In 2014 Christian leaders and change-makers gathered together to share their vision for Australia.
They spoke of hope experienced as they watched a generation of Christians emerge who have both experienced the transformation that comes from believing in Jesus and following Him, and who are acutely aware that they serve a loving God who cares about His world.
This is a generation who believes that there is more to the story of being a Christian than just church on Sunday, a weeknight study group and a healthy devotional life. They read God’s word and hear His heart for those in need. They know they are called to respond to social, economic and environmental challenges, both local and global. They know that throughout history, Christians have borne witness against injustices and have been ready to act to be the change they want to see in the world.
They are inspired by what is already happening as they see some churches and organisations that are shining God’s light for a more just world. They recognise that as humans we are more connected than ever and this has enhanced the social consciousness of young people in particular. They have witnessed how technology can drive meaningful change, particularly when combined with action in the physical world.
Yet, it is a generation that also feels a sense of disappointment. They see little action by ‘regular’ Christians on domestic issues and Christian online activity that is focused on employment or dating. Of even more concern is fragmented action on key justice issues and, in some cases, no action at all. Further, the external perception of the church is often negative, fuelled by a public Christian voice that can seem ungracious, self-righteous and out of touch.
Even so, this new generation of Christians dares to believe that they can be part of a movement. A movement that addresses the current gaps in Christian engagement with issues of justice. A movement that is shaped by the true character of Jesus and the hope of His resurrection. A movement that meaningfully connects personal faith with action that makes the world a better place.
So, these leaders began to plan toward this movement, putting in place a development period to map the landscape, engage stakeholders and clarify a vision that would meet the need for a gracious Christian voice in the public sphere.
With generous seed funding from a variety of para-church organisations, not-for-profits and some larger churches, a team was recruited to set about the task of making Common Grace a reality.
Just a few months later... Common Grace launched in December 2014. Common Grace stands as a community of Christians from across the breadth of the church, who are passionate about Jesus and Justice. A movement set on making a positive contribution to Australia, as we seek to think, act and speak, more like Jesus.