He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
The Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG’s) or ‘Global Goals’ present us with a unique, exciting and potential opportunity to be the first generation who can end extreme poverty by 2030. Wishful thinking? Theologically naïve? Or...a genuine possibility?
God’s Global Goals is a resource to help us understand the SDGs and engage with these goals from a Christian perspective. You may remember the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that finished in 2015. They made incredible progress but only went half way to ending extreme poverty.
The new and powerful 17 SDGs launched in 2016 have regrettably slipped a little under the radar. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some Christians remain sceptical of UN initiatives. Others may simply be unaware that many Christian charities have worked hard with the UN to help these 2030 targets be defined and achieved. The threat of economic recessions, protectionism and historic levels of immigration have also left some countries in danger of becoming too inward and less engaged with other continents. For others, perhaps it’s a general sense of thinking that the SDGs represent ‘more of the same’; a semi-desperate appeal to finally achieve something that we failed to do before.
But the Global Goals are in fact strikingly different and represent a whole new opportunity to be inspired and engaged. Yes they talk of completing a task already started, but there is no sense of failure here. They provide an opportunity instead to celebrate what’s already been achieved and envisage a finishing line. They also massively expand the scope of what is meant by ending ‘poverty’ and provide a powerful remit for those seeking to engage this challenge.
This resource unites the voices of some of the leading Christian charities across denominations into one single call to action. Why? Because we collectively believe that the church has a unique and critical part to play that can help us achieve the Global Goals. They are in no way a replacement of God’s Kingdom call on our lives, but they do provide a tool or a framework to help support it.
The well-known verse with which we began is only one of many examples in the Bible where a commitment to justice is explicitly recognised as an obligatory part of our faith. When asked what God’s requirements might look like, one Old Testament prophet called Micah, responded with 21st century ‘tweet-like’ brevity. His call for justice, mercy and humility has not always been a hallmark of the Church but it still remains the mark by which our journey is to be judged. It provides a mirror into the heart, character and passion of the God with whom we seek to serve.
We offer this resource as a starting point for the entire Christian community to engage with and respond to these important goals. Each goal has a brief theological reflection with supporting input from a Christian charity plus some discussion questions and a few calls to action. We hope this will become an aid to assist us in understanding the role our faith can play in positively changing the world and lead to an historic movement that will end extreme poverty by 2030.