After more than 1,000 posts over the past three years and now a book, Activist Faith has been a huge part of my life. More than I could have ever imagined, Activist Faith has allowed the opportunity to connect with faith-based leaders and activists around the world, including you, who are making change and creating better stories wherever you go.
That’s why it is bittersweet for me to announce that I will be ending my run of blogging with Beliefnet.com. I’ve deeply appreciate the community and staff support from Beliefnet.com, especially the opportunity they gave to begin Activist Faith in its start. Though I am parting with Beliefnet, it’s not due to any problem with them. Instead, emphasis has been shifting at Activist Faith for some time from a blog to a movement of many voices living out their faith.
In the process of blogging for Activist Faith, I’ve often been reminded of Matthew 5:16 that teaches, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I firmly believe the stories we have shared together are telling a better story about the good deeds God’s people are doing today. My prayer is that those on the outside see our love for God and others and that it points them closer to our heavenly Father.
I look forward to continuing the journey with you at ActivistFaith.org. Join us, share your stories, and let us continue to not merely read the Word; let’s do what it says! (James 1:22)
Most towns have many organizations that help people living outside. Chattanooga, TN, for instance, has two rescue missions, a community kitchen, homeless healthcare center, the homeless coalition, which has a goal of ending chronic homelessness, and many faith based services for people living on the streets. All of these are great programs that do great work for the homeless community.
But if you ask them what they are doing about the people that are not coming to their location for services, you get the same answer everywhere. They already have their hands full with the people who are coming to receive their services. They have the desire to help everyone in need, but they lack the manpower and resources to reach the people who aren’t coming in for help.
I recently wrote an article about how God helps the people who can’t help themselves. If you haven’t read that article yet, please do before you finish this post.
Those people who aren’t coming for services usually have a good reason. I was giving a man we serve a ride to work when he opened up to me about some of what takes place. He gave me reason after reason why he will not use the services available for help. I won’t get into specifics, but the important thing to realize is that something has happened at more than one place to convince him that he cannot get the help he needs by utilizing these organizations.
What’s the solution?
Become an activist.
An activist is someone who works to create positive change.
That doesn’t mean that you go into existing organizations and try to change them. That means that YOU do something to create a positive change in someone’s life. An activist isn’t always someone who rallies the masses to achieve something great.
An activist is someone who rallies themselves to do something great and leads anyone who is willing to follow.
An activist is an individual who takes a stand, alone.
Sometimes being an activist isn’t easy. Most of the time it isn’t easy, but change doesn’t happen when nothing is taking place. An effect doesn’t occur without a cause, and a cause doesn’t begin without a causal agent. An effect is waiting to happen; the cause is about to begin. Are you the agent responsible?
How do you do it?
Live an intentional life.
Don’t let anything pass by you, and don’t let anything happen in your life by accident. Determine each day what you are going to do. Stop waiting for someone else to do something you can support. You become the person someone else will support. Make an intentional effort to find someone who needs help, ask them what they need, and provide it for them. You have to live like the change you want to see in everyone else. If you think more people need to go out looking for someone to help instead of waiting for them to come to you, then GO.
Somewhere inside of us all is that one thing that stirs our emotions. For me it is helping the people who have been ignored by society and the church. For another it is children abandoned by their parents. Figure out your cause, and make it happen.
Jimmy Turner is a husband, father, combat vet, writer, and church planter in Chattanooga. He is the Executive Director for Relevant Hope Inc., a non-profit organization designed to help the poor and needy in Chattanooga, TN and beyond by meeting relevant needs and providing future hope. Jimmy lives in Chattanooga with his wife Shay and two boys AJ and Taylor.
Also visit ActivistFaith.org for this and other posts from Christians living out their faith to change lives.
It’s an unbelievable claim: 163 millions female babies aborted by women seeking sons. This is the information shared in Mara Hvistendahl’s book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences in a World Full of Men.
But even if she’s off by even ten or twenty percent, the headline remains tragic. Whatever your view of abortion in general, the fact that millions of abortions have taken place based on whether the child is male or female is repulsive. The very thought questions the value we give to men and women. Are women and men truly equal? If so, why the tragic disparity in the number of abortions favoring boys over girls?
A Judeo-Christian worldview would hold that both men and women are equally created in God’s image and should be treated as such. Anything less reveals a failure to love men and women as God loves them, and reveals our deep need to for others wherever and whoever they are.
