Have the walls of your church become a bushel basket, or, perhaps, a plastic bucket, if we were to modernize the image? One clear indicator of whether or not your congregation confines itself to such an inhibiting container is whether you or other members of your congregation refer to your church as “the best kept secret in town.” As the bushel basket reference suggests, this phenomenon is not new or unique. Jesus devoted part of his Sermon on the Mount to addressing it. To followers who hid the radiant lamp of their faith under a bushel basket, Jesus urged that they let their “light shine before others,” so that others would see their good deeds and give glory to God.
Without those who took Jesus’s words to heart by going public with their light, there would never have been a rapidly expanding movement dedicated to his radical vision and values. Indeed, there would be no Christian faith today, if the early followers had stayed behind the walls of the bushel basket. The Good News would have flickered and faded long ago.
More broadly, we know that time and time again the catalyst for social change is public action. The spark for any movement cannot receive the oxygen it needs under a bushel basket. For this reason, it is not an exaggeration to posit that the salvation of the Church may very well reside in whether the Church takes public action on the critical issues of our time.
For this reason, I am excited to introduce the Pollinator audience to our new Environmental Justice Fellow: Andrew Wells-Bean. Andy’s sole job will be to support churches in taking public action to advance solutions that match the scale of the climate crisis. Andy’s background in organizing campaigns for organizations like the Sierra Club has given him the knowledge and the skills that we need for this moment. Get to know Andy and stay tuned to learn more about the hope-giving actions that will arise from his work.
With gratitude for your ministry,