I Have a Problem with Awareness Movements

These are the shackles of slavery.
I’ve been very hesitant in writing this blog, mostly because I don’t want to be a critic but a builder.

I want to be clear, I don’t have an issue with marketing and I don’t have an issue with the organizations awareness groups are helping.  

I see the value that many of these non-profit organization are getting from being exposed to a larger audience than they ever could imagine.  I also realize that some Christians are gifted in mobilizing others to be able to go.

Here is my issue with Awareness Movements:
Most, if not all, awareness movements don’t have a physical call to action for the people they are making aware.

By definition awareness is: “Having knowledge of” and movement is: “(1)  the act or process of moving; especially : change of place or position or posture.”  When you look at the two words, they don’t even correlate.  While I understand that you can change people’s hearts, I feel like without the physical change, the awareness becomes knowledge that slips between the cracks.

In Luke 4:11 Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

Slave-trade-shackles-001

Jesus did not say, “I have come to tell you there are prisoners and people are oppressed.”

Isaiah 49:9 declares, “Say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!'”

John the Baptist was sent as a messenger before Jesus, but even in his ministry there was physical movement and action.  He declared that the Kingdom of Heaven is near, repent.

Jesus said that the ” From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12)

Even since John’s message, his movement, violent people were taking the Kingdom of Heaven by force.  When I think of a violent force an image of a tornado comes to mind, it’s destroying everything in it’s path.  These men had an urgency and their missions were one’s that impacted everything around them.

Their movement put them at risk of dying for their cause because they believed in it.

Jesus came and preached about His Kingdom that He was going to setup on earth and then He died for the very cause that He was making people aware of, as did most of His disciples.

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While I was in South Sudan I was told that the Darfur genocide is still happening (estimated 2.7 million living in displacement camps and 300,000 dead, more stats here).

While I was in South Sudan and also in Uganda I was told that Joseph Kony is still alive and continuing his rampage in Congo, Chad and the C.A.R. (estimated 20,000 Ugandan child abductions, 400,000 people displaced, more stats here).Both of these have recently had a huge awareness movements.

Many people are being made aware and then most are not doing anything about it. The movement might get 3 million Likes on Facebook but for the most part the movement tends to fade out of people’s minds.  I’m seeing a trend in awareness movements that doesn’t sit right in my spirit.

I’m afraid we are becoming a social movement generation.

We’ve lost sight of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus and John the Baptist were promoting.

There is a lack of Kingdom-minded Christians which I am happy to see is something that our generation is finally starting to grasp.  Sons and daughters are stepping into their roles as Kingdom dreamers, builders and activators.

Slavery is being fought but how long will these movements last without people who are willing to die for another person to be released from slavery?  We store up knowledge, release statistics but what is this actually accomplishing?

We must know our passions, the things that cause us to come alive…  We must know our motivators, the things that call us to move…  And then we act on them.  There are many ways to get involved in ending slavery and genocide, but all of them require much more than a simple click on your computer.

Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10-11 NIV emphasis mine) (Luke 9:57-62 is also another great reference.)

Would you die for your movement?
Would you leave everything behind for your movement?

If not, then what is the point?

  • Tara Stephenson

    keep moving forward. Romans 12:1-2. God is renewing. Your creator is renewing your mind. There is no room for criticism. Has no life attached to it. How we think of ourselves is sometimes how we will view others. We put these expectations on others that they simply can’t live up to. Rest and be. God is doing some great things with you.