Movements, Dancing and #Metoo: A Call to Stand Up for Radical Healing

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A movement was started back in 2009 at the annual Sasquatch Music Festival. One brave, courageous person was undeterred to take dancing to a whole new level. Within three minutes of video rolling you will see a micro-version of what it takes to start a movement. The video (click here to view or see below) now has over 14 million views and Derek Sivers has used the surprising footage to teach others how to start a movement. In fact, his Ted Talk is the first video to show up when you Google “How to start a movement.”

Starting a movement takes one person. Derek Sivers says, “a leader needs the guts to stand out and be ridiculed. . .and the first follower (has the) crucial role of showing everyone else how to follow.” If you watched the video, you’ll see a sudden crowd move in once the third person joins. Sivers states, “Now we've got momentum. This is the tipping point. Now we've got a movement.”

Safe Church Ministry is looking to empower people to start movements in their churches and communities. We are praying that God raises up more of you to have the guts to stand out and do the hard work of restoration. This is a movement to get up from the deep devastation and to empower each other to start to dance, even amid the pain and the struggle. This is a movement for people to step up, start talking about abuse, share their experiences, find their voice, and restore one another through listening and caring about the deep value of each and every person made in the image of God.

God is already moving powerfully in our society. I've had so many strong and courageous friends who recently shared their experiences of sexual assault or harassment and I say along with them, “me too.” I have often gone without challenging the sexism that exists in our society. Complacency and escapism is easy; however, it is time for me too to follow and speak out against cultural norms that enable sexism and sexual violence to exist in our society.

The movement of #metoo didn’t start overnight. It didn’t even start after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein came out. Movements are slow things that hopefully last for the long haul. Tarana Burke first started the grassroots movement #metoo back in 2007 to aid sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities “where rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers weren’t going, reports Ebony. Burke said, “It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow… It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”

God is giving hope to our world through many voices and we, as the Church, are called to further share in the ways God is reconciling the world to himself. Abuse, and our enabling of it in our communities and congregations, is antithetical to the reign of our King Jesus. However, the good news of God’s coming kingdom is breaking through. In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Here at the offices of Safe Church Ministry, Bonnie and I continue to see the incredible reign of our King Jesus as God equips and empowers people all over North America. This has inspired us to constantly re-envision how to equip congregations for abuse awareness, prevention and response. One way we are doing that is re-imagining how each region and classis may actively take part in this movement through identifying a leader who is specifically called to lead in a role we are calling Safe Church Ministry Classis Coordinator. Soon you will see a description of how this role may facilitate a movement to end abuse, by helping our churches band together, resource one another, collaborate together, and be built up and equipped for this work. We are currently hearing feedback from a variety of people on what this may look like on the ground - stay tuned for the full picture!

We also realize that this movement does not often start through our systems. It starts with individuals who hear a distinct call and are brave enough to trust God to empower them to respond to his call no matter their circumstances.

Our mission depends on individuals, like you, to stand up as leaders in their own community for radical healing. It will take guts, but the Church needs each of us to live out our calling, so others too may be able to follow as God calls them.

So where does this leave you? How do you hear God speaking to you? Are you ready to stand up and start dancing? Are you ready to start a movement of radical healing?

We would love to hear how you hear God calling you and the dreams you have. Please don’t hesitate to email us, give us a call, or comment below!

Blessings,

Pastor Eric

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I recently attended a "convening" of sexual abuse prevention educators hosted by Samaritan Safe Church. I'm so thankful to Linda Crockett for her willingness to dance alone, listening to survivors and what they need in churches. And it was amazing to be with those who have now joined her in a changing their church culture, creating a movement to end child sexual abuse. Her movement has spread in Pennsylvania and now to many other places across the U.S. It's inspiring! What movements have you seen grow from a small seed to something large? What movement would you like to see? Are you willing to start dancing?