Choose love - it's the only way
By Tim Evans - 24 May 2018
During the past week, it has been a real privilege to hear two different preachers from the States: Bishop Michael Curry and Tony Campolo. One an Episcopalian Bishop and liberation theologian and one an Evangelical Baptist and founder of the Red Letter Christian movement. One spoke at the Royal wedding whilst the other was speaking up and down the country in support of our new Urban Change Makers programme. Remarkably, both had a very similar message. As Bishop Curry – quoting Martin Luther King – put it, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love, and when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”
Urban Change Makers, run in partnership with Newbigin School of Urban Leadership, builds the capacity of young people who might not access traditional leadership programmes. High quality input helps them think about how to live compassionate, innovative and resilient lives in their communities and neighbourhoods. The programme equips them to join a movement of people who refuse to accept the world as it is and want to live out a different story.
These Urban Change Makers have explored community campaigning, community building and community enterprise as means of making change in their neighbourhoods. This year’s cohort are on the way to, or have already started everything from a clothing line, to children clubs, exercise classes for isolated women, a weekly park run around London docks, social enterprises for the homeless, a charity shop, an advice centre and street barbecues.
All the time he was with us, Tony Campolo urged our young leaders not to be tempted by power, but to follow the example of Jesus, who was tempted with power in the desert, and to instead choose a life of sacrificial love. That’s the only way the kingdom of God can infiltrate the world.
These young adults are full of passion and love for their communities and now they haven't just completed a programme: they've committed their lives to remaking this old world into a new one, a person, a street, a neighbourhood at a time.