29 Aug

at the 2010 willow creek annual global leadership summit, bill hybels made a simple yet profound point – when you’re leading people, you’re taking them ‘from here, to there.’

and in order to get people to move from here, he said, you’ve got to show them what’s wrong with the status quo.

people won’t willingly change what is both comfortable and acceptable.

change is always, always uncomfortable; therefore, maintaining the status quo will always be more comfortable than changing it.

if that is true, then real leadership both requires and demands the ability to communicate that here – the status quo – is unacceptable – and offer an alternative : there

it’s the only way to bring about change.  growth.  progress.  and regardless of your religion, politics, or theological background, most of us would readily admit that there is plenty wrong with here.  there are a great many injustices in our world that absolutely must be changed.  i’ve listed a few in a previous post.

consider some others, and what you can do about them ::

human trafficking.

there are more slaves today than at any time in human history — 27 million, to be exact.  In 2009, slave traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined.  this is unacceptable.

what can you do?  this or that

extreme global poverty.

there are 1.4 billion people in the world living in extreme poverty.  that’s 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day — and 80% are women and children.  this is unacceptable.

what can you do?  this or that

lack of clean drinking water.

the water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.  over 1.4 million children die each year due to waterborne diseases.  this is unacceptable.

what can you do?  this or that

the AIDS epidemic.

about 2.6 million people became infected with HIV in 2009.  over two-thirds of AIDS related deaths that year were in sub-saharan africa.  every day, an estimated 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV.  this is unacceptable.

what can you do? this or that

these are just a few. feel free to share what you think is unacceptable in the comments section, and a link or two that will help others respond through action.


18 Responses to “unacceptable.”

  1. Lorraine August 30, 2011 at 1:05 AM #

    Woke up this morning pondering many thing…
    – the problem folk have with ‘change’ and the need to compare what’s gone before as though it somehow was always better than what is now
    – the issues that stop people pursuing personal transformation but instead fix their attention on trying to change those things around them that might make life that bit easier or more pleasurable for them
    – the things that often are the focus of people’s attention at the expense of those things which really should matter more
    – and, what might be a topic for an intergenerational service I’m leading next month that includes something on journeying and justice.

    After reading this blog and your blog overview on ‘following in the Way’, I’ve just had some great ideas for the service that might even speak to some of the other stuff!

    Thanks Michael – I love reading your blogs. You have such a gift for writing and communication. The Lord bless you abundantly as you share your gift with us. Big hug L x

    • the WayWard follower August 30, 2011 at 9:17 AM #

      great thoughts lorraine; thanks for sharing. please come back and share what you formulate in response, particularly regarding the inter-generational service on journey and justice! could be helpful for other readers as well

  2. Cher August 30, 2011 at 9:10 PM #

    My school is connected in helping with sex trafficking through an alumnus who works with the International Princess Project. This program helps women who have been rescued to readapt to a normal life. They teach these women to sew and they make punjammies and sell them receiving the profits and becoming independent once again.
    It’s so sad to think that there are things like this that go under the radar and unnoticed to the vast majority of people! Especially when there are people who have a heart for helping and don’t know what’s going on!
    (HERE’S A WAY TO HELP lower the numbers within the sex trafficking ‘industry’ http://www.intlprincess.org/ )

  3. Joy August 31, 2011 at 7:33 AM #

    The treatment of women and children around the world is unacceptable – http://deeperstory.com/chauvinism-is-alive-and-well-and-not-only-in-bolivia/. I have been pleased to discover the work that World Vision does in communities to improve the status of women and children. Sponsoring a child actually enables community transformation in a profound way!

  4. johnsearby August 31, 2011 at 7:50 AM #

    Michael, I really like the way you’ve framed the challenge that Bill Hybels issued last year. I would like to use the content of this post in a presentation to my sales team. Can I have your permission to edit it a bit for my specific purposes?

    thanks, John

    • the WayWard follower August 31, 2011 at 7:58 AM #

      john, absolutely! of all of the challenges from last year’s summit, that was perhaps the most poignant. pregnant with possibilities. enjoy casting vision with your team!

  5. Mike Friesen August 31, 2011 at 9:54 AM #

    There are a few things in life that I find purely unacceptable:

    The first is sexual abuse:
    When we look at statistics 1 in 3 girls, and recent statistics show 1 in 4 boys. Psychologically, abuse, especially in the deepest level of trauma’s, destroys the victims ability to feel any pleasure because it feels shameful. The victims of sexual abuse, to some extent, are incapable of trusting and loving another human being, let alone God. And, likewise, they aren’t able to do the same. This is why they choose relationships after the abuse which continue to abuse them.

