The Biblical Basis for Our Vision
6 "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" 8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:6-8 (NRSV)
The Lord requires us “to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (faithfulness).” (Micah 6:8)
Our congregations do a good job of reminding us to be faithful: We gather at least 52 times a year to worship, and do other faithfulness ministries that encourage our “humble walk” with God. Many of our congregations do a good job of showing mercy by providing services like tutoring to the victims of injustice. Unfortunately, our congregations don’t “do justice” very well. Biblically, justice is holding the King and officials accountable for the fair treatment of all people, especially the poor, the widow and orphan.
We follow the biblical example by bringing together the Mayor, City Council, business leaders and other officials to hear our solutions for community problems. It takes a lot of “people-power” to get listened to by political and economic systems in our communities.
How do we "do justice"?
We learn from Nehemiah’s calling of a great assembly of people to bring charges against the unfair money-lenders, how we can do justice successfully. (Nehemiah 5:1-13)
While in Jerusalem, Nehemiah hears of the economic exploitation of the people by public officials – who charged unfair interest rates to make money off of the poor and vulnerable people of the land. Nehemiah is a powerful man in his own right – a cupbearer to the King, but doesn't have enough power to confront the unjust economic system that is displacing people from their properties. Nehemiah could have set up some mercy ministries, like clothes closets or food pantries, but decides instead to do justice by getting the money lenders to act fairly. Nehemiah calls a “great assembly” and the whole community came out to ask the public officials that the land, children, crops, and interest (money), be returned to the people immediately.
The nobles and officials agreed, and did what they promised.
One congregation doesn't have enough people-power to do justice. Therefore, we build our power by joining up with congregations across the county, bringing together thousands of people to a big Nehemiah Action to win needed changes. FAST is a tool that allows each congregation to work with other congregations to effectively live out God’s call to “do justice.”
Each Congregations’ Vision
Each congregations’ vision is to work toward turning out our average worship attendance (AWA) once a year, to really “do justice” at that great Nehemiah Action! 52 times a year, congregations come together to worship, praise God, and deepen our “faithfulness” and our “humble walk” with God, so we can certainly turn out that same number of people at least once a year for justice.
To reach that vision, we organize people into justice ministry networks. Justice Ministry Network members commit to:
1. Attend the Nehemiah Action in the Spring and bring 3 people with them AND
2. Attend 3 other Assemblies throughout the year that prepare us for the Action and build self-sufficiency
Our Big Holy Audacious Goal (BHAG)
FAST congregations have a Big Holy Audacious Goal of eventually bringing together 10,000 people to the Nehemiah Action! We believe this is the kind of power we need to bring about serious changes in our community, so we are working diligently to make this goal a reality. Together, we can bring justice to Pinellas County!