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As Christians, government involvement can be very controversial.

Just think of the presidential candidates you know who are proclaimed Christians.  Either many in the Christian community disagree with their lifestyle/political platforms or they are shunned by everyone outside of conservative Christianity.

city mountainsSome of us even struggle with whether it is theologically okay to participate in government.  If I vote, am I giving man power when it is God who should have it?  But my government is corrupt – why should I be a part of it?  Shouldn’t I be more concerned with God’s Kingdom than with my kingdom?

In Romans 13:1-7, Paul explains that government leaders are literally servants of God as they seek the common good of the people and provide justice – and this is whether they follow Him or not.

And how much better off will the people be if their political leaders are purposefully following after Him?

The purpose of this article is to provide practical reasons to invest your effort in becoming an official in local government.  I don’t want to ignore state and federal levels, those are certainly important and worthwhile.  But in this specific article, I want to focus on local.

Your Active Determination Can Be Used to Help the Community

If you are even taking the time to read this article, you are likely the kind of person who makes things happen.  You are passionate not only about correct motives and philosophy, but also about executing well-planned objectives.  You are already a leader in different areas in your life.

If this is the case, then you are prime for leadership in local government.

This is where the rubber meets the road.  A good civic leader takes good ideas like compassion, economic well-being, and cultural heritage and turns them into initiatives.

Our cities need people who can be the engine. #city #community Click To Tweet

If you already have the drive to do these kinds of things, then you should be using your talents to help the community.  If God made you that way, then use it for His glory.

You Can Be the Engine That Drives City Development

An engine in a car is the catalyst for all of the working parts.  It obtains fuel; it creates a motion; it connects all the other parts and causes them to function as they should.  And in the end, you get a car that obtains its purpose:  to

As a local political leader, you get to be the engine.  You find and manage all the necessary resources.  You bring together many different modalities such as the government itself, non-profits, businesses, and NGOs.  When you get all the moving parts together in cooperation and provide vision and strategy, you empower the city to obtain its own purpose:  to take care of the people within the city.

Networking is a huge part of the process.  But if you do it well, you will be able to use your influence for good.

Our cities need people who can be the engine.

Partisan Issues Are Often Non-Issues in Local Government

You might be thinking to yourself – okay, it sounds good, but I can’t participate in government because my values don’t align with the current president/judge/congress/representative/fill-in-the-blank.

Many cities have non-partisan governments.  This means that no one runs as a Republican or a Democrat or even an independent party.  Almost immediately, you see that these cities do not want federal debates to tie down politics on a grassroots level.

But even if your city is not that way, on a local level, the hottest debates are not the focus.  Abortion, immigration, homosexual marriage (this one is all but settled now anyway) – they are being figured out by our federal government.

If you have the gifts and the right motivation, use them. #makeadifference Click To Tweet

Yes, you will still have to deal with these controversies in some capacity since you would be applying the federal laws to your local context, but the main work will be in community development.

Which brings me to my next point…

The Pressing Issues in Local Government Are Ones We Can Get Behind

motherBuilding a museum, preserving the swamplands, deciding what to do with the homeless in your city, balancing your city’s budget, providing health and wellness resources.

These all have to do with taking care of the people who work down the street.  They are your neighbors.  You see them while grocery shopping and in the park.

It becomes less about political philosophy, and more about serving.  Taking care of our neighborhoods and communities comes to the forefront.

We can work together on that stuff.

Just Do It Already

You can make serious changes for good in your community if you can catch the vision of civic responsibility.

All of our jobs have value in God’s Creation.  We were created to work and take care of the earth.  As we do our jobs well, we flourish as God intended.  As a civic leader, you do the same, just focusing on leadership and community development.

If you have the gifts and the right motivation, use them.

God knows we need good politicians.

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