We sent a team to the Catalyst conference in Atlanta, GA last week to help spread the word about the ministry of OneHope. We printed signage and handed out t-shirts with the question “Is God’s Word Enough?” boldly printed on them.
This being our first conference, we had no idea how the audience would react or the skepticism we might receive from such a provocative question. So we tried to anticipate any pushback we might receive and prepared ahead of time how we would respond.
Little did we know that 500 t-shirts would be snatched up in less than 8 minutes!
Countless people were intrigued by the question. They loved their t-shirts and wore them proudly! Many even stopped by the booth to ask, “what is this all about?” and affirm, “Amen! I’m so glad to see pure Scripture ministry—this is so refreshing!”
I’m not sure what we were so afraid of; I think we were anticipating more people wanting to debate on which is more important: evangelism or social justice issues.
But we were among friends. It was affirming to know that we are not the only ones who truly believe that God’s Word is more than enough. Presenting people with the gospel message and giving them a chance to accept and believe in Jesus is the only “thing” we can give that will introduce them to the One who can truly transform their lives (Ephesians 2:8). We want to alter destinies, not just modify current circumstances–like Tiffany’s story.
When Tiffany received the 50 millionth copy of the Book of Hope in Peru, the OneHope team walked her home to celebrate the exciting milestone. Her community was more of a congested, dirty alleyway filled with makeshift scrap houses.
The celebrants arrived to find out that her father had failed to make the roof payment for their home, and they were in jeopardy of having it repossessed. There are several organizations that help people with housing, but instead of providing Tiffany with a suitable house, we provided her with God’s Word.
Tiffany became a Christian, which started a domino effect as she shared her faith with her family. Not only did her mother accept Christ, but her alcoholic, abusive father finally did too. Her father’s conversion helped him beat his alcohol addiction, which in turn enabled him to return to work and support his family.
The entire family was healed! Today, nearly 20 years later, Tiffany has chosen to remain in her tough neighborhood and open a Christian preschool to serve families like the one she came from.
In hindsight, providing a roof would have simply covered her family’s problems, hiding the hurt and abuse going on inside. God’s Word opened up and addressed the problems, setting Tiffany’s family on a trajectory of healing and hope for the future.
Ultimately, justice only comes through Jesus. Proclamation of the Gospel and providing compassionate relief are BOTH powerful forms of evangelism. But until we treat the root cause of problems, we will only be providing temporary aid and not effecting lasting life-change.
Our tagline is God’s Word. Every Child. That’s a tall order but one we are passionate about fulfilling. We have always believed that if we could share God’s Word with every child the world would be drastically different. But is God’s Word enough? Is God’s Word all it takes to radically transform lives?
Some organizations lean heavily on social justice and compassion as the answer to changing lives: to get kids off the street, they open youth centers; to get kids off drugs, they offer detox programs. Are these things important? Absolutely. But until you address the heart of the problem, lives will not be transformed.
Everywhere you turn people are being bombarded with “please give” to a plethora of causes that need our support. Right now! Or else! These emotional pleas have good intentions but are often void of solid, strategic planning or Bible-based missional thinking.
We don’t want to separate social justice causes from the Christian ministry efforts of the Church. We are not trying to pit one against the other asking people to choose which one to support. Instead we want to meet people’s needs fully and forever. We believe the only way a life can be transformed is through believing and accepting the Truth found in the Bible.
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