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Reflecting on the nature of Jubilee Ministry and our call to serve

November 21, 2011

By Chris Johnson
Social and Economic Justice Officer

Chris Johnson

For this past two years the conversation around poverty alleviation has focused on the introduction of asset-based community development as a foundational basis for ministry.
While the introduction of this language to help frame our work is relatively new, the actual practice finds its roots in our 1982 organizing mandate – “a joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people where ever they are found, to meet basic human need and to build a just society.”

At its very core Jubilee Ministry is relational ministry.

First, our ministry is relational in that the work we do is done “in Christ.” In fact, we might suggest that Jesus has first recognized within us the capacity to contribute to the ongoing work of reconciliation with God and each other. Jesus helps us to see our giftedness and to put those gifts to work for the common good. Seeing our gifts at work fills us with joy and appreciation as we find ourselves as both needed, because we have something to offer, and as empowered as we make our offering.

Secondly, our ministry is relational in that the work we do is done “with poor and oppressed people wherever they are found.” Like Jesus working in us, we are invited to work with our neighbor in their circumstances of need. This relational nature of ministry is an invitation to help our neighbors to be able to see and to offer their gifts. Through our faithfulness to nurture relationship in mission they too can experience joy and appreciation as the Holy Spirit works in our midst.

To this end, I invite you to do a gift exchange this holiday season by reflecting with your staff, volunteers and those you serve on the nature of your local Jubilee Ministry. You can do this by answering a few questions together.

  • How is your ministry rooted in Christ?</li>
  • What gifts is Jesus calling forth from you, from your volunteers, and from those you serve?
  • ow does your ministry acknowledge its appreciation of those gifts?
  • While it would be easier to respond to these questions separated by constituency I want to suggest that there is a greater call to accountability and humility when we gather as a community to address these together.

    Please share your learnings from this listening exercise with Becky Jones, the DJO from Colorado and editor of Jubilate, so that our next edition of Jubilate can provide a forum for our mutual benefit as the Jubilee Ministry network.

    Grace and peace,

    Chris

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