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Reform Magazine | December 2, 2021

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Do you want to be an influencer?

Do you want to be an influencer?

What can Christians bring to the world of politics? Andy Flannagan introduces the Influence Course

Christians know how to make noise. It’s in our DNA. Whether it’s trumpets at Jericho, cymbals in the Psalms, or worship bands with huge PAs. We can mobilise vast numbers of people to march to make poverty history, send emails about climate change, or write letters about abortion. But there’s a difference between just making a noise and having real influence. Can we make the journey from disconnected armchair commentators to participants who are being salt and light in the midst rather than at the edge of society?

Later in this article I will introduce a new way to make that journey, but first let me outline how our present context illuminates the need for Christians to use their influence in the world of politics.

In the wake of the troubled US elections, the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and the current political leadership through the Covid-19 pandemic, many believers are understandably engaging more heavily in political debates. Our leaders are under scrutiny and opinions are readily formed. In moments where their private lives hit the headlines, I’ve too often recently heard Christians say things like: ‘We only care about whether they get the job done’ or ‘We’re not electing a pastor, we’re electing a president.’

I understand those statements, but I want to drive a stake through the flawed ‘sacred/secular’ divide exposed and encourage Christians to approach things differently.

We shouldn’t disconnect ethics from leadership. Politics isn’t just about getting things done, and when you study any organisation you’ll discover they are built in the image of their leaders. Just like business leaders, political leaders establish the culture and are role models and influencers of the public square…

Andy Flannagan is Executive Director of Christians in Politics. More information about the Influence Course is available online from www.influencecourse.co.uk

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This is an extract from an article published in the November 2021 edition of Reform

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