ENGAGING THE CHURCH

 One of the most challenging questions for today’s church is whether to engage with government and politics.  How do we as faith leaders approach this emotional and very complicated arena? Do we enter it at all?

It’s a topic we’ve prayerfully taken to heart. Cornerstone believes the answer is: 
 “Absolutely yes.”

 Read on to learn Why you as a pastor/leader should engage and How it is done, as well as our election guidelines and resources for Churches.

ENGAGE? WHY?

Members of faith communities need to hear from their pastors & faith leaders regarding hot button cultural issues for many reasons: 

WHY ENGAGE?

REASON #1

Our Heritage

We believe that the Scriptural record, the history of God’s people up to the present day, and our nation’s unique contribution to the role of religious liberty all point to the need for faith communities to engage with government.

WHY ENGAGE?

REASON #2

Our Responsibility

As citizens of a democracy in a constitutional republic, we are responsible for the people and policies of our state. The impact of enacted policies will affect our congregants and communities for generations.

WHY ENGAGE?

REASON #3

We Can Make A Difference!

Our citizen-legislators in New Hampshire can be reached by our compassionate and clearly-articulated voices.

Resources to Consider 

HOW TO ENGAGE

1

Educate yourself on the issues.

We provide you the tools you need to educate yourself and your congregation on critical issues.

During the Legislative Session our blog has the bills we are currently addressing with line-by-line analysis of a bill’s language, or other resources to help you understand the issue, the proposed legislation, and its potential impact on the people and communities you serve.

Note: We find churches engage in one of two ways — either led directly by church leadership or through what we call a “Cultural Impact Team” — a sponsored group within the church who help raise awareness of key legislative and cultural issues impacting the state and area. Whichever route you choose, we encourage you to take advantage of the resources here and the compassionate support of our Cornerstone team.

Once you understand more about an issue, consider taking the next step 

2

Include the issue in the regular prayer rhythms.

Romans 13 calls government officials ministers of God, meaning they are, in effect, servants of the Lord. Just as pastors are ministers of the Church, elected officials are ministers of God in government, and they have a job to do for Him. This should change the way we view our elected officials. This is why the Bible calls us to pray, submit, and honor those in authority. (1 Tim 2, Rom 13, 1 Pet 2)

3

Share with your congregation.

Share what you’ve learned, how you believe the Scriptures and church teachings apply to the issue, and what actions they should take.  

  • Use the pulpit, an announcement slot, your email/newsletters, and social media channels to share.
  • See Engage! Why? for encouragement as to why your congregation needs to hear your voice concerning the cultural issues of our day.

4

Engage with your area legislators on the issue.

    • Familiarize yourself with your legislators.
    • Calls are better than emails. A sit-down visit is better than a call.
    • Share with them your thoughts on the issue and how you think the proposed legislation will affect the people in your congregation and your community.

5

Testify in a legislative committee hearing on the issue and encourage others to testify!

      • Every bill is assigned to a committee that considers the issue thoroughly before recommending to the whole House or Senate whether or not to proceed with voting on it to become a law
      • During the committee phase, all NH citizens are invited to:
        • Register their support of or opposition to a bill in writing with a simple “Support” or “Oppose” checkmark;  
        • Simply state their support or opposition (“My name is _____, I’m from _____, and I support this bill”); and/or
        • Share for 3-5 minutes the reasons for their support of or opposition to a bill, either by reading a prepared statement, or by speaking extemporaneously.  

In the NH General Court – NH legislature – every NH citizen has the right to be heard!

  • The effectiveness of your stories in influencing the committee members considering the bill cannot be overstated! Simply share your story with the committee!
  • During the January to June legislative session, committees’ weekly hearing schedules are published on the Thursday evening of the preceding week.  Cornerstone will alert you to the hearing times related to our wheelhouse issues and invite you to engage in the process by reaching out to the the legislators and/or testifying in the hearing.
  • See Educate Yourself–The Legislative Process for more information on how it all works.  Your voice in the process is critical!
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Election Do's and Don'ts for Pastors

Will you honor God with your vote come election day?