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‘Why Social Action?’


Four studies for reflecting on what the Bible
says about social action and helping you to
take action in your community.

‘Why Social Action?’ written by Concetta Perot, revised by David Arscott.

© Community Mission 2008

Registered charity number 1116530

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Contents

Introduction and Practicalities

Session One Let Scripture speak


Exploring what the Bible says about how God’s
people should respond to injustice and social need.

Session Two Good news to the poor?


Identifying with poverty and powerlessness by
asking, ‘Who are the poor?’

Session Three The Gospel, the whole Gospel and nothing but
the Gospel!
Exploring imbalances in the way we live the gospel
and redressing the balance.

Session Four It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you
do it!
Focusing on empowering as well as serving our
communities.

Appendix A The Prayer - Action - Reflection cycle


Appendix B List of scriptures for Session One
Appendix C Definitions and group questions for Session
Two
Appendix D Example diagram for Session Three
Appendix E Role play and questions for Session Four

Feedback form

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Introduction
This study series has helped many Christian congregations and groups to
explore what social action is and to give a biblical basis for getting involved in our
communities. It is designed for small groups but can also be used by individuals,
within a larger congregation and with other congregations in your area.

It aims to:
• Explore the biblical mandate for Christians to be involved in community
and social justice issues;
• Challenge people to think about their lifestyle in the light of scripture and
to take action.

Practicalities
For each session the material is split into two sections: For study and reflection
and Taking action. Each session should last about an hour and a half but of
course that is flexible and depends on the person leading, whether other material
is introduced etc. Remember to build a break time into your session if it is likely
to go on for any longer than that.

A time for prayer is allocated within each study but each group can be flexible
and choose their own length, style and timings of prayer. We cannot
overemphasise the importance of prayer when using these studies. The
Community Mission Prayer, Action, Reflection Cycle is a useful tool which we
would recommend underpins the series of studies:

Prayer, action and reflection are


equally vital in the cycle – ensuring a
long-term approach that is rooted in
responding to God and his heart for
your community. For more detail on
this please refer to Appendix A at the
end of the sessions.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Key

Group work exercise

Facilitator explanation

For facilitator’s information

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Session One - ‘Let Scripture speak!’

Equipment. For every person: A Bible, copies of Appendix B,


notepaper and pen. Maybe a candle and a source of reflective
music.

1. For group study and reflection


When it comes to understanding the place of social action in the Christian life,
the scriptures speak loudly and clearly.
The purpose of this exercise is to give people plenty of time to
listen and reflect on scripture. In order to create a quiet and
reflective atmosphere you may feel it is appropriate to have a lit
candle in the centre, or play some music. Being creative with
atmosphere will help people respond well to the exercise.

Scripture feast

Give out the list of scriptures below to members in your group. (There is a copy in
Appendix B.) Take it in turns to read the references in the order given. Pause
without discussion for a minute or two between each one. Encourage people to
listen, reflect and let the Holy Spirit speak to them. Invite them to make a note of
the scriptures that strike them and write down their thoughts. Explain that they
can keep these private if they wish.

Main references (where to focus if your time is limited)


Proverbs 31: 8-9 Isaiah 61: 1-3
Micah 6: 8 Luke 4: 16 – 21
Isaiah 42: 1-4 Jeremiah 22: 13-16
Isaiah 58: 3-10 1 John 3: 16-18

Good secondary references (if you have more time or a larger group)
Deuteronomy 24: 17-22 Acts 4: 32-35
Psalm 72: 12-14 1 John 2: 5-6
Matthew 16: 24-26 James 2: 14-17
Matthew 23: 11-12 Galatians 1: 8-10
Matthew 25: 31-46 Galatians 6: 9
Luke 8: 21

Other relevant references (useful for individual study)

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Exodus 22: 25-27 Luke 6: 46-48


Isaiah 1: 15-17 John 20: 21
Amos 5: 21–24 1Corinthians 13: 1-8
Matthew 7: 21-23 James 1: 27
Matthew 22: 34-40 James 2: 8
Matthew 23: 23 –24 James 5: 1-5
Once all the scriptures have been read, go round the group and encourage
people to share what scriptures most affected them and why. You could start by
getting people to do this in pairs, maybe sharing their top three scriptures. Go
round the group and give everyone a chance to share their responses before
getting into any group discussion. Emphasise that this is a safe place to explore
what people feel rather than people thinking they have to come up with the ‘right’
answers. Accept any struggles and questions that the scriptures have provoked,
maybe making a note to come back to them. Try and make sure that everyone’s
perspective is heard.

