Our new field organizer for Call to Renewal was working the room at a conference of leaders of local councils of churches and interfaith organizations from around the country. I saw how pleased these slightly aging ecumenical leaders from mostly mainline Protestant churches were to have such an impressive young Christian woman among them, and one so passionate about the mission of overcoming poverty.
But as they got to know Christa Mazzone, they learned she is not the predictably liberal social gospel Christian one used to find at such conferences. Instead, this 23-year-old Christian activist quietly talks about what "the Lord" is doing in her life and prayerfully considers what God might have in mind for her vocation.
Christa is an evangelical Christian, one who could never separate her faith in Jesus Christ from her commitment to social justice. Actually, it would never even occur to her. She is exemplary of a new generation of evangelical Christians for whom social activism is the natural outgrowth of personal faith. I first met Christa when I was speaking at her school, which, like a growing number of evangelical Christian campuses, has social justice increasingly built into the curriculum - even more so than their secular university counterparts.