March
24
Author
Rachel Wears
Praxis Labs: A foundation for activism

I don’t know about you, but having been in evangelical circles my whole life, I could walk you through the Biblical basis for evangelism, the theological importance of the Great Commission, and the significance of choosing to follow Jesus for oneself with relative confidence. However, when it came to thinking about seeking justice and engaging in activism, I was nonplussed. I didn’t know how to navigate the storyline of justice in the Bible, or how and where to get involved practically. (There was that verse in Micah, right? And the bit Jesus said about loving our neighbour. And our church did some homeless outreach once…?)

I’d felt the Holy Spirit poking me about this for a while. I knew that justice and mercy were part of the core characteristics of God, and so they should really factor into my walk with him in some way. I was getting more engaged politically, and more frustrated by injustices I saw happening daily. I’d sung that Tim Hughes song for years (“God of justice, Saviour to all/Came to rescue the weak and the poor/Chose to serve and not be served”[1]), and knew that I needed and wanted to do SOMETHING, but lacked confidence, inspiration, and direction.

Enter stage left the Praxis Labs course (complete with mini-fanfare). It’s a 6-week online course with a session from a life coach included, taking you through the basis for activism, God’s big story, figuring out your values, and how to do activism well for the long haul. A friend on Facebook pointed me in the direction of the course which ran in January 2020 (in the Before Times – pre-global pandemic), and I signed up, not really sure what to expect but keen to explore what God might have to say.

It was the right course at the right time. I met a group of people who cared about following Jesus, and took his commands and parables seriously. The sessions were well-run, and helped me to contextualise the snippets of teaching on justice I’d heard before in the overall arc of the Bible. It had a significant impact for this eager newbie – giving me the confidence to quit my job and step out into the unknown. Others on my course started community initiatives or national networks, or went back to their current activism with insight and assurance.

The Praxis Labs course is running again from 8th April 2021 – you can read more about it and find out how to sign up here. I’d thoroughly recommend it! I’ve still got a way to go to figure out exactly what my part is in God’s story; but I’m especially thankful, particularly at the moment, to have had time to dig into the reality, surety, and steadfastness of our God of justice. I hope you enjoy it too.


Rachel Wears is social media coordinator for Praxis.

[1] Tim Hughes, ‘God of Justice’, Holding Nothing Back, Survivor Records, 2007.
Image credit: Nick Fewings on Unsplash.

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