By Steve Moore
Stone Mountain, GA: The Mission Exchange, 2009
This book was required reading for the team at Global Initiative, the missions organization that I will be joining this year.
Each chapter is a transcript from video blogs (vlogs) that The Mission Exchange hosted starting in 2008, called Learning @ the Speed of Life. The point of the blogs (and the book) is to remind people that to stop learning, even for a short time, brings the risk of irrelevance.
I read the book with my upcoming work with the Global Initiative team and audience in mind.
The book read quickly; the chapters were not long. And since the subject matter was interesting, it didn't take much effort to read. And it will be easy to flip back and re-read particular chapters for reminders.
The one that stuck with me the most after the first reading was chapter 3, "Where's Your Green Line?" A "green line" is "the line of activity or behavior that if someone crosses it [you] perceive them to be 'out of bounds' as it relates to [your] conviction about being a good steward of creation" (11).
Ever since seminary and moving back from L.A. I have become more of a "tree hugger." I did some focused study on creation care and our job (as humanity and as Christians) to care for the earth in grad school. I started recycling as much as possible, using less energy in the house and became a strict vegetarian, all in an effort to make my "carbon footprint" smaller. I seek to consume less and reuse more. I cook and bake more from scratch; I shop local and organic as often as possible. I use the Better World Shopper when making my purchases.
So where is my green line? I encourage others to do the same but not in a militant way. If they want to eat meat or consume diary, I encourage them to source it locally and for goodness sake, don't eat at McDonalds, etc. I suggest that maybe they could layer clothes and turn the heat down some in winter (saves energy and money).
This chapter goes on to encourage leaders to consider where their green line is and if it can be moved to reach a younger generation of people that are concerned about the environment. I love these words:
Please understand these people have not been brainwashed by environmental "whackos." Their beliefs about creation care have been shaped by a journey of spiritual formation as an extension of biblical discipleship. They can't conceive of an authentic and growing relationship with Jesus that doesn't somehow express itself with a concern for the environment....an increasing number of them won't want to work for your organization or give to your ministry or volunteer for your projects if your green line is too far way from theirs. (12)
This is me. I never thought this would be me; but it's me. And I wonder how the Global Initiative office has responded to it. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
There is a difference between a method and a value. If moving your green line is a method to attract a new group of people to your organization instead of a value that is being expressed in your organizational culture, your lack of authenticity will be obvious and you maybe going backward instead of forward as it relates to building trust with the very people you want to attract. (12)
I hope to be pleasantly surprised at the green line at Global Initiative, but if things don't meet my green line, I hope I can help out.