    The second is our pain diversion:
    We as Christians have become far to good at dodging our pain and shedding it onto others. We don’t want to deal with our pain, so we attack people of the other race, sex, sexuality, political party, all so we can avoid the real problem, ourselves. Meanwhile, there are actual problems going on in the world. We need to deal with issues of hunger, poverty, sickness and in my opinion, the problem of abuse stated above.

    There is a high level of narcissism in the Church and in the world today. This is the brilliance of people like Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton who teach us about the True-Self/False-Self. Until we learn to move into the true-self and die to the false-self, our life will only be about us. It will only be about our doctrines, our circles, and our agendas. We will not have found a way to incarnate Jesus into our surrounding areas.

    Great way to create dialogue Michael!

    • the WayWard follower September 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM #

      great points, mike! do you have any specific ministries, organizations, or links you’d like to share?

  6. Kaitlyn August 31, 2011 at 11:13 AM #

    There is one thing I have found to be truly unacceptable since I was a freshman in high school. We live in such a wealthy country but we cannot take care of our own people. Homelessness is truly unacceptable.

    On the National Alliance To End Homelessness there are some very alarming statistics of how many people are truly homeless. There are different sections and subsections addressing all walks of life and their struggle of not having a place to call home.

    Did you know that 50,000 YOUTH sleep on the streets for 6 months or more?? A big contributor to youth homelessness is their discharge from a state institution and not having a family or support system to return to. Also, homeless assistance systems are largely designed for aiding adults and not youth.

    In the sub section of homeless youth, they address the issue of homeless LGBT youth. It is reported that approximately 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. It is alarming to know that every year over 300,000 LGBT Youth spend at least 1 night homeless and on the streets in the United States.


  7. Carly August 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM #

    Greed rules the world. This can be seen through for-profit business, commercialism, and consumerism. They tell us we need something, we believe it, we can’t stop buying, and they keep profiting. The system in and of itself is not bad, but it is definitely abused. This is unacceptable.

    Some businesses are beginning to redeem this system by incorporating giving in as a fundamental part of their business model. One such business is Project 7 (http://www.project7.com). They sell products Americans use every day but donate significant portions of the proceeds to charities in 7 areas of need locally and globally. Philanthropy doesn’t have to belong to celebrities and non-profits. Change the score.

    • the WayWard follower September 1, 2011 at 12:22 PM #

      the project 7 people are awesome. tim stumbled upon them a few months ago as well! hopefully we can help get the word out about this great business model!

  8. Tyler Helfers September 1, 2011 at 9:50 AM #

    Michael, just wanted to shoot this link your way. International Justice Mission (IJM) is an organization that we (Cru) have started to partner with in an effort to rescue those who are being abused/oppressed and in need of the protection of the law. Its our hope that working in concert w/ IJM will enable us to see people freed from the physical injustices they are facing, as well as see them freed from the slavery of sin through the message of the Gospel:


    Hope all is well in Illinois.

  9. the WayWard follower September 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM #

    thanks, tyler!

  10. Ben DeVries September 6, 2011 at 5:57 PM #

    Michael, thanks for the invitation to comment here. This is a great post. I find many things unacceptable related to humanitarian needs and social justice, including those you mentioned, but working within the field of creation care and animal advocacy as I do, I find the industrial animal farming system intolerable.

    Animals with basic needs and natures given them by their Creator are bred, birthed, raised, transported and slaughtered in a system which is largely devoid of human touch or genuine care, treating them like production units or machines rather than as sentient creatures.

    If we are going to continue to eat meat and other animal products as a society, which we are certainly allowed to do per Scripture but which would be in our best interests to cut back on at least, for many reasons including our own health and that of the environment, we need to ask that the animals we consume are treated with higher standards. At minimum, we need to get back to a more humane, family-based system.

    If you or anyone else would like more information on this subject, I’d be honored if you checked out Not One Sparrow (a Christian voice for animals)’s blog: http://www.notonesparrow.com/blog/tag/compassionate-eating

    Another great resource is the short film ‘Eating Mercifully,’ a moderately presented and compelling introduction to industrial farming and of eating more compassionately: http://www.notonesparrow.com/blog/2009/9/7/eating-mercifully.html – thanks again, Ben

    • the WayWard follower September 7, 2011 at 8:11 AM #

      thanks for sharing, ben. here’s something that made me smile. good things to think about.

      • Ben DeVries September 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

        I just saw that as well, very poignant.


  1. inspire movement. « the WayWard follower - February 7, 2012

    […] i’ve written in a previous post, in order to get people to move from here, you’ve got to show them what’s wrong with the […]

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