The Just Church* (by Jim Martin of International Justice Mission) is an excellent book about the connection of justice and discipleship. The first half lays a foundation using some great real-life examples, while the second half is highly practical (a “how-to” that’s not intended to be a GPS with a definite end point, but rather a compass and a map to help a church explore uncharted territory and see where God might lead them in ministry). I’ve been involved with something of a Justice Learning Community/Task Force during the past year within my own church, and we have found ourselves doing many of the practices he suggests. I do wish we had found this resource much earlier in the process, as it is not only highly practical but also consistently reminds us of the importance of prayer and spiritual disciplines as the sustenance for this journey.
I found myself wanting to rush through the first portion of the book (which lays the foundation for justice work as discipleship) as I was reading, but as I moved toward the end of the book, I saw how practical and important this first section was. In some ways, I wish this were two separate books, as I feel the first portion would be excellent and relevant for many church members to read, but that folks who are not leading/mobilizing/strategizing might get bogged down by the second, highly practical section. However, I suspect that many of those interested enough in reading reviews about this book will be already involved or seeking to engage their church in the work of justice ministry. For this, I would highly recommend The Just Church as a wonderful resource and tool for your journey.
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