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Help your church navigate their way through this election

Unsplash Compas Tim Graf
Emma Blustin

Four useful questions to ask your church to help them navigate their own way through this election. 

If you’re in any position of leadership or influence in your church, navigating your way through conversations around politics can be tough. Even more so during a general election.

There’s often a lot of complex information and noise that comes through dynamic debates and political posturing. Church members may struggle to align their political choices with their religious beliefs, and can look to others within their church to help direct them. 

Asking questions may help your church community, and indeed yourself, to clarify how the different policies and candidates align with core values and the principles.

Here are some questions that may help:

1. Does our language dehumanise?

Tensions can run high when we share our deeply held beliefs and personal experiences with people who have different experiences and opinions. Our previous blog addresses how conversations around politics can quickly turn into heated debates, and offers churches five strategies they can use to navigate their way through election fever and pursue deeply rooted unity with a diversity of experiences and opinions. 

2. Do you share the biblical prophets’ passion for justice and compassion?

Addressing poverty is not just a social or political issue; it is a deeply spiritual one, rooted in the heart of God as revealed through the prophets and the ministry of Jesus. The theme of justice and compassion runs deeply through the messages of the biblical prophets, reflecting God’s heart for the marginalised and oppressed. 

  • Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Isaiah 1:17
  • I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. Amos 5:24
  • Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Perhaps your church would like to explore the value that justice and compassion had in the biblical prophets’ messages? Act On Poverty has created a short course — an ideal small group resource — designed to help Christians gain a deeper understanding of poverty and get equipped to talk to political representatives about it. Its first session centres around the biblical prophets.

3. What’s your candidate criteria?

The criteria for choosing a political candidate can vary widely among individuals within the same church congregation. This isn’t a bad thing, but can in fact be a testament to how diverse personal values, experiences, and perspectives have the freedom to co-exist within one church community.

For most of us, the core of our decision-making is rooted within our personal values and beliefs, which can often stem from our backgrounds or personal experiences. For instance, one person may prioritise a candidate’s character and integrity in their voting choice, another may value their track record on advocating for vulnerable people in their community, whilst someone else could focus purely on a candidate’s economic policies.

For many Christians, these beliefs will often be grounded within our own experience of God and understanding of Jesus’ teachings. Interestingly, a recent survey with evangelical Christians identified that integrity and trust was in their Top 5’ most important issues facing our society today – where as this didn’t even feature in the general public’s Top 10’. 

You may want to take some time to reflect and consider what issues are most important to you and your church community, and which of the available party candidates in your constituency is committed to putting those values into action.

4. How can we pray for our leaders, our nation, and each other during this election season?

We’ve found this is the most common question that churches and Christians ask themselves, with prayer being the driving force that unites Chrsitian communities across the political spectrum. We love to see this! Those of us at CAP regularly pray for those in leadership, asking God to give them wisdom to lead and wisdom to us over how to pray for them.

  • If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it. James 1:5

There are some great prayer resources available right now. We recommend the Love Pray Vote Prayer Guide by our friends at JPIT.

CAP is asking all party candidates to put UK poverty on the agenda. Join the 1,500 people (so far) who’ve emailed their Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to ask them about their views and strategies for tackling poverty in their constituencies and in the UK.

Email your PPC
Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'
Ruth, Co-Debt Centre Manager

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Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'