Formation? What's that and why is Common Grace into it? Good question!
As you know, we’re passionate about building a movement of Christians who are on about both Jesus and justice… and we truly do believe that Jesus’ justice on earth is embodied by his people as we learn to follow his ways! However, like many of you, we’ve seen how social justice can often become divorced from the Lord of justice and peace, and we want to do all we can to guard against that.
Our “Formation Campaign” is the name we give to the work we do that is deliberately aimed at engaging Christians with scriptural teaching that encourages them to submit their lives to Jesus’ lordship and, empowered by his Spirit, begin to live in obedience to him.
We are conscious of not straying out of the “lane” we have been given to run in and therefore endeavour in all our formational campaigns, to position well-respected Christian leaders from right across the breadth of the Australian church, to share their scriptural understanding of Jesus and justice with the wider body of Christ. We also seek to champion the great work that is already being done by Christians in Australia (and there’s so, so much to champion!).
THE GOOD REPORT
Our major formational campaign in our first year was the Lord’s Prayer Campaign held during the season of Lent, with more than 2,500 Christians signing up to take part.
Undertaken through a partnership with the Bible Society, this campaign encouraged Christians to “Pray All The Way” until Easter. Those who participated in the campaign received daily emails with scripture and devotional reflections; weekly videos focused on one line of the prayer with quality teaching by key Australian Christian teachers from all different denominations; complimentary blogs, again from right across the church landscape, and various downloadable graphic artwork for printing or social media sharing.
Of course we also encouraged and helped our members practically see how the knowledge that was being shared could be practically outworked, highlighting a range of opportunities to take part in “acts of justice” so that there was something to suit everyone.
We also made all our Lord’s Prayer resources freely available for pastors, church leaders, small group leaders and individuals to access on our website. The video teachings, in particular – with high quality teaching from Christian leaders representing so many church traditions – have reportedly been a great resource for churches. We hope they are helpful to you!
HOPES & PLANS
Our hope is that next year we would continue our Formational Campaign work and also expand upon it. Some specific plans that we have in the pipelines that will go ahead if funding allows are:
* An new LENTEN campaign in partnership with the Bible Society, obviously on a fresh topic (that we want to keep a surprise at this stage!), again including high quality video and written teaching by respected denominational leaders, and accessible opportunities for Christians to act upon the teaching. And, of course, lots of pretty graphic art so that we can share the message of Jesus on social media and hopefully start some conversations with non-Christians in our worlds!
* An exciting ADVENT campaign in partnership with TEAR Australia, that seeks to help Christians consider new ways to “do Christmas” and provides them with beautiful, artistic and practical tools for using and sharing with others in their worlds. Again, celebrating the brilliant work that many Christians are already doing in this space.
* Some specific formational work in each of our campaign areas that is designed to help Christians consider the scriptural basis for advocating for justice when it comes to: people seeking asylum; domestic and family violence; gambling reform; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; and caring for God’s earth. Designed to help us all think through the “why” behind the “what”. Recently we have produced 16 DAYS of prayer against Family and Domestic Violence, which you can see here, which is an example of this kind of work.
Donate to our Formational Campaign work here.