I went to see Invisible Children tonight with my wife and a few other friends. It’s a must see. I would encourage every person who reads this blog to order the DVD, watch it yourself, and share it with others. It even comes with two copies, so the sharing part is pretty easy. And if you blog…blog about it.
The story of how it happened is pretty fantastic. Three guys from San Diego heard about what was happening in Sudan two years ago when they were 19. They decided to buy a video camera off of ebay and go document it. What they stumbled on, however, was children being abducted in northern Uganda to fight as soldiers. They came back to tell the world, and I’m glad they have.
Though it wasn’t at all central to what they had to say, it is pretty evident that these guys are followers of Jesus. (For one thing, they are now partnering with World Vision.) I love the heart of how they are going about this. This isn’t intended to be some evangelistic crusade. They see some huge evil at work in the world, and, with the heart of Jesus, they are acting to help change that. Out of that, the fact that they follow Jesus will likely be known to many, and that will be their best witness.
Now if you will allow me a minor rant… I am a big believer in missions, and sending people to unreached peoples in the world. However, I wonder if the North American church tends to focus on that too much? We seem less inclined to care about starving children and other social injustices if they happen to be taking place in a country that is primarily Christian. That doesn’t seem to line up with the heart of Jesus.
I think the problem is that we consider everything to be missions that isn’t somehow a ministry of our church. Generally, any ministry, cause or parachurch organization seeking funding is referred to the missions committee of a church. Many missions committees want to focus on unreached peoples, and that is very worthwhile. Would it be best if we just let them focus on that, and gave a portion of money toward that? What if, in addition, our churches had teams devoted to social injustice in the world, that helped raised awareness and funding for those needs? What about a team that focuses on how a congregation might be able to best support what is already happening in their specific community? This world is just too complex and the needs too great to simply lump everything into what we would consider to be missions.