In just two years we've achieved some amazing things. As we look forward, we remember where we've come from and the wins along the way.
Those of you who have been with us on the Common Grace journey for the last two years have probably heard us use the words formation, celebration and mobilisation to describe what we do. But just in case you missed it, here's a quick run down:
- We are deeply committed to the formation of Christian resources
- We celebrate the amazing example of Christians pursuing justice
- We respond to moments of injustice by mobilising Christians to graciously respond
Over the last two years, we've tried to balance our work across these three areas, but upon reflection, we feel as though we've probably emphasised mobilisation opportunities a little more than we have our work that inspires through celebration and formation opportunities. This year we're re-prioritising our work to ensure that our work that inspires action (ie. deeper formation and celebration work) is equally prioritised, so that more may of us be mobilised to bold acts of justice in future days.
So, how are we going to do this?
Produce more content across a wider range of issues
When a key news story breaks, we want to find Christian voices who can help us process what the Christ-like response could be, giving people meaningful words to process, grieve, empathise, share, pray and more engage with the issue through their faith rather than in isolation from it. In the past we've produced occasional content like this, but in 2017 we hope to more deeply resource our blog and invite contributors from our movement to write with us.
Feature a diverse range of contributors
There is something beautiful about hearing an encouraging insight from an unexpected voice, and in the midst of our increasingly narrow filter bubbles being able to open your ears and learn to understand and empathise with those who may see things differently to you is more important than ever. This is foundational to the work we do, seeing a large part of our role as bringing diverse Christian voices together on common ground, sharing in common grace, working towards the common good. And this year we want to particularly focus on voices that are often unheard, or uninvited to speak – knowing that God uses not the one with the biggest platform, but the purest heart. So, you can expect lots more of this across our social media, our formation series, and through our blogs – and if you'd like to write with us, let us know on our volunteer page.
Develop formation resources across our issue areas
Underpinning everything we do is deep theological consideration, biblical reflection and a commitment to prayer within community, but we've not been the best at publishing this content across our issue areas. If we're to inspire Christians towards justice, it is paramount that we are first tell the biblical narrative around why Christian engagement in a justice issue is so important.
Host more events across the country
Already this year we've co-hosted a dozen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander acknowledgement services across the country, and ran an evening with The BRILLIANCE – a band some of you have called the musical equivalent of Common Grace. Having these amazing opportunities to meet with more than 100 of you has inspired us to host even more events, so that together we can open up conversations and topics, and ensure that we hear from those who often aren't invited to speak.
Pray for boldness in all our work
In Acts, the Apostles gathered their small Christian community together and prayed for boldness to continue the work they were doing. As our movement confronts major justice issues in our country with a gracious, compassionate response, we're praying for the boldness not to shy away from difficult subjects, driven ultimately to those who are overlooked, marginalised, ostracised or unheard and partnering with them in Jesus' name.
Widen our circle
Today, we are a movement of more than 30,000 Australian Christians who are engaged in justice work and concerned about a more gracious, compassionate Christian voice in spoken in society. This year we hope to inspire another 30,000 Christians to join us, engaging in our work and mobilised to action, through our formation and celebration work.
Needless to say, there's a lot of work to be done between the articulation of this vision for our formational work, and actually achieving these outcomes - from the administrative tasks of identifying and liaising with new and diverse voices, to the practical ones of editing, graphic and web design work so that resources are delivered in a shareable format with you all!
One of the most helpful ways that you can support us in achieving these is by donating towards the labour costs of our staff and contractors who will actually do this work, and contribute towards the web platform costs associated with making our formational resources accessible. You can partner with us in this way here.