Let’s be ambitious!
Written by Alex Bjergbæk Klausen
Outside of Kenema, the third largest city in Sierra Leone, there is a very big sign advertising for the UN 2030 Development Goals. There are 17 such goals focusing on important areas such as education, hunger, poverty, climate, etc. The goals have been incorporated into development strategies within organizations and governmental institutions all over the world. This is also the case in Sierra Leone, where the sign clearly states that the government is working together with the rest of the world to achieve these goals. Even though the 2030 goals may be very ambitious and probably unlikely to be achieved within the short time given, it is extremely important to create awareness and gradually improve the living conditions for human beings all over the world. UN has successfully managed to brand the 17 development goals, and funds are flowing to cover projects related to them.
There are also some church-based organizations using the UN goals to brand themselves. Even though they are secular goals, they focus on some very basic things, which we could also fight for as Christians. However, as Christians, we cannot and should not be satisfied with these secular goals. We have been called to bring the Word of God to the very ends of the world and to continue the ministry of the first disciples – passing on the Baton of Good News from person to person and from generation to generation. But have we lost our ambitions as Christians? Are we just following the trends of the secular world, while we are gradually losing our identity? In 1910 the third ecumenical missionary conference took place in Edinburg. The heading for the conference was the protestant watchword: “The Evangelization of the World in this Generation”. Now that is ambitious, even overambitious. Obviously, it did not happen, but it certainly motivated a lot of Christians to join hands – despite denominational differences – and to plant missions all over the world in order to prevent the spread of Islam and other religions. Though the world is still only partly Christian, the mission was very successful in many parts of Africa.
Unfortunately, we seem to have lost our motivation, especially in the increasingly secularized western world. It is my prayer that we dare to revive our Christian ambitions – that we dare to be bold in our ministry, even if it means that we must move out of our comfort zones. We should have evangelism as our main priority and not just pursue secular trends to please a secular world. But while we are reaching out with the gospel, we should do so in word as well as deed, which naturally leads to improved living conditions for the people we meet on our way.