How your church can help create a flourishing world
A guide to using Tearfund’s Restorative revolution resources and Bible studies in your church.
Written by Hannah Bowring | 21 Nov 2023
<p>Tearfund’s Restorative revolution resources have been designed to help churches engage on the biggest issues of our time. By getting together, sharing ideas, reading God’s word, how can your church be part of God’s restoration story? Credit: Sincerely Media/Unsplash. </p><p></p>
Restorative revolution: A movement of the church to transform wealth, power and communities for a flourishing world invites churches and the individuals within them to respond to the key challenges of the 21st century. Our paper sets out a vision for local churches around the world to use their collective power and resources to shape a fairer future. It presents a picture of a flourishing world where each of us has the power to meet our basic needs, but not at the expense of other people or wider creation.
Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Global Advocacy and Influencing at Tearfund, speaking at the Day of Action prayer meeting in St Silas Episcopal Church Glasgow. Credit: Chris Hoskins/Tearfund.
Why should I use this in my church?
We face multiple interconnected crises on a global scale. Inequality is growing and extreme poverty is on the rise. The earth’s life support systems are under threat. Our economic system is accelerating inequality and the breakdown of God’s world that we all rely on.
At the root of these challenges is humanity’s ancient problem: when sin entered the world, our relationships with God, ourselves, each other and the rest of creation were broken. The consequences are clear to see: greed, corrupt governance, injustice, colonialism and the ransacking of God’s creation.
The choices we make in this decade will set our trajectory for decades to come and determine how severely we damage the world’s climate, and poison each other’s land and rivers.
So this is a pivotal moment for God’s people to come together as part of his restoration story, for millions of Christians across hundreds of thousands of churches to act. The church is the most powerful agent for change in the world, with the potential to make a difference on a global scale. And you and your church play a part.
To kick you off, here’s a short video explaining what we mean by ‘restorative revolution’. It’s a great resource to share and help others connect with these ideas. Why not share it with your church leader or your small group or on your social media channels?
We’ve put together a series of six short Bible studies. Each is based on a different chapter of the Restorative revolution paper, and written by a young theologian from a different continent. These studies are designed to help your church engage with the key challenges of our time. And they’ll help you respond to the invitation to join in with God’s work of restoration, both on big global issues and those impacting your local community.
Why not gather with a new or existing group of people in your church to work through these Bible studies together? Use the questions to allow God to open up fresh ideas or new ways of thinking. Some of the questions will help you reflect individually and as a church: others will inspire you to think of your wider community and the influence you have within it.
The studies will help you think about acting locally and globally, being salt and light, infusing society with generosity, simplicity, justice and all the other incredible facets of the kingdom of God. It will inspire you to think about how your church can be an abundant community and connect with a global movement acting for change.
A self-help women’s group called Talimbika, which means ‘working hard’, gathers for prayer and singing in Chirambi Village, Salima District, Malawi. Credit: Alex Baker/Tearfund.
Being part of the story
You may already be addressing needs in your local community as well as speaking up about wider, structural issues. If so – let us know on [email protected] By sharing our stories, the bigger picture of the jigsaw emerges as we each play our part in this restoration story. Our stories also inspire and envision others to do their part.
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