As a church leader, you are recognised by our governmental decision makers to be someone who both represents the values of and is able to influence a segment of the community. What a wonderful opportunity and responsibility!
We know that you also have many people and priorities competing for your time and you simply can't do everything. But we also know that most church leaders are excited about the idea of their church community being 'the hands and feet of Jesus' in their communities - and this is a wonderful opportunity for that to happen!
Advocating for justice in our systems
For those who find the issue of people seeking asylum to be daunting, we'd suggest finding the person in your congregation who is most interested in the issue and asking them to meet regularly to keep you informed about what is happening in Australia and in our own local area concerning people seeking asylum, and let you know what opportunities there are for your church community to be a voice for justice.
Perhaps you can best use your influence by writing a letter or column for the local paper and meeting with the MPs that represent your church community to express your concerns. All of this is helpful in the work towards just systems for the vulnerable.
And be assured that you're not on your own - there are fantastic voices for justice in almost every denomination. Read more here.
Meeting practical needs
There are many organisations who can help to connect your church members with people who are seeking asylum or are refugees in your local area. Once you have begun to form a relationship with people seeking asylum, you will find that their practical needs become really apparent and the whole church family can come together to address those needs.