Gen Xer’s and Millennials on Church & Social Justice Post 2 – The Word “Trendy”

I have been thinking about some of the trends I’ve seen between the respective generations, especially in the Church and Social Justice scene. But it seems helpful to actually talk about the word “trends.” We tend to dismiss this word as something that is shallow and lacks quality thought – thus it is temporary and not worthwhile. To me it seems that’s how some are dismissing the need for Christina engagement in the world of justice – some are calling it a trend. So here’s another way to see trends.

You could make the case that 100 years ago after the Wright brothers (and other flight pioneers) were successful that the resulting boom with further experimentation was trendy. What you generally get in these moments is some talented daredevils who jump on this bandwagon. They are normally unemployed, jumping from career to cause, they may even be college drop-outs who have stressed out their parents and left a trail of disappointment along the way. They are not lazy, many have simply not found their purpose, their niche, maybe even their calling. And while some research would be helpful right now, I bet you this is part of the story of those who would pave the way for commerce, military, aeronautical aviation and whose faces and fill the walls at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. Sometimes it seems we need to thank God for trends.

The previous post discussed the rise of NGO’s versus the traditional missions organizations founded in the last century. Now, I’m not interested in defending every t-shirt company but I do think organizations like To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) are so precious to the Kingdom of God. We were just discussing this at our most recent Reading Circle and here’s why. To have a shirt sold at Hot Topic and now so many stores in so many malls in the country that tells their story when you turn it inside out, and an organization with a great online presence that tours across the country with bands and whatever else that allow for a message of hope to be carried to those who desperately need it – well, that’s amazing (And not to mention so much of the financial profits have gone to rehabilitation and counseling programs.  Makes me wonder about all the other shirts I got).

I’ve heard stories of people diving deeper in wanting to stop cutting themselves, in removing whatever that is hurting their minds and bodies, and committed to finding identity. Some find hope in Jesus, and become part of the Church – a “place” they never would have dreamed entering before; now many have found a community they trust as their worship a God that has shown them unconditional love and redemption.  Jamie Tworkowski is the right kind of trend-setter.

This past weekend I got to attend The Justice Conference in Philadelphia. It was excellent and I’ll post more on that soon. But among my bigger observations was that it was a very young crowd. And the second conversation I got from the conference and Christians in the social justice conversation in general is this need for saying, “We are passionately inspired by the gospel and so we see justice as an extremely important part of our Christianity. We’re not being trendy in the superficial sense of the word – we’re praying we can change the culture for the sake of other in the life-giving way of Jesus.”

Thoughts?  Thanks for reading and looking forward to posting on the Justice Conference next.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @jamietworkowski and here is the story of how TWLOHA started.

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