My Initial Take and Some Friendly Advice on the #KONY2012 #StopKony Controversy Post 1

For the sake of honesty and context, I am biased towards Invisible Children. While serving as a youth pastor in my previous church, my youth group and I hosted numerous screenings and a couple benefit concerts. We’ve hosted and conversed with numerous IC Roadies, met Nate Henn a couple of times and mourned his tragic murder in Uganda. Many in my youth group started their own “Schools for Schools” campaign (American schools helping Ugandan ones) and my wife and I are monthly supporters of their Legacy Scholarship Program which helps provide private schooling for kids in Uganda. In my dresser drawers are numerous IC shirts, I have worn out more IC bracelets than I can remember, own their films and every now and then, I correspond with a future president of Uganda, Opwonya Innocent (which reminds me, it’s time to check in on him again).

So as a proud supporter, you would think that I have nothing negative to say about Invisible Children. But I do. If you don’t know me (or don’t know me well yet) I’m a bit critical, cynical and perhaps slightly paranoid. I’m also hopeful, optimistic and on good days trusting. So paradox, nuance and gray thinking are part of my life.

Yes, while watching some of the IC Films, I too have thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a bit dramatic.” I too have wondered about how they spend their money and if they are being good stewards of their “roadies”. And like most people, I confess, I too have asked myself, “Is any of this going to make a difference?”

In fairness, I ask this about everything from the Christian missionary work I support, to the Easter Services I participate in. I think these are valid questions for those who desire to serve in God’s Kingdom on any level.

I have not yet watched the Kony film. I hope to later this weekend. I have been keeping an eye out for all the information that is coming out, favoriting tweets, saving articles, and checking out Facebook posts.

Here’s what I’m doing and I offer this as friendly advice as we gather data and perspective:

1. I’m not in a rush to make up my mind. Let’s not get so lost in the hype or the rhetoric that we neglect the bigger picture. Let’s breathe, think and process.
2. I’m ok if the Kony movie sucks. I hope it doesn’t but it’s ok if it does. Joseph Kony is still an evil man even if the film disappoints you. Let’s not miss that.
3. Regarding, Invisible Children, they’re doing good work. It’s likely that they could be doing a better job in some areas. Let the critiques help them. Offer them support/advice/prayer.

Next week I plan on blogging about the good of IC, my concern, and process out loud about the complexities of this very important issue. Would love your input – feel free to comment, pushback in the spirit of conversation and healthy dialogue.