Our approach is informed by theologians, social movement theorists and community development practitioners.
We conduct bespoke research (please contact us if you have a project in mind) and have a particular interest in bringing together experts from different fields to identify barriers to activism, and discover how to overcome them.
Church-based social enterprise and mission
A piece of bespoke research examining the extent to which social enterprises (which are focused on tangibly restoring hope to a community) also broaden the Church’s relational network, thereby interacting and creating space for other forms of mission and outreach.
Research and our story:
Recent research in social movement theory and community development practice is key to our story.
History teaches us that social movements change the world. From civil rights to apartheid, votes for women to Jubilee ‘drop the debt’, Food banks to 24-7 prayer, change is often bound up with a movement of activists that embodies a higher set of values to those prevalent in society at the time. Tearfund’s landmark ‘Restorative Economy’ report (co-authored by one of our founders) goes so far as to say, “transformative change will not occur without a movement that embodies the changes it is calling for.”
The pressing challenges of poverty and injustice cannot be solved without the actions of a movement for change.
A movement is a group of activists working together with shared aims, enjoying mutual encouragement and support. These movements are not activists working alone, or Church leaders on the edge of burn-out. Neither are these are just groups of protesters. They are movements of doers and speakers, creating ‘communities of resistance’ that show a better way to be, as well as speaking truth to power. At a local level, these movements tackle causes of injustice head on.
Grassroots Christian communities can be incredible incubators of social movements. In fact, Sociologist Rodney Stark describes early Christianity as one of the most successful movements on record: an initially obscure, marginal and widely despised religious movement that nonetheless managed to become a dominant force in the Roman Empire. In recent times, Christians have also been at the forefront of movements for change, from the Civil Rights Struggle to South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement (e.g. Desmond Tutu and others), the ‘drop the debt’ campaign, food banks, and others.
In fact, recent research co-authored by one of our founders (published in Handbook of Humanities and Sustainability) suggests that in many Christian communities the raw ingredients for transformational movement formation are lying on the ground waiting to be combined.
Given this possibility, why are we not seeing more movements arising from the Church in our age? And why are so many Christian workers near burnout? Praxis exists to answer these questions, and equip Christian communities with the solutions.