Then take time to pray for each other in the light of what has been read and
shared.

2. Taking action
Having read and talked about the Bible, it is now time for people to consider their
response. As James says, ‘faith without action is dead’.
Jesus tells us to love our neighbour. Ask people to spend a short
time reflecting on the question: Who is my neighbour and how
can I love them? Encourage people to think about their local
community, their workplace and the global community to which
we all belong.

Next steps

Split into twos and ask people to reflect together on what action they might take
to ensure that their lifestyle reflects God’s priorities for a gospel that is good news
to the poor and oppressed. Everyone will be in a different place on his or her
journey and that is OK. What is important is that each person has time to think
and work out what their next step is, even if they feel that there are many steps to
take.

Hand out pieces of paper. Ask people to write out what they think their next
steps into social justice issues might be. Encourage people to share this in their

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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pair and stick the piece of paper in a prominent place in their home! Commit to
taking these steps and sharing with a friend if you are struggling to do it.
Having made a note of the scriptures which most affected them
encourage people to read them prayerfully every day for the next
week, asking God to show them how he wants them to respond.
Suggest people keep a journal of what they hear and feel. You
can begin the next session by sharing any thoughts and
reflections.

Session Two – ‘Good news to the poor’


Equipment. For everyone: notepaper and pen.
At least one Bible.
Copies of Appendix C for groups or pairs
Some copies of this week’s newspapers
Flipchart, or big pieces of paper, and pens to record ideas

At the start of this study take time to reflect with the group on
what was discussed in the last study. Encourage people to feed
back their thoughts and comments. How have they got on with
their next steps? What have been the challenges to putting them
into action? What have they been really encouraged by? Have
they taken time to read the highlighted scriptures during the
week? Have they had new insights and learning?

1. For group study and reflection


If the gospel has no power to transform situations of social injustice, oppression
and poverty, it is not good news to the poor! But who are the poor?

Who are ‘the poor’?

Ask two people to read Luke 4: 18-19 and John 20: 21. Ask if anyone has any
immediate thoughts or comments they would like to share with the group maybe
in the light of the discussion at the start?

The Bible reveals God’s special concern for people who are poor, oppressed and
vulnerable. These are some of the words it uses to describe them:

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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• Oppressed, downtrodden, humiliated


• Powerless
• Yearning and insistent
• Defenceless and open to exploitation
• Needy and in want
• Subject and dependent
• Diminished and impoverished
• Destitute and bereft
• Dispossessed and evicted

(This list, and a copy of the questions below, is at Appendix C so you can print it
off or you could write it up on a flipchart.)

For each definition, ask people to think of examples of the ways these states of
poverty reveal themselves in every day situations particularly locally. (e.g. groups
of people who might be open to exploitation, situations where power is being
misused, circumstances in which people are kept dependent on others rather
than encouraged to develop for themselves, areas of the world where people are
dispossessed or oppressed.)

Hand out a selection of daily papers to people and use these to give your group
current, real-life examples. Ask people to find articles and stories that are to do
with the aspects of poverty they have been exploring. Make a list of the different
ways of being poor that they find in the newspaper.

An alternative way to run this exercise is to split into pairs and allocate one or
two definitions to each. Then get them to feed back to the larger group.

Exploring poverty

Discuss the following questions in your group (or split into two groups). Give
space for diverse opinions; do not try to find all the answers!

• What are the causes of poverty?


