The Kony groundswell

I am not involved with Invisible Children (IC), but I must say that their ability to influence swells of Millennials toward a cause is fascinating.

Their latest video hit 62 million views in a week, and has an ambitious goal: to make a tyrant famous. You’ll just have to watch it for yourself, if you haven’t already.

If IC can mobilize Millennials like this, what the heck aren’t we doing?

About Lazo

Lazo is the pastor for preaching and vision at Reality SB. He is committed to spreading the worth of Jesus in Santa Barbara, through the expository preaching of God's Word. You might like these blog posts, 5 Wrong Ways To Comfort Hurting People or An Orthodoxy That Breathes

Posted on March 10, 2012, in Church, mission, Missional Millennials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. You are dead on!!

  2. I’m unsettled, not just about the horrible situation, but by the goal of the video: get the government to go in with guns and fight violently to end the war and bring peace. There is no mention of prayer or the gospel, just the law and justice. The best part was when they said, the government wouldn’t help them so they began building schools. But then they go back to the government with a new strategy, use numbers to force change. So it seems to be rich white kids get the government to send the military to take weapons and hunt for Kony. I agree with what you’re saying, inspiring that we can organize young people around a cause, but this isn’t perfect. I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m not too excited about their military plan, but I did like the part about building schools and helping the community.

    • John,
      Yeah, I was mainly fascinated with the grassroots ability to get something done, not the details of the campaign. I barely know enough about politics in America, much less Uganda, so I cannot make any statements about Invisible Children’s plan, for or against, though I have heard many opinions for both.

      On a side note, I’m not sure I would throw away any idea because it failed to be perfect. And while social justice without the gospel is incomplete, it is not ineffective. IC does not claim to be a Christian organization, so we must scrutinize the content of their campaign, rather than the spirituality of their methods; God causes the sun to shine on both sides of the fence, so to speak (Matt. 5:45). If someone feeds a starving person without ever proclaiming the gospel, I must still rejoice.

      As for the “rich white kids” getting the government to do something, that’s pretty impressive! That’s pretty much what I was blogging about.

  3. Yeah, I agree. On one hand, telling people to do good works without sharing the gospel is like discipling them to be like pharisees. On the other hand, I really would like to end child rape and torture. I’m not saying through out imperfect ideas, but think about them rather than getting caught up in the latest trend. I think of the verses, “examine everything, take only the good”. So in this case, I think of the school building and job building going on. The towers they are building for warning and all that good stuff. But their main goal of military intervention is unsettling. Could you imagine leading a group of millenials on a mission trip: We’re bringing food, clothing, guns and ammo to Africa? Could you imagine leading a group of millenials to a recruitment center and signing them up for the army? That’s essentially what IC is doing, sending young people and weapons into a military conflict. Getting rich white kids to serve is more impressive than getting them to ask their government to serve. We’ve become a people that think water comes from the water company, food comes from the grocery store and change comes from the government. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m posting in order to be challenged as I work through these controversial thoughts.

  4. “If IC can mobilize Millennials like this, what the heck aren’t we doing?” The kingdom minded mission is different than the world minded mission. We can use videos, bracelets, flyers, celebrity endorsements, blah blah but I think what we see make a radical difference in history is when people fast and pray. IC mission is different. You can map out a plan of what works. But there is no physical roadmap to the kingdom but yielding to the spirit and going where He leads.

    • I think we’re asking two different questions. You can still mobilize millennials to fast and pray, but you must mobilize nonetheless. The issue for me is IC’s ability to draw people to a common vision, which my whole point is, we can learn from for our specific purposes.

  5. Yes they are mobilized, but to do what? Change their Facebook profile, tweet, write indignant comments on websites? Getting the attention of Millenials is not difficult, I’d be much more interested to see them to actually do something.

    • Such “indignant comments” on Facebook and Twitter were influential in the election of presidents (Obama) and the overthrow of others (Mubarak).

      Once again…that it is easy to get the attention of 70 million Millennials IS in itself good. (What they’re doing is another issue altogether).

  6. People give social media way too much credit. It played a role to be sure, but Obama was elected because people got out to vote, Mubarak was overthrown because people took to the streets in the face of armed opposition. Social media is not action.

    • “People give social media way too much credit”

      That’s very true.

      “Social media is not action”

      Sure it is. It’s a form of action, similar to the telephone or printing press, and before it, the papyrus, and before it, oral tradition, etc. It’s not the savior of the world, but it’s still action; it’s just not your chosen course of action.

  7. You ask “What the heck aren’t we doing?” – I see that IC gave a clear call to action. What is the clear call you are asking other’s to act on?

    • Sue,
      That was mostly a rhetorical question; not meant for anyone specific I’m mostly asking if we do have a clear call to action, and many of us do. If there are millions of young people that want to be called to action, I think it’s worth taking very seriously…IC is.

  8. Jesse: Social media is not action
    Lazo: Sure it is. It’s a form of action

    I think what Jesse is referring to is that social media is the disavowal of action. It is a way of venting or disavowing the repression of action. I want peace in Africa. But I don’t want to actually go to Africa and share the message of peace. In order to ignore my cowardice and maintain the illusion that I am a noble person, I will use social media to ask other people to do it, and since they are also unwilling, we’ll all get together with one voice and ask the government to do what we are unwilling to do. And the act of asking someone else to do my job for me gives me the illusion that I am doing my job.

  9. Wow, any thoughts on the naked meltdown? One time I was out doing street ministry in IV and was great disturbed to see a crowd forming around a fight. I jumped in and broke up the fight but when I turned to the crowd and saw their disappointment, I nearly had a meltdown and yelled at them, “what are you looking for?!” before my friend whisked me away. As I reflected on the experience, I thought of how important it was to not go out there on my own strength and ego as if I alone could make the world better. I think this guy had a noble cause, but relied on himself rather than God, made a film that amounted to brilliant war propaganda and became undone when he was outed. We have to willingly come to repentance. When someone tries to force you to see your sins without letting the spirit convict you, as you scramble for justification, you become unraveled and act irrationally.

    • I think you’re reading too much into someone’s heart that we simply don’t know yet

      You could be right. But it could just as easily be that a guy with a noble cause got way too famous over night and buckled under the pressures and criticisms; I honestly wonder how much better I would have fared.

      We just don’t know what he was thinking at this point, and I don’t want to make that call a day later.

  10. That’s right. Thank you.


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