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July 15, 2014


If you’re reading this then the chances are you want to start something. You’ve seen something that needs to done better and you want to do something about it. Good!

I love new ideas. I love how they cost nothing but I still need pushing over the edge to make me do something about it. We all do.

My push came when I visited India with my church. I remember stopping at a traffic light, when some woman walked up to our minivan and knocked on the window. There she stood holding up her child who was too skinny and short for its age.

I remember her knocking. I remember how I felt sick. I remember feeling completely powerless, and I remember how all of us suddenly fell quiet.

For the first time, I was witnessing poverty up close and I hated it. As our wheels starting rolling again, I looked at that woman straight in the eyes and thought to myself, ‘How can this be fair?’ and ‘Why are we all letting our communities live like this?’.

We arrived at the project and spent two wonderful weeks meeting some incredible people who’d decided not to accept the status-quo. They’d decided to call that woman, daughter.

I’d been pushed over the edge. It was time to reboot my enthusiasm and to get excited about the future again.

Five years later and I find myself working at Tearfund. It’s a fab place. For the last year we’ve been thinking about how we continue to release people from poverty, without destroying the planet or our societies. How do we create a world so that people and communities flourish again.

There have been great wins in reducing inequality and poverty over the last 200 years, but that economic development has often come at the expense of human flourishing and the environment. That’s why we need an economy that serves us, not an economy that we serve.

Ideas want to grow, all we have to do is let them, rather than make them. It feels good to create things and do good with other people with a joint sense of purpose. That’s why I’m excited about our movement and the local church playing its part.


I’m convinced that churches who creatively plan, learn and adapt will become the change-makers who will influence the decisions being made about our future and planet.

Tearfund has a vision of rebooting the world. We want an economy where we share more, consume less, and flourish within the natural limits of the planet. It’s ambitious and it will be tough – but if we do what we can and do it well, change will come.

That woman who came knocking taught me this: stop looking for someone else to save the planet. It’s time for you to make it up for yourself and to get creative. Only then can our communities and planet start to thrive again.

What one thing could you do or start with? Is there something that you are really passionate about and want to help change? If you are in need of some inspiration, check out some resources we can recommend.

By Craig Philbrick. Craig lives in Southampton, loves his new home grown veg patch and works for Tearfund. He tweets @craigphilbrick, is passionate about good digital and creative communication and contributes brilliant articles like this one to @TearfundRhythms


One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2014 11:59 am

    Reblogged this on matt's musings .

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