• Having read and thought about some of the biblical words for poor, is
poverty just about money?
• What extent do the way things are run, the social structures and systems,
play a part?
• If an individual is poor is it their fault in some way?
• Is there a spiritual dimension to poverty?
• Is poverty part of our culture?

Then encourage people to think about their own experiences.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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• Are there times or places where you have felt oppressed or powerless?
• Do you know any local people who are experiencing any form of poverty?
• How are Christians working alongside people who experience poverty?
How are they challenging the things that cause poverty (like
organisations, people and the ways people think)?
• How effective do you think they are? How much of a difference are they
making?

2. Taking action
Explain that, ‘What you see depends on where you stand’. A lot
of Christian activists feel that it is difficult to understand issues of
injustice and social need without experiencing them themselves
or hearing the stories directly from others.

What do people think about the statement ‘What you see depends on where you
stand.’? You may have time to use the following questions to encourage
discussion in the whole group

What can I do?


.:

• Does it resonate with their life experiences?


• Do they have experiences of injustice and social need?
• If not, how should they respond?
• Are there ways in which they could gain more understanding?
Pick up on the positive actions that people have suggested they
could do. Maybe write them up on a flipchart. Look for a
spectrum of opportunities such as ones for individuals, pairs,
small groups, the whole group or church and a group of local
churches.
It may be appropriate to suggest other actions, such as speaking
to a local volunteer bureau to find out about befriending schemes
(e.g. for refugees) or to get in touch with a project in your area
working with marginalised people and get involved with it.

Encourage people to seek to form new friendships with people in


need and listen to their experiences.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Spend time praying about your responses.


For bigger ideas you will need to break them down into smaller steps and think
how you can involve others.
Arrange to report back at the next session and later on

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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Session Three – “The Gospel, the whole Gospel


and nothing but the Gospel!”

Equipment.
Big pieces of paper or flipchart with big circles on.
Pens
At least one Bible

At the start of this study, take time to reflect with the group on
what was discussed and learnt last time. Have people had further
thoughts on the material since you last met? Has anyone found
out any more about the biblical view of people who are poor and
oppressed? Who has taken action? Has anyone brought along a
journal, or any specific comments about what they have done as
a result of the last session?

1. For group study and reflection


Jesus’ death speaks life into every area of our lives. It is a ‘whole’
gospel. The restoration, salvation and freedom from sin that we
can know as individuals can also be known where there is
corporate sin and injustice, such as where people are kept poor
by unjust and oppressive structures and the way people think and
talk.
The purpose of this exercise is to help people consider where
Christian congregations and groups are involved in activities to
live out the gospel and what we need to do to keep the gospel
‘whole’, making a difference to all of life.

Making things right

Ask two people to read out the following Bible passages: Isaiah 42: 1-4 and
Micah 6: 8.

The two key words that are translated as ‘Justice’ in the Hebrew Scriptures are
‘mishpat’ and ‘sedeqah’. There is no literal translation into English but the
meaning of biblical justice is making things right.
To do justice is to make things right wherever they are not right.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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On a large piece of paper, put the heading ‘Making things right’. Then draw a
large circle on the paper and split it into four sections, labelled as follows:
(See Appendix D for an example)

• Between people and the environment


• Between people and God
• Between individuals or groups and big organisations and governments
• Between individuals such as couples, friends, people in families.

Ask the group to name activities where the Church is actively engaged in ‘making
things right’. These might be local, regional, national or international initiatives or
just individuals who are doing things. As you come up with ideas, write them
down in what you think is the most appropriate section, e.g. The Alpha course
could go in the ‘Between people and God’ section.

Here are some names of initiatives to get you going:


Make Poverty History, Movement for Christian Democracy, Christian Ecology
Link, Church marriage preparation courses, Martin Luther King, Micah Challenge,
your local Christian homelessness project.

Gather all your ideas (try and get at least twenty) and put them in the circle. Then
read aloud the following scriptures: Amos 5: 21-24, Isaiah 58: 3-10, Matthew
23: 23 and Matthew 5: 14-16.

Talk about what you have done using the questions below.

