Prepared by Donald Shoemaker
Chair, FGBC Social Concerns Committee
June 27, 2012
Theme Scripture (suggestion)
“Seek the welfare [shalom] of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
– Jeremiah 29:7 ESV
Other relevant scriptures: Isaiah 1:10-16; Isaiah 58; Micah 6:6-9;
Matthew 5:43-46; Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 10:25-37; Romans 13:1-7;
1 Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 3:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9-17
Your church should establish a clear, written basis for social concerns ministry in one or more places in its major documents: Constitution, Bylaws, Purpose Statement, Objectives, Goals, etc.
Example: Constitution of Grace Community Church of Seal Beach
Article 2, Section 1: Purpose – Our church exists to worship God, to build Christian faith and fellowship and to impact our world for Christ.
Article 2, Section 2: Objectives (#3) – Witness: To serve humanity by practicing local evangelism and worldwide missions and by promoting social justice and humanitarian ministries.
• Disciple the congregation through teaching, leadership, and examples on our biblical social responsibilities and opportunities in today’s world (sermons and featured ministries help achieve this)
• Be involved in good deeds in the community and elsewhere (“Serve the City” projects)
• Support local and worldwide ministries engaged in helping people (rescue missions, pregnancy aid ministries)
• Support ministries that “do justice” from a biblical perspective (such as International Justice Mission)
• Encourage good citizenship (voter registration and reminders, action on issues)
• Build goodwill in the community and work with others in efforts that manifest love of neighbors and bring positive benefits (blood drives)
• Stand up for religious liberty for all (freedom of conscience issues)
• Diligently consider moral issues that arise at the local, state and federal levels and formulate positions and encourage activism in the church family when the church’s Elders (or other pastoral leadership body) deem an issue rises to a biblical level and warrants a church response. This is best accomplished through the collegiate decision of a governing body rather than by the decision of an individual.
• Network with other individuals or organizations outside the church to work for the common good (local Chamber of Commerce)
• Bear tasteful and appropriate witness to biblical values that touch on society (maintaining a “presence” outside an abortion facility)
• Encourage a spirit of prayer in the church for all who are in authority, that we might live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness (regular prayer in worship services)
• Motivate and organize members with appropriate passion and giftedness to form a “Social Concerns Committee” in the church that will focus on “mission fulfillment.”
• Keep interested members aware of quality resources (periodicals, speakers, books [such as Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith—How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good]).
• Ensure that all activism is in accord with applicable ordinances and state and federal law, unless the church’s Elders determine that the ordinance or law itself violates the law of God