Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Notes from Relevant 2011

Social Justice in your blog

Of all the talks at Relevant '11, this had the greatest impact on my life and past year.  It's motivated me to think daily about social justice and how I can make a difference through my writing.  Love these people for the difference they are making in the world.  Wish there had been something like this at Allume '12 but at least I got to speak with Kristi Griem who is such an encourager.  

Shawn Groves ~ from Compassion
Kristen Welch ~ Mercy House
Kristi Griem ~ Human Trafficking

Shawn Groves starts the panel discussion by talking about Compassion trips where he takes bloggers to see and write about the difference Compassion is making in the lives of children.

Kristen Welch has been with Mercy House for two years, a non-profit.

Kristi Griem deals with Human Trafficking.

Collectively they have been involved in social justice for five years.

How to communicate on behalf of a cause?  Shawn's advise:
He does not coach bloggers on what to say, it's unfiltered.  Stats don't communicate like stories.  Replace the numbers with stories.  We are made by God to connect with human beings.
Kristi suggest a quarterly summary of your work in social justice so to not give your readers fatigue.

Questions to ask yourself when considering which issue to support?

  • How has God put this cause on your heart?
  • How has it impacted you? 

How do you write to create empathy?  It's ultimately not your job.  It's not within my mental capacity, it's the Holy Spirit that presses on our hearts to do something.  Just show up and tell your story.

West Stafford - current president of Compassion.  He grew up in West Africa and watched his friends die of malaria.  He has compassion for the children in the program.

What was it that caused empathy in me?

Do not make people feel guilty.

Do not ask people to do something you are doing.

Social justice is one step at at time.

Call to Action:
Shawn - Don't be a legalist.  Have as much grace for the rich man as the person who says they can't afford to do more.  If we really believe in God's grace, we can forgive our kids for not eating dinner.  Not everyone has to live as you live.  Not everyone is going to engage.



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