“When there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but as for he who guards instruction, happiness is his” (Proverbs 29:18 LEB).
The message of this proverb is that without vision, evil ensues. But when vision for a better life is present, happiness can be had.
Prophecy, at its core, is about speaking the truth. Likewise, ethics at their core, are all about truth—they’re guiding principles of truthful and righteous living. One of the regular problems developing world communities face is the need to overcome the general erosion of ethics. In a place where people live in complete desperation—fighting for survival—cheating and corruption often becomes part of general living. In return, good work in communities is regularly compromised: no matter what an organization does, if there is a general ethical problem amongst a people group, their work will eventually be diminished or fail.
Here at Jesus’ Economy we have a vision for overcoming the ethical hurdles we will face in many communities. First, we plan to provide an alternative: ethical (and fair) businesses, which people can work for. In the process of providing this, as well as meeting basic needs, we ask people to be participants in the change taking place in their communities—they’re the ones doing the work, not us; we’re facilitators and funders. Next, we are introducing ethical and leadership training.
Church planters will receive leadership training from Jesus’ Economy’s partners or directly from Jesus’ Economy. They, in return, will help train entrepreneurs in biblical ethics, and by extension, how they can best take care of their employees. In addition, Jesus’ Economy has a fair/direct trade survey and regular reporting that ensures that fair trade standards are being met.
While all this is occurring, Jesus’ Economy is bringing church planters into communities, who are instilling vision in believers in Jesus; these believers will then live a life for Christ. The Christians in the community will provide a better alternative than anything else on offer.
We believe that the vision of these things coming together will provide an overall alternative in communities. It will give people a better way of living—one that honors others and helps them to also take care of themselves.
Just addressing the physical issues in a community is not enough—the spiritual issues must also be addressed.
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