• Are some parts of your circle fuller than others? Which section was it
hardest to think of examples for?
• Do you think our culture focuses too much on individuals (‘It is all about
what I want…because I’m worth it!’) and that this affects the way we
understand the gospel?
• How do you think God feels about his people when they focus just on
individualised faith and neglect dealing with other justice issues?
• What is the impact on the Church’s reputation when we (a) ignore issues
of social justice (b) take action on issues of social justice?

Pray over the issues that have arisen in your discussion.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
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2. Taking action
Righting the wrongs

In your group (or pairs or smaller groups) identify an issue or a concern, where
you think something is ‘not right’, preferably a local one or a national one that
people are deeply concerned about.

Then talk about the following questions and make a note of your responses:

• What type of response to this injustice would be in line with God’s


character? How do you think God feels and what would He want to do?
• What type of response would be out of line with God’s character?
• What action can you take, no matter how small?
• What things might stop you taking action?

Discuss your obstacles, work out ways of overcoming them and make a plan on
how you will take action! Then pray together about your plans.

Another idea for encouraging others to action is to go and find


out more about an area of injustice that concerns you (global,
national, local to your community), for example the plight of
refugees, the discrimination faced by people with disabilities, the
barriers to poorer people getting to university. Write an article for
your parish magazine, local newspaper or other publications to
raise awareness and encourage others to get involved.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
14

Session Four – It’s not what you do it’s the way


that you do it!
Equipment.
Big pieces of paper or flipchart
Pens
At least one Bible

At the start of this study, take time to reflect with the group on
what was discussed and learnt last time. Remind people of the
issue you discussed. How have people got on with their action
plans? Has anyone written an article that has been published?

1. For group study and reflection


Remind people that over the last three studies you have been
listening to God’s specific call to make a difference to the
injustices and poverty in our society. This calling motivates us to
take action. But listening to God and listening to our communities
must go hand in hand. It’s not just what we do, it’s also the way
we do it, that makes all the difference.

Listening to others

Ask two people to read Matthew 23: 11-12 and Matthew 20: 20 –28. Does
anyone have any immediate thoughts or comments they would like to share with
the group?

Go round the group and ask people to think of a situation where they were not
listened to or consulted, e.g. someone making a decision which affects you
without asking; going to the doctor’s and being told what you need without
properly being listened to first; someone making assumptions about your life
without actually talking to you.

Then ask for responses to the following questions:


• How does it feel to not be listened to and to have people act as experts of
your life?
• Was it easy to resist their behaviour and challenge their assumptions?

Take time to reflect on these experiences together.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
15

Ask someone to read the following aloud:

People who are poor often feel that ‘do-gooders’ who have not lived in their
situation parachute in and set up projects to help them without even involving
them or talking to them. We must engage with people in poverty before ‘doing’
something to help. If we do not, we are assuming that we know what they need
and that we are the ‘experts’ of their lives. We become like ‘benefactors’ to the
lowly poor rather than partners in their struggle.

Such attitudes in our social action create and sustain imbalances of power. They
keep people dependent on the ‘benefactor’ rather than empowering them to be in
control of their lives. They fail to demonstrate the attitude of servanthood that
Jesus talked about and modelled.

In our attempts to make a difference, we must always ask ourselves the


question: ‘Are we doing things to people, for people or with people?’

Benefactors or servants?

Divide people into two groups:

Group A will act as BENEFACTORS TO PEOPLE

Group B will act as SERVANT PARTNERS WITH PEOPLE

Explain that both groups feel God is calling them to do something to help local
young people who have hardly any facilities or things to do in their area because
of cuts in the youth service. Each group, in their role, needs to think about how
they would go about responding to this situation.

(Appendix E has copies of these prompts and the follow up questions)

Each group should record their thoughts on flip chart paper


Give particular consideration to the following sub-headings:

Attitudes that would be held by your group (e.g. sympathetic, humble,


superior).

Practicalities of how they would they go about responding (e.g. pay


someone to run a project, do research in schools, use ideas that have
worked elsewhere).

