The plight of human trafficking and injustice around the world is finally getting a fair amount of attention and press, but until recently the church has not been that involved in the issue. The International Justice Mission (IJM) however is a Christian organization that has been a leading advocate for justice and are actively engaged in the battle. Today Jim Martin, the Vice President of IJM's church mobilization unit launches his new book The Just Church which is an instruction manual for churches to help them explore the why's and how's of implementing a justice ministry.
The Just Church is a very powerful, inspiring, and yet challenging book that will highly benefit the church today, especially the American Church. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 focuses on why we should be involved and reveals the interrelatedness of discipleship and justice. Part 2 provides a practical approach for churches to follow as they begin a justice ministry.
When we see injustice we often think of a place where evil is prevalent and God is silent and yet the author points out that it is actually there that God is at work and moving. Using the Scripture he makes the case that God cares about justice. The Scripture is replete with passages commanding us to watch out for the oppressed and yet somehow that message is missing from many of our churches today. He lovingly reminds us that God wants us "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly" with Him (Micah 6:8). He really challenges today's churches on their priorities and understanding of discipleship.
The church today is working hard to find God and feel His presence. In the book Martin shares how "we continually tweak the mode of our worship in an effort to connect more deeply with God. Surely a new song, an ancient song, a new form of worship, or an old right...more liturgy, less liturgy, a better band, no band, or better preaching will bring back for us that sense of God's presence in our midst." Using Isaiah 58 he reminds us that in order to find God we have to leave the church and engage in the suffering around us. It's our obedience to His call to seek justice and rescue the oppressed that will bring a "level of connection to God, a level of joy that is hard to imagine."
Once we realize the call of the church into the justice ministry Jim Martin goes in depth about how to literally put the call of justice ministry into action. The outrage we feel when introduced to the suffering caused by injustice often has us seeking an immediate solution. However he points out that outrage and impatience are not enough to fuel the real battle we are facing. He says "what these victims really need is a church mobilized to engage for the long haul." The book offers very practical steps that will require some time and a strong commitment to implement them. However if we are guided by humility, prayer, wisdom and love it will be a worthwhile effort for freeing those in justice and engaging us in a place where God is already active and moving.
I pray that every church will step out and engage the issue of justice. Whether you feel your church is ready or not you should read this book. Jim Martin certainly makes a compelling and thoughtful argument for action.Will you heed his call?
You can learn more at The Just Church website or purchase it at Amazon or Christianbook.com (CBD).
To make engaging in the process even easier I have been a copy of The Just Church by Jim Martin to give away to one of my readers! You can enter by following the directions below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway