To Serve This Present Age: Social Justice Ministries in the Black Church

by Danielle L. Ayers, Reginald W. Williams Jr. Judson Press, 2013.

Ayers and Williams are experienced professional leaders of social justice ministries within their respective churches. Their work is a practical guide to establishing and implementing congregational social justice ministries. They begin by clarifying the difference between charity and social justice and urge congregations to include both. Subsequent chapters offer a model with specific steps on how to design and build a social justice ministry. They use case studies to illustrate how the model can work in various settings. They cover topics such as communication and relationship building, community asset mapping, the advantages of both community development and community organizing practices, securing funding for long term work, and a review of various justice strategies. Each subject is accompanied by illustrations, resource lists, and lists of action steps. Included is a resource guide offering samples of various action items such as fact sheets, press releases, and letters to various officials. Although written to and from the Black Church, any congregation interested in “doing justice” will benefit from this toolkit.