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
16

The Outcome for the young people, what difference will it make for them
(e.g. provide new skills, keep them occupied, help them to make decisions).

The Outcome for the planning team i.e. your group (e.g. challenged our
attitudes, had our guilt relieved because we’ve done our bit)

Ask each group to present their findings, either in their role or as straightforward
feedback. Then take time to discuss these questions:

• Why is it easier to be a benefactor to people rather than a servant partner


with people? What are the positive and negative sides of each approach?
• What things can you do to engage with people to find out what they are
thinking and feeling rather than just “do things to them” or “do things for
them”?
• If we are to empower the poor and the powerless what do we have to do?
• Can you think of practical examples of this?

Follow with a time of prayer.

2. Taking action

This is the final study in the series of four. It is important to spend


plenty of time now closing the series with a time of recapping,
reflection, commitment to positive action and prayer. This needs
to be a good time of support and encouragement for people.

The way forward

As a group, reflect together on the actions that you have already taken in recent
weeks, in response to the issues highlighted. Encourage discussion together
using the following questions:

• What are the most important points that you have learnt?
• What has God put on your heart in your times of reflection or prayer?
• Where are you passionate to see change?

Ask people to identify their first small steps towards action in this area. It may
help to work in pairs. Then share these plans as a whole group. Encourage each
other in these decisions to continue acting to create change.

Decide how you want to proceed at different levels: as individuals, as pairs or


small groups interested in a certain issue; as a church; as a group of churches.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
17

You will not have all the plans ready at this stage but identify where you could
start, how you could find out more, how you could get support from others, who
you could work alongside. It is all about making a start, praying and seeing
where God opens doors for you to walk through.

Then close the series by spending time praying for each other. Focus on the
passions and ideas that God has stirred in each individual and pray for direction
and action.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
18

Appendix A – Prayer-action-reflection cycle

Community Mission encourages Christian congregations and groups involved in


their communities to maintain a cycle of a prayer-action–reflection. This is
important, particularly for local congregations seeking to build authentic and
lasting relationships together.

Prayer, action and reflection are equally vital in the cycle – ensuring a
sustainable approach to restoring communities. At one extreme, activism by itself
can easily lead to burn out. On the other hand, without any real community
engagement, our prayer or Christian reflection can easily become inward looking,
empty and irrelevant.

Prayer
There is a wide range of different ways of praying. Some congregations are used
to open, spontaneous prayer. Others favour set prayers and liturgies, or more
meditative styles using music or pictures to help focus on God. Whatever your
preference, prayer can be a powerful way of bonding Christians together in a
common purpose.

If you are planning any kind of meeting for congregations in your community,
beforehand spend some time thinking creatively and sensitively about prayer.
Who will be there? How can you make those on the edges feel comfortable and
included? How can you focus the prayers on your local area? Ideas include:
pictures of local scenes on an overhead projector, press cuttings from the local
newspaper, different prayer stations
around a room, prayer walking around
the local streets.

Action
Actions really do speak louder than
words. Conversation and prayer between
local congregations is vital, but
relationships are likely to grow far more
quickly when we act together. What’s
more, it can be a powerful demonstration
of unity to other congregations and people within the community.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
19

Take time to find out about what you could do together in your community. It can
be helpful to start with a one-off event, which can lead to longer-term
involvement. There are many ideas for joint action, such as decorating a
community centre, a family fun day or community carnival. Often this provides a
‘shared story’, with lots for those involved to discuss and reflect on together.

Reflection
Once begun, community action gives us plenty to reflect on. Spending time in
reflection, on our own and with others, is a great way of gathering
encouragement and seeking guidance for further action. As we return to the
Bible, which is packed full of inspiration and wisdom to help us work together for
God’s kingdom, we have a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ teaching and the
Church that he calls us to be.

www.communitymission.org.uk has links to resources that can help us draw


on the biblical stories. As you reflect, think about how you can share your stories
to encourage, support and learn from others. In turn, our reflection brings us to a
new place of prayer, where we recommit plans, ideas and hopes to God and
humbly ask him to move us forward in action and unity.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
20

Appendix B – A Scripture Feast!

