In a previous article, we defined what the right kind of public life is.
There is a lot that is involved, but one aspect of this correct public life is that we land on the middle of the political spectrum.
Now, before you dismiss this article as another attempt for a Christian to be “progressive” while actually just making unreasonable compromises, please, hear me out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I am NOT talking about the traditional political spectrum with liberal on the left, and conservative on the right, and the middle being moderate. I am talking about a different political spectrum altogether.
A Different Spectrum Altogether
BILD International produced a course called “Seek the Welfare of the City”. In it, Jeff Reed proposed that contemporary evangelicals tend to fall to one of two extremes in our public lives. On both ends of this spectrum, we Christians will isolate the very people we are trying to reach.
On the right is political quietism. This is when we throw up our hands and say, “The world’s damned anyway, so let’s just hole up and wait till Jesus comes back.” It’s when we separate ourselves from society and never engage in a meaningful way. This isolates people simply because we are never involved in people’s lives.
On the left is political activism. This is when curl up our fists and say, “Those idiots in office have no idea what they’re doing. Well, we’ll show them.” Then we disrupt society in large displays of protest. This isolates people because political signs don’t usually bring people to Christ – it just makes them mad.
Our contention is that a happy middle on this spectrum is best for our public lives. It is when we engage our culture with good works and use our influence for good. We neither separate ourselves, nor ram our beliefs down anyone’s throat. The public good we do will speak for itself of the goodness of God in our lives.
A Real Problem
Here’s a problem to consider – what if we’re really good at political activism?
What if God made us in such a way that we understand the political process, and we’re passionate about it, and we understand how to make our voices heard, and because of this, we have spent time and time again protesting in political activism?
Well, some people are just built to do it.
And despite what I said above about political activism being negative in terms of Christ’s Kingdom, it is actually a good thing that people have these skills.
So how do we channel those skills in a positive way that will bring glory to Jesus? Here is a short list of ideas:
Run for OfficeDon't cheer in the stands, get in the game. Click To Tweet
Yeah, you heard me.
Don’t cheer in the stands, get in the game. Take a risk and put yourself out there.
If you are the kind of person who can garner resources, gather people, and mobilize them to execute a public protest, then you have what I like to call “the ability to get things done”. You have leadership abilities.
Obviously, these skills are not all it takes to run for office (see this recent post), but you’ve got a foundational skill set which can be honed in to be a good civic leader.
Leverage Your Network
If you’ve participated in political protest, you know one thing: you can’t do it alone.
You’re probably connected more than you realize. All the people whom you’ve lead to participate with you. All the people who’ve worked with you on the organization side. All the vendors you’ve involved to execute the plan. All the people you’ve stayed up way too late into the night with discussing ideologies and philosophy.
If you’re a public person, you have a network. Use it for good.
And what kind of good, you ask?
Build Up a Good Cause
Well, I bet all political activists view their cause as “a good cause”. But compare the following the lists. The first is a list of characteristics of what I’d call a disruptive political agenda. The second is a list of characteristics of actually doing good in your community.
So here’s the first – a disruptive political agenda:
- Insults individuals or people groups
- Stirs people to anger
- Has a mob mentality
- Makes demands
- Has no meaningful discussion
And here’s the second – a cause which does good in your community:
- Tangibly serves others (not just ideologically)
- Meets urgent needs
- Stirs people to gratitude
- Causes individuals to feel valued
- Asks for nothing in return
Use your abilities and your skills to do the second one.
Bless Your Church
Leadership is a legitimate spiritual gift, whose purpose is to build up the body of Christ.#Leadership is a legitimate #spiritual gift. Click To Tweet
You can gather people? Evangelize the city through your good works, as well as your ability to speak charismatically.
You can mobilize people? So mobilize the church to do good works.
You can gather resources? Raise funds to help the expansion of the gospel in the Global South. See the video below to see what kinds of partnership opportunities are available through BILD, International: