This week I have the privilege of joining other pastors and Christian leaders in Washington D.C. for the Capitol Connection meeting. Our goal is not to lobby, but to be a witness for Christ and an encouragement to those in leadership.
Each pastor will visit the elected officials (and their staff) on Capitol Hill who represent his state or congressional district. We’ll visit all of our representatives, whether or not they are Christians, and do our best to encourage and to be good ambassadors for Christ. Because these are officials who represent us, I feel it is important that they know who we are. I’m thankful for Dr. Chuck Harding and Pastor Mike Creed who have worked to organize this event and help pastors arrange these meetings.
In addition to the congressional meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, there are evening services Monday–Wednesday. I have the privilege of preaching Tuesday evening and look forward to bringing a message about acting on the promises of God for revival.
As Christians, we are familiar with Christ’s command to be salt and light in our world (Matthew 5:13–16). As American Christians, we have the opportunity to not only elect our representatives but also to interact with them in a way many Christians around the world do not have. We should use this opportunity wisely.
Below are five ways we can encourage and engage those who represent us:
1. Pray for Them
Even the apostle Paul who lived under the authority of a very different type of government than we enjoy in America instructed, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1–2).
We should not only care to find out who our government leaders are as we approach an election, but we should pray for them on a regular basis. Pray for them to have wisdom and understanding, to lead well, for their family and personal lives, and, if they are not saved, for their salvation.
2. Invite Them to Special Events at Your Church
Especially for the officials who live in your local area, meet them, thank them for their service, witness for Christ, and invite them to your church. This may be for a day specifically designed to thank community leaders (such as a law enforcement appreciation day) or a day in which great effort has been made to invite the entire community (such as an Open House Sunday or Resurrection Sunday). You might even consider asking them to take a moment to address the church as you publicly thank them for their service.
3. Support Them When You Can
If you have an official standing for a principle or moral issue that is biblically correct, thank and support them. Send them a note. Write a letter to the editor in the newspaper. Tag them in a social media post expressing your support.
4. Share Your Position with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents Alike
Remember that our elected leaders represent us. When you do have a concern, share that concern. Don’t assume that someone doesn’t need to hear from you because their party platform is already consistent with your concern. And don’t assume someone wouldn’t listen to you because their party platform is inconsistent with your concern. Share your position thoughtfully, kindly, and with good, solid research.
5. Remember Them When They’re Going through a Difficult Time
Government officials are people too. They face health challenges, family needs, and real life problems like everyone else. Look for opportunities to encourage them when they are going through a difficult time.