Activism sounds intimidating, ‘changing the world’ feels impossible. Yet each of us has influence, each of us has something to offer. All we can really do is start small, so here are some suggestions for Breathing Out, engaging our world to see community and justice grow:
- Become educated about local issues
Becoming informed and educated about the issues in your community is the beginning step to being actively involved. This may look like reading a local paper or speaking to your neighbours. Listen deeply to the stories of pain, injustice and suffering as well as the stories of joy, hope and positive transformation. This will help you to see how you can serve and walk alongside the people around you.
- Pursue a passion in the community
A great place to start is with what you enjoy doing. What are your interests and passions? How can you use your talents to be active in your community? If you love baking, could you pass on the skill to a neighbour? If you are into sport, could you teach some kids and invest in them through it?
You don’t need to be an expert to get involved; we all have something we can share.
Is there a hobby you want to learn? You could find someone from the community to teach you while at the same time empowering them in their gifting.
- Connect with the vulnerable and marginalised
Jesus has a special leaning towards to the poor and he chose to spend time with the oppressed and outcasts. As a family we hope to follow him to the margins of society. Through this decision we learn from our neighbours what it means to suffer but we also see God’s light flickering. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, and this lifestyle reminds us of our fragility and privilege, but our hope is to be part of reminding our community that they have assets and power.
In every community there are people on the edges, they may be obvious or you may have to pay attention, but take time to connect and to learn from them. Make friends with people who are different from you. Find ways to advocate for those who are struggling.
- Prayer walk
This is a discipline that I would struggle to do if it wasn’t part of my team’s rhythm. Each Wednesday morning we walk round different parts of our local community and pray blessings. We pray into the issues that affect our neighbours and look for signs of hope and transformation. The ideal for me would be that I pray every time I walk; however this doesn’t happen. Prayer walking allows you to breathe out goodness over your surroundings and intentionally be present with your full body in your neighbourhood.
- Enjoy food with neighbours
We all have to eat and something special can happen around the table. A shared meal can level the playing field so we see one another’s humanity. Debbie loves opportunities to enjoy meals with other people. Why not invite an acquaintance or neighbour over for a meal? Be part of reaching out and strengthening community where you are.
How do you breathe out in your community? We love to hear your suggestions and stories so feel free to comment.