Trust in UK politicians and politics is at an all-time low both within the church and society more generally according to a recent survey conducted by the Evangelical Alliance. Millions are discouraged by how their vote will lead to positive change in their communities and national politics. As Christ-followers let us buck the trend and see our civic engagement as the outworkings of the Great Commandment.

Political commentators for months have been speculating when the next general election will be. Now that we know it will be Thursday 4 July, it is important that Christians view their civic engagement as highly as their devotion and love to the Lord and love to their neighbour. 

Jesus has always encouraged His church and disciples to be an integral part of communities, bringing hope, serving those most in need and proclaiming the kingdom of God is at hand, for all who repent and turn to Christ.


Evangelicals must not succumb to political apathy

In the past 12 months there have been constituency boundary changes that will see hundreds of constituencies hotly contested and pursued by different political parties. During the election campaign, prospective candidates and political campaigners are likely to find a hurting and hostile community, wounded by the dissemination of public and local services following years of austerity and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

My prayer is that they will also encounter local, active and engaged evangelical member churches and Christians ready to speak out and advocate for change. Many members of the Evangelical Alliance have walked alongside those living through the most difficult periods of their lives and faithfully served those beyond the church walls. The solutions to the many complex social policy we face as a nation can be found within the service provision and the truth that Jesus is Lord, Saviour and Deliver, but is the church willing to offer this message to policymakers at and beyond the next general election?

Our recent survey; Thinking Faithfully About Politics, found that evangelicals are highly likely to vote at the next election and over half will vote in such a way where they believe the political party’s policies will best help those in need, which is incredible! The one statistic in the report that concerns me is that only 38% will engage beyond the election. 

For the 62% unsure on how they will engage post-election, let me share the find, focus and build’ approach to engaging constructively during an election campaign and hope this will inspire you to remain politically active beyond the election result. 

  • Find out who your prospective candidates are and then find ways to introduce yourself and/​or community project

In addition to constituency boundary changes we know there will be more than 100 MPs from across political parties stepping down at the next general election. This means we can confidently say the make-up of parliament will look different with an intake of new MPs. 

Once an election has been called, we would encourage Christians to find out all the prospective candidates who are running to become your constituency MP and seek to introduce yourself or the community outreach project. 

As an advocacy team we have published a How to run an election hustings in your area” brief and will signpost our members to other local hustings and/​or events you can attend and meet with local candidates. This is a positive step to take, as it supports local representatives to understand different community groups and stakeholders active in the area and provide opportunities for ongoing engagement should they win the election.

  • Focus on local issues and share how you and/​or your Christian community have provided support and solutions

Another suggestion is to become a local advocate and champion for your area. During the election campaign party leaders and the media will focus on national and macro political issues, but for candidates, their campaigns will take a more localised approach. What are the some of the issues affecting your constituency and that you and/​or your community project are responding to? The election period provides an opportunity to spotlight local issues and draw the attention of your candidates to how Christians and the local church are providing solutions and should be engaged following election result.

To support you in your local engagement, we have curated an eight-week general election podcast special series with different member organisations and individuals featured on each episode. The purpose is to take a deep dive into a particular policy issue and theme, provide insights and practical pointers on how Christians can advocate for change at a local level. 

  • Build ongoing relationships with the successful candidate post-election

Finally, and most importantly is to continue to build a rapport with whoever wins the election. For some Christians their preferred candidate won and for others, their preference didn’t. Regardless of the outcome it is crucial evangelicals lay aside party preferences and take up their primary identity in Christ. A kingdom-mindset over political tribe is what is needed going forward. 

Evangelicals must seek to connect and engage across the political spectrum, inviting local representatives to church and influencing policymakers to introduce laws that protect religious freedom and enable evangelicals to continue to serve the most vulnerable in society and the common good. Do revisit eauk​.org and use our post general election campaign toolkit, designed to guide members on how to invite your MP to a church service and/​or outreach project.

The UK needs a prophetic church

As I prepare the team for the scale of change to our public policy priorities across the four nations and anticipated change of government my prayers focus on the need for the UK-wide church and Christians to be and to become a prophetic voice in our day and this time.

The Apostle Paul succinctly writes this incredible manifesto to the church, where he outlines the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). What a privilege and what a responsibility. 

As disciples, we are to steward this prophetic responsibility with care and out of a sense of undivided devotion to Christ and the authority of the Holy Spirit. Where politics and political engagement have become idols then be encouraged that God is merciful and ready to forgive all who repent.

A prophetic voice and wisdom is borne out of personal consecration. The church cannot circumvent this and the longer we do, the more likely UK politics will descend into further chaos. A prophetic church calls out the errors in society but also establishes alternative institutions where good governance and justice is realised and the poor are cared for. 

Let all of our political engagement boldly proclaim the gospel and point people, politicians and powers to the Lordship of Jesus. 

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Evangelicals care about others, but what role does this play in political engagement?

Evangelicals care about others, but what role does this play in political engagement?

Over half of evangelicals who vote base their vote on how leaders will care for others, but can loving our neighbours compel us to go further in our engagement with politics?