Newsletter #443 – Rejecting Apathy

I’ve been a long-time reader of Relevant magazine, a next-generation publication focused on “God, Life, and Progressive Culture.” Relevant increases my understanding of twentysomethings and challenges me to think innovatively about my life, work, and Christianity. On July 1, 2011, the magazine launched a new publication titled Reject/Apathy. I read it from cover to cover when it arrived in my mailbox.

Maybe it’s part youthful enthusiasm but the editors believe that changing the world will come from the active engagement of committed young people more than from a few bickering politicians, many short-term mission trips, or from other well-intentioned people who have tried to help “the poor or the hurting, and instead damaged cultures or enabled a cycle of dependence.” It is easy to assume that the reject/apathy initiative will fade like others before it when the current younger generations starts building careers, raising families and facing bills. But there always are young people who persist to bring change that nobody else thought possible.

To download a free copy of Reject/Apathy, click on www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy.  Start by reading the Manifesto on page 2 where five values are listed and five areas of focus built on the belief that “every life is created by God, has a purpose and should be given opportunity to live fully.” As you read the following, ponder how this applies to the work that God has called you to do as a follower of Jesus, people helper or people builder.

Here are the five values:

  • Sustainability: the belief that short term interventions often are less effective than long-term self-sustaining initiatives.
  • Local-leadership where outsiders are partners rather than controllers.
  • A faith-focus, built on the view that true renewal is rooted in Christ.
  • Financial transparency and accountability.
  • A long-term-view, assuming that lasting change does not come overnight.

The five areas of focus are:

  • Loss of innocents focused on child soldiers, sex trafficking, abortion, slavery and other areas where the innocent are abused.
  • Creation care.
  • Preventable diseases.
  • Poverty issues.
  • Violence.

This is a tall vision. Reject/Apathy reports on what is being done and ways to be involved. What is your reaction to this? Does it apply to those of us who are older? Please comment.

  1. I totally agree, it’s something I’ve been trying to work on myself (the five values is the only true way to make lasting change), but the stumbling block is money. The big money is used to continue the cycle (To make more money, sick) vs. changing the person. The people who are truely capable (not in it for money or power) to make a significant change are not given the oppurtunity due mainly to the lack of funding. The key is to change the whole man and it is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that this can be accomplished.

    • Trish Compton
    • August 18th, 2011

    Thank you Gary for your question, does the message of the “reject/apathy” article apply to older people. As an “older person” that is to say my children are the “twenty somethings,” and I was beyond my “twenty somethings” before they were conceived. I hope that in living for/with/in Christ as the years go by that I and those of my generation who profess Christ will with the years embody more fully the basic truth that “every life is created by God, has a purpose and should be given opportunity to live fully.” As I consider the 5 values and areas of focus, I ask is this not repackaging of that which is from ancient times? Can this be seen as God actively carrying out His redemption plan through each new generation, uprooting and tearing down that which has no life to build and to plant that which has true value and life everlasting? Perhaps the relevance for “older” people is the reminder from Romans 12:2 that we not remain conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we are able to test and approve what is God’s will. I have much yet to learn in this vein from the “twenty somethings,” perhaps even more so as I am in the midst of many transitions and as I consider short mission work in Haiti.

    Aside: I am just catching up with the blog after a 4 week hiatus and noticed that I have not received any postings for August. Have I missed something?

    • All you missed was the fact that our house was hit by lightening accompanied by some flooding in the basement. My computers went down so I gave myself permission to sit out my newsletter for three or four weeks.

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