June 22, 2020
The Church’s Role in Political Engagement
By New Churches Team
What Is Appropriate Engagement for a Church Pastor?
“It’s impossible to do faithful urban ministry and not have some engagement with politics,” explains Watson Jones III, senior pastor of Compassion Baptist Church in Chicago. Politics can open doors and close doors. Primarily because when you really need to get things done, sometimes you have to be able to get through to the people who make decisions. And this does not just mean financial decisions. Jones explains that through politicians they were able to open doors for more COVID testing among other things. As pastors, you are trying to do the best you can to care for your people. How can you adequately do that if you don’t have good relationships with politicians in your area?
How Can Majority Culture Engage and Be Allies?
Be aware that you are shaping the biblical understanding of life for your congregation. You need to put forward a godly understanding for how your people should interact with others. Jones encourages his people to support legislation that is fair and equitable for all. Leaders are supposed to represent us all, so we have an obligation to point that out to our representatives.
Show up. Support people you trust. There will be some discomfort. Understand that. You may not agree with everyone, but be an ally. Use the pulpit to cast a very biblical, gospel-oriented picture of justice in this world.
What Is Helpful?
There was a time when it came to race relations it was always discussed in terms of racial reconciliation.
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