Serving people requires selflessness, and humbleness, and taking on the charachter of Christ so that we even have love and compassion for the people and social issues. And even with the people in our daily lives. We are all sinners, we are all in need of redemption and renewal constantly.
Anyone, believer or non, can be involved in taking action for social justice. The difference is that as faithful followers of Christ who have a heart and passion for missions (even in the social justice aspect, not just missional), our job is not just to meet the physical needs. That is what we need to do first, but unless we are also presenting the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ to meet their spiritual needs, we are doing nothing more than the non-believer with a good cause; that being to create a better environment for them to sin in.
Doing good works in the name of Jesus is too often the justification for not needing to live a life according to His example. It’s a lot of talk, but no follow up when self sacrifice and indulgence is required. We are all sinners, and we all need grace. But until we can admit OUR need for grace, we won’t be open enought to truely be effective ambassadors to the evangelical ministry that Jesus calls us to. If we are a diciple of Christ, evangelism should be our heartbeat, because Christ is our heartbeat and died to provide life for all us who are lost. Until we as Christians become less concerned with the unfairness of life situations and more concerned about the salvation of these people in the situations, we are not ministering but merely providing earthy relief.
I know there are very genuine and Christlike people involved in social justice, I’m just observing the other portion. Not everyone is called to social action, we all have a different place in the holistic mission of Christ. Social Justice isn’t a trend, it’s a calling. And as Coleman says, “every day that we are indifferent to our responsibilites is a day lost to the cause of Christ.”