Find out more about Unnatural Selection by Mara Hvistendahl.
DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More. Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.
[Guest post by Activist Faith co-founder Daniel Darling, minister, author, and speaker, and friend, interviewing WorldCrafts president and New Hope CEO Dr. Andrea Mullins. Worldcrafts is a Christian fair-trade artisan group based in Birmingham, AL.]
I have found Andrea to be a wonderful friend, someone who is deeply
passionate about sharing the gospel around the world. Andrea is the
publisher/director of New Hope Publishers and the President of Worldcrafts.
She is the author of several books herself and has a Doctor of Ministry
Degree in Transformational Leadership from Bakke University. Andrea is a
sought after speaker for women’s ministry events.
1) As long as I’ve known you, Andrea, you’ve always had a
passion for missions. Tell me how God birthed this in your heart and
I was in an airplane over Wyoming when I experienced God’s call to
missions. Almost audibly I heard God say, “I want you to join me in what
I am doing in the world.” Until that moment, I had no idea how little I
understood about God’s love for the world. When I arrived home I
couldn’t wait to learn more about God’s work in the world, including my
own community. I am convinced that missions isn’t optional for any
believer. Acts 1:8 commands all believers to missional living in their
communities and around the world.
2) New Hope Publishers is part of the Woman’s Missionary Union®. Now I grew up Independent Baptist, but my wife is a longtime Southern Baptist. WMU is a big part of SBC life. But for those maybe outside of those circles, can you explain the mission of WMU?
WMU® is an international missions
organization that provides missions discipleship in the church for all
ages. Missions discipleship includes learning about missions, praying
for missions, and doing missions. WMU involves believers in missions
through many volunteer opportunities and ministries such as Christian
Women’s Job CorpsSM, Christian Men’s Job CorpsSM, International InitiativesSM, Volunteer ConnectionSM, Pure Water Pure LoveSM, and WorldCraftsSM.
New Hope Publishers was formed a few years ago to extend WMU’s mission
to challenge believers to a radical involvement in God’s mission.
Information about WMU can be found at http://www.wmu.com.
3) If someone asked Andrea Mullins what New Hope Publishers
publish-what would you say? What makes New Hope books stand out in the
evangelical marketplace? Our aim is that every book will meet readers
where God is at work in their lives and take readers to where God is at
work in His world.
We publish books that address real life needs and
issues while at the same time expand a reader’s worldview to see their
lives within the context of God’s plan. We are committed to a worldview
that all of life is to be lived in obedience to Acts 1:8.
4) You have traveled extensively overseas, especially leading
evangelistic teams at the Winter and Summer Olympics. Tell me how that
has changed your worldview and what perspective has that brought to your
work as a publisher?
Foremost, I believe God loves the world and His
love is revealed in Jesus Christ. God’s love in Christ is the common
thread of all missions. As a publisher I am committed to books that are
true to the gospel message found in the Bible. The need for Truth is
urgent as people have unlimited access to every imaginable kind of
content. I pray that people will bump into God regardless of where they
are looking for something to listen to or to read. The only way this can
happen is for us to be committed to the Great Commission in every
aspect of what we do as a publisher. Our books may be seen at http://www.newhopepublishers.com.
5) One of my favorite parts of New Hope Publishers and WMU is
Worldcrafts. Last Christmas we bought each of our kids a Christmas
ornament from Worldcrafts and took the time to explain this unique
ministry. Can you explain this opportunity for Christians to help women
in other parts of the world?
is a fair trade non-profit company that imports handmade crafts made by
impoverished people. Our vision is to provide dignity as we partner to
build microenterprise businesses through which some of the poorest
people in the world receive sustainable income and eternal hope.
WorldCrafts is helping to free women, children, and families from
prostitution, trafficking, and exploitation in places where these have
been the only options for survival. The stories of our artisans and the
beautiful products they make can be found on our website, http://www.worldcraftsvillage.com.
While the numbers are changing all the time, we are currently in nearly
40 countries working with over 70 different artisan groups.
Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of Teen People of the Bible, Crash Course, and iFaith (2011). His work has been featured in evangelical publications such as Focus on the Family, Marriage Partnership, Pray!, Stand Firm, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. His op-eds have appeared in Newsweek/Washington Posts’ On Faith section and other newspapers and opinion sites. He has been profiled by The Chicago Tribune. Daniel is a contributing writer to Zondervan’s Couples Devotional Bible.