Main references

Proverbs 31: 8-9 Isaiah 61: 1-3


Micah 6: 8 Luke 4: 16 – 21
Isaiah 42: 1-4 Jeremiah 22: 13-16
Isaiah 58: 3-10 1 John 3: 16-18

Good secondary references

Deuteronomy 24: 17-22


Psalm 72: 12-14 1 John 2: 5-6
Matthew 16: 24-26 James 2: 14-17
Matthew 23: 11-12 Galatians 1: 8-10
Matthew 25: 31-46 Galatians 6: 9
Luke 8: 21 Acts 4: 32-35

Other relevant references

Exodus 22: 25-27 Luke 6: 46-48


Isaiah 1: 15-17 John 20: 21
Amos 5: 21–24 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
Matthew 7: 21-23 James 1: 27
Matthew 22: 34-40 James 2: 8
Matthew 23: 23 –24 James 5: 1-5

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
21

Appendix C Who are ‘The Poor’?

The Bible reveals God’s special concern for people who are poor,
oppressed and vulnerable. These are some of the words it uses to
describe them:

o Oppressed, downtrodden, humiliated


o Powerless
o Yearning and insistent
o Defenceless and open to exploitation
o Needy and in want
o Subject and dependent
o Diminished and impoverished
o Destitute and bereft
o Dispossessed and evicted

Some questions to talk about


1. What do you think are the causes of poverty?
2. Having read and thought about some of the biblical words for
poor, is poverty just about money?
3. To what extent do the way things are run, the social structures
and systems, play a part?
4. If an individual is poor is it their fault in some way?
5. Is there a spiritual dimension to poverty?
6. Is poverty part of our culture?

Based on your own experiences…


7. At what times or places have you felt oppressed or powerless?
8. Who are the local people experiencing a form of poverty?
9. How are Christians working alongside people who experience
poverty? How are they challenging the things that cause poverty
(like organisations, people and the ways people think)?
10. What sort of a difference are they making?
Are they being effective?

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
22

Appendix D The Whole Gospel.

Within relationships between individuals,


Between people and God couples, families and friendships

Between people or groups and big Between people and the


structures in society like environment
organisations or governments.

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
23

Appendix E …It’s the way that you do it.

In role play as a group decide and write down

What Attitudes would be held by your group (e.g. sympathetic,


humble, superior?)

What Practical things would your group do to respond to this


situation? (e.g. pay someone to run a project, do research in
schools, use ideas that have worked elsewhere.)

What would be the Outcome for the young people? What


difference will it make for them? (e.g. provide new skills, keep
them occupied, help them to make decisions.)

What will be the Outcome for the planning team i.e. your group
(e.g. challenged our attitudes, had our guilt relieved because
we’ve done our bit)

As yourselves, discuss these questions:

• Why is it easier to be a benefactor to people rather than a


servant partner with people? What are the positive and
negative sides of each approach?

• What things can you do to engage with people to find out what
they are thinking and feeling rather than just “do things to them”
or “do things for them”?

• If we are to empower the poor and the powerless what do we


have to do?

• Can you think of practical examples of this?

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk
24

Feedback form
We really hope you found this course useful. It has been revised at least twice and we
are eager to hear of any ways we could improve it.
Please use this form, write an email to communityinfo@livability.org.uk or a letter to give
us your ideas and send to: Livability Community Mission, 50 Scrutton Street, London,
EC2A 4XQ. Thank you!

1. Please rate each section 1 to 5 (1 poor – 5 excellent)

Session One …… Session Two ……


Session Three …… Session Four ……

2. Please describe what you liked / disliked about each section?


Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

3. What would you change or add to the pack. Do you have any other
comments/suggestions on the course?

4. What other ‘topics’ would you like to see covered by future packs on Christian social
action?

Name:
Address:
Email: Phone:

Community Mission is ordinary people living out the radical message of Jesus. Its about combating poverty and
isolation, bringing hope and transforming your local community. www.communitymission.org.uk