What Can the Church Body Do?
In the last few pages of Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life by Robert D. Lupton, he talks about a "church-based community development" (131) that involves the importance of the role of the church body to get involved, take action, listen to and love the community. I started to think about how vital it is for the church body to have strong faith and connection to God because it is through our faith and trust in God's ability to move through a community that we will start seeing needs being met, broken spirits restored, and communities rejuvenated. I was reading a passage in scripture which reads:
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us"
These words reflect the very idea that God works within us and because a church body is composed of individuals who have an identity in God, the church should embody such a large quantity of power and work that God can do through it. However I feel that in what I see, the church does not fully reflect the massive works that God can do but I do see the massive potential we have towards community development and rectifying social injustices.
This idea was confirmed when I visited MIKA in Costa Mesa a couple weeks ago and spoke to a woman who has submitted herself to the work that God has called her to do which happened to be the social issues that surround undocumented workers. She discussed how a couple churches in her community decided to take a stand on immigration reform (despite risking losing church members who may be against it) and how the involvement of the church as a strong moral voice was such an important move. After reflecting on these things, I see the church as a crucial moral impetus for all good changes not because the church itself has power to change situations but because of the work God can do through it.
As individuals, I challenge you to recognize that God's power works within us and within our churches! I challenge you to see that we are a powerful force for rectifying wrongs and calling for change! In addressing the needs of community development and social injustices that surround our modern world, I urge you to maintain strong faith through prayer, obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and trust in the work that God could do in us (as individuals and as a church body).