Social Justice is Boring


I hate to break it to you, but social justice is boring.

The emotional cataclysm you feel at that Christian conference as the band plays the same four chords over and over might only happen once or twice if you decide to pursue a career in justice work. The steely resolve you are forming as you commit yourself to following Jesus to the ends of the earth will probably be useful, but usually not because of a dangerous encounter with a hostile government agent. Instead, you’ll need it to break the simmering tension with your spouse or to gin up the courage to apologize to a co-worker. 

If you pursue a life of ministry, you will get to do exciting things and see spiritual wonders every now and then. But mostly, you’ll face the same struggles you have now, just with less air conditioning.

If you work in the West and keep some material comforts as you advocate on behalf of the poor, expect a lot of paperwork and meetings.

We like to tell stories about powerful encounters and lives changed. But most of those stories only happen after years spent studying the language, gaining trust, and learning from locals. Mind-blowing statistics about lives changed represent a long period of time and lots of grueling effort.

Daring raids will sometimes rescue slaves, big rallies might galvanize a social movement, and powerful sermons can lead to many decisions for Christ. However, to ensure that people remain safe, movements endure, and disciples grow in their faith, you have to build institutions–preferably institutions that are self-sustaining.

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