Mt Soledad
Welcome to the
Christian Citizenship Council
of San Diego
San Diego
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Prov 29:2)

Equipping the Church to Vote

Chapter 2: A Letter to Church Members

I know why you’re taking the time to look through this pamphlet.  You’re wondering why everyone isn’t as involved in addressing society’s issues and promoting godly candidates as you are.  And you’re looking for ways to stimulate those around you to catch the same vision you have.  What you’re doing is undoubtedly commendable.  You obviously have a heart to honor the Lord and restore righteousness to the public marketplace.  In your zeal, however, I want to give you several warnings.

The first is that your pastor is not necessarily called to be as involved in this part of our Christian witness as you are.  Pastors have a tremendous responsibility ministering to the flock entrusted into their care.  They already work long hours and typically wrestle non-stop with very difficult spiritual concerns.  They don’t have the time or energy to take on another major undertaking such as is implied by this pamphlet.  What they need are mature, faithful workers to assist them in accomplishing what is laid out in this pamphlet.

A second warning is that those who are very focused on a specific social/cultural issue may not have the necessary breadth of experience or desire to coordinate the broad issues an election affords.  If you fall into that category, humbly look for those that are a little broader in interests and abilities, and work to help them as much as you can.  Don’t forget though, you are still needed, and your zeal (with knowledge) is critical to the success of anything that will be attempted.  If your particular area of concern is not a primary focus of the upcoming election, it will undoubtedly become an issue in some other arena and require your energy and insights.

Third, remember that whatever is attempted, must be to bring glory to Jesus Christ first.  For this, we must always test our own motives, our tactics, and our heart before the Lord.  Beyond this, whatever is done must be in a manner that is submissive to the leadership within your church.  God has placed leadership over you for a purpose, to ensure all is pursued in a manner that brings great merit to the honor of God, and is done in an orderly fashion.  You may become frustrated at times if your pastor doesn’t give you the attention you desire, or the enthusiastic encouragement you need.  But remember, political involvement is not his first calling, and it may take time for him to warm to the critical importance of the flock to be equipped to be godly Christian citizens.  You then, must be patient and understanding, and work with him, beside him, and not against him.

Fourth, we’re to have the proper attitude towards others.  There’ll be some who will not accept this as the right thing to do within the walls of a church building.  Others may be zealots for activism, far beyond your own energy levels.  Whomever you encounter, you must take care to not look down on those who have greater or lesser political involvement than yourself.  Your challenge, also, is to try to not create offense or division when sharing your political or cultural views.  Its one thing to sharpen each other as iron, it’s quite another to be contentious.  May the sharpening be the attribute describing you.

Finally, you are called to be a faithful witness to God’s truths, and to be diligent in fulfilling the salt and light mandate in this area as well as every other area of your life.  Don’t become discouraged if progress is slow in mustering support and interest from your friends and fellow church members.  Ultimately, we are only called to be faithful in our walk before the Lord; the actual results must be entrusted to His perfect will.  Your energy, enthusiasm, and maturity, however, will be infectious and go a long way to ensure success by the Lord’s leading.

Now, for those that don’t believe it’s proper or right for “politics” to be part of the training mission of the church, I would ask that you quickly scan Chapter 12, “Endnote: Why Don’t We Get Involved?” and also Chapter 3, “Our Biblical Mandate as Christians to Vote”.  I suggest the question we must ask ourselves is not “should we?” address our citizenship duty within the church, but rather “how should we?”.

My prayer is that you will keep these thoughts in mind as you help break new ground at your church.  I can assure you they will guide you faithfully, and help prevent unrealistic expectations from getting in the way.  May the Lord, then, richly bless your work and use you mightily to further His kingdom.

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