THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN SOCIETAL TRANSFORMATION
Written by William Joseph on September 10, 2017
The church is no ordinary institution in society. Unlike mere institutions of the State, the spiritual mandate and call of the church establishes it with a unique character. Its mission is to serve all the people of God; its practice must be to help strengthen believers and to open doors for unbelievers so that both could experience His goodness and mercies. So there is a relationship of responsibility and access between the church and the people. The church is called upon to prepare, protect and prosper the people spiritually, and to concern itself with the functioning of other parts of the society. The credentials of the church must be worthy and remain intact if it is to contribute towards the goal of betterment of society.
Learning from Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, the church would be unable to properly aid, serve and direct the society if it were to become fearful, false, faltering, fruitless, fallen, feeble or faint! Unless these conditions are avoided, the enemy will swallow up the church and neither its worship nor its service will be effective in touching lives and transforming the society. If the indictments against those churches were applicable to the church in Grenada, then its ability to participate in societal transformation would be weakened.
The Grenadian society displays many unhappy features at this time, ranging from challenged leadership, instability, crime, poor work ethic and an unproductive ‘diva culture’ among significant sections of the youth population. Look also at the treatment of the young and the old. Additionally, our governance arrangements are inadequate for the times, as is our education system. Sadly, we have not bothered to care for the longevity of our culture and heritage such that there is no national consensus on how we manage our cultural assets and pass them on to future generations of Grenadians. Clearly, important pillars of society have been breached.
The transformation that is required can be achieved by focussing on the aforementioned national issues. That focus needs an anchor. The best anchor is a church that is not compromised on account of straddling political, class or religious fences. The church will not be able to play a role in societal transformation if it accommodates wrong-doing or fails to confront authority that is bad for the people.
The church has a duty to adopt a more activist role in aligning the people with a change agenda that promises life-long benefits. Activism does not connote conflict. Instead, it promotes measures and partnerships to solve problems and to make best use of resources.
Therefore the doors of the church must be open at all times and in all circumstances so that people may have the opportunity to fellowship. Staying within the confines of the physical church will not help the society. Positive societal transformation will occur where it rests on safe spiritual pillars of the church and is sustained by mind-sets that are not slaves to selfishness and materialism.
The issues of life in the Grenadian society are many, worrisome and threatening to our existence as a civilized people. We got here because a cautious church has not asserted itself as it should have. Things can be transformed if the church acknowledges that we are a corrupt society and relies on its anointing to make a difference.