How can we do justice in ways that are sustainable, flourishing and transformative, and are rooted in God?

Our practices for justice includes what we do in response to injustice and how we do it

How do we decide what to do in response to injustice?

We may have different strengths and preferences. For some, doing justice might involve helping to meet people’s immediate practical needs or contributing to longer term change through campaigning. Others will be involved in building community power and relationships, using financial choices to achieve change, or creatively offering public hope or lament. Some actions may be more needed at particular times and places. 

All of these actions have a place in a justice-seeking Church.

Responding to need

Social action projects responding to an identified need or injustice within communities. Volunteering can be a source of transformation for volunteers themselves, and, church, at its best, can feel like a place of hospitality and generosity. Responses to need should also have a justice dimension which looks to go beyond the short term and allow dignity and agency for communities.

Eg Warm Welcome spaces, debt advice centres, refugee support centres, community pantries, campaigns shaped by people with first-hand experience of injustice.

Relationship building

Anchoring our social engagement in listening enables a deeper understanding, and offers the possibility of providing advocacy, developing local leadership and working in solidarity and collaboration for wider structural changes.

Eg asset-based community development, community organising, Church at the Margins.

Changing rules or practices at local, national and global level

Change often happens through small steps. Asking questions around where decision-making power lies will help us to identify where we have influence.

Eg campaigning, lobbying, awareness raising.

Ethical living

Decisions about how we use our money, our carbon footprint, how we treat others, what we do with our time, all have a potential impact.

Eg ethical choices in our lifestyle, using our financial power, commitment to a particular cause.

Creative witness

Symbolic acts or prophetic witness can raise awareness of injustice. But they can also engage people more deeply through opportunities to lament, to pray, to seek confession and restitution, or to offer hope in times of overwhelm. Craft, music, art and drama can be powerful allies in creative and prophetic witness.

Eg craftivism, public liturgy, and symbolic protests.

Visible activism

Public demonstration and protest can be a powerful and highly visible way for some people of highlighting injustice and standing in solidarity with others. Some people have felt called to non-violent civil disobedience. The Methodist Conference report, Accept and Resist, says that acts of civil disobedience or resistance can be Christian responses and should be focused on policies, not individual persons, and should only be engaged in after careful self-reflection, prayerful discernment, and a commitment to accepting the consequences of engaging in such acts.

Eg participation in demonstrations, civil disobedience or resistance.

Doing justice is not just about what we do but how we do it.

Do we sometimes assume that we know what needs to happen when we should, in fact, be asking the people who are experiencing injustice, and, indeed, be supporting them in their action?

The Methodist Conference adopted five approaches to practising justice to help us to stay close to God and to those who experience injustice. These assist us in discerning how and where to act, as well as humbly acknowledging our failures and limitations.

Where do you see these Practices reflected in actions for justice?  How might they help or challenge what you do?

Being 'with' not 'for'

When we do change to people they experience it as violence; when people do change for themselves they experience it as liberation.” Rosabeth Moss-Kanter

Can we do justice in ways that are more “with” people rather than than ‘doing to’ or ‘for’ them? `

This practice means listening, involving communities in making decisions together, enabling people to have agency and dignity, and standing in solidarity together.

Humility in community

Can we do justice in ways that are humble and honest about our role in our communities?

This practice involves being a partner and a collaborator, not a rescuer or a provider.

Attentive to power

"It doesn't matter how strong your opinion are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem." Coretta Scott King

Can we do justice in ways that don’t ignore power imbalances, but instead join with others to use our power to bring about a more just world?

This practice involves self-awareness about where power lies, where it is being abused, and how it can be used for good.


“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” Desmond Tutu

Can our justice-seeking focus both on present injustices and on the future transformation of deep or systemic injustices?

This practice involves engaging with the reality of the world as it is, but also holding on to the hope that transformation, healing, and right relationship can and will be restored, leading to the flourishing of all God’s creation.


“God's command to "pray without ceasing" is founded on the necessity we have of His grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.” John Wesley

Can our justice-seeking, as individuals and churches, be rooted through prayer in God, enabling us to express our anger, our passion and our failings, to offer thanks for change, and to seek God’s will?

This practice connects to the character and work of the God of justice, so that in all we do we draw on limitless divine grace, and live hopefully