week, I'm back home in Chicagoland now (and shoveled the driveway this morning - *sigh*). The convention went well, and if anybody is interested in hearing my seminars on suburban culture and the suburban church, CDs are available for purchase from the folks that recorded the conference talks. (And I should have been more clear in my previous posts that the general sessions can be listened to as free online webcasts.)

Something that's interesting to me is how conference interaction shapes the content of one's presentations. My second seminar about the suburban church covers some material about how the suburban church needs to have three spheres of ministry scope (suburban, urban and global) and how the suburban church can marshal its resources on behalf of global justice and mission. Mark Labberton's plenary talk about worship and justice included some themes that triggered thoughts of some additional dimensions to my own topic. So I adjusted my seminar on the fly and said something along these lines to add a new point of application:

Do the men in your church struggle with pornography? Okay, men in every church struggle with pornography. Here's an idea. What if your church started partnering with ministries that fight global sex trafficking?

Mark Labberton talked about International Justice Mission and how they work to free women and girls from the sex trade. These are often Christian girls who are kidnapped from their villages, imprisoned in brothels and forced into prostitution, being raped repeatedly every day. Often by Westerners. When we start realizing the effects of the global sex trade on our sisters in Christ, how they're the victims of our lust and exploitation, that should have an impact on our personal discipleship. If we're supporting ministries like IJM, we'll think twice about what we look at online. Global mission can transform suburban discipleship.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good connections, Al.

We were studying 1 Peter in Sunday School yesterday, discussing the "communal" nature of being a chosen people (not person), a royal priesthood (not priest), a people belonging to God (not just a person), and how we can better connect ourselves to one another and to the church universal.

I think this idea of linking global justice with suburban discipleship could be an important step in gaining solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the globe who are fighting these problems in their villages and cities.