Micah challenge

"Prominent American evangelical leaders called on their government, the United Nations and the Church on Monday to adopt a bolder, more aggressive plan to combat global poverty.

For too long, they acknowledged, U.S. churches have failed to advocate on behalf of their counterparts in the global South for stronger government commitment to poverty reduction in the world.

The Rev. Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Orlando, Fla., and a board member of the World Evangelical Alliance, explained that many evangelical churches have been “late to the table” on issues such as global poverty because they’ve been focused on personal morality.

“We’ve forgotten to address the larger issue of public morality,” Hunter pointed out, “which is every bit as compelling and imperative biblically.”

But now, a growing number of evangelical churches are beginning to understand that addressing poverty is part of the biblical mandate of loving one’s neighbor, the leaders asserted.

“As these issues are being brought up more and more in conferences and events where a lot of pastors are gathered, there is a, I think, major change in the thinking of pastors,” said Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Association – a network of more than 12,000 evangelical churches in 45 countries, and the author of Nice Girls Don’t Change the World.

“They are opening their hearts and minds and realizing that as leaders they need to accept the role of educating their congregation about these issues and that is happening,” she said. “I’m pleased to be able to say that is happening.”

Likewise, Dr. Ron Sider, founder of the Evangelicals for Social Action and author of The Scandal of Evangelical Politics and Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger, agreed that evangelicals has made massive progress in terms of their concern for the issue of poverty.

He pointed to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that 50 years ago was supporting a few orphanages in Korea. Now, the agency has grown to one of the largest relief organizations in the world with over $2 billion in annual donations.

Also, there are now dozens of multi-million dollar Christian charities working to address poverty, Sider added.

...During the teleconference, evangelical leaders from the United States and the global South emphasized that church advocacy is even more critical now as the U.S. and the world struggle to overcome the financial crisis. Amid this difficult time, they noted, it is easy for governments to forget about the world’s poor.

..Micah Challenge is a campaign that seeks to make advocacy for the poor part of church mission."

On the Web: http://www.micahchallenge.us

Comments

Anonymous said…
Carole,

Thanks for this post. I have been encouraged by the many evangelical churches that we partner with who have had this 'Micah' vision for years. Hopefully the Micah Challenge will catalyze the broader Christian movement in America to participate in the plight of our neighbors. Thanks again.
Anonymous said…
How about the plight of the poor in America? Could we possibly start at home and go from there?
When you get your own house in order then you are better able to take care of someone elses.
I know we have resources for the poor in America that these other Countries don't but we as Christains should not forget the poor in our own back yard.

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