Do you think Christians should be involved in politics? Have you ever wondered if the Church still has the ability to impact culture?
My Faith Votes recently discussed these questions with Pastor Todd Wagner, senior pastor of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. Watermark is unique in that they not only require every member of their congregation to serve as a requirement for membership, but Pastor Wagner also encourages members to be educated, active voters.
As the author of the book Come and See: Everything You Ever Wanted in the One Place You Would Never Look, Wagner makes the case that “weekly meetings of mostly bored adults who regularly attend services have nothing to do with God’s vision for His people.” Instead, it is God’s intention “to bring His people into an adventurous life full of authentic relationships, powerful transformation, and seemingly impossible significance and meaning.”
When Christians are living powerfully transformed lives, and bringing that to bear in active community with others, then it is the Church that can be the answer to the problems in our society.
Pastor Wagner reminds us that American culture is desperately hurting.
“A lot of the things government is doing, government shouldn’t have to do,” Wagner says, suggesting instead that it’s really the role of the Church to meet the needs of the community. Christians should be so active in the community and regularly addressing the needs of those around them that no needs exist for government assistance.
Wagner suggests that the Church should focus on equipping the people of God to “deploy their gifts” in service of the community and lists several ways Watermark Community Church is doing just that in the city of Dallas.
To put their faith into action, Watermark Community Church launched a free medical clinic called Watermark Clinic, where dozens of medical professionals from the church serve. The non-insurance funded clinic is now the largest of its kind in the country. To date, the clinic has saved the city of Dallas over $10 million dollars in social and human services. Volunteers at the clinic strive to meet physical needs while looking for opportunities to share the Gospel message.
Pastor Wagner encourages Christians to view their resources, talents and skills to “serve the God that has done so many great things for you.” Every Christian, he says, has equal opportunity to be used by God and to glorify him with their service.
One such way to impact the community is for Christians to lift their voices in local politics, supporting legislation and ideas that support their communities and align with biblical values. Christians should also be diligent to vote to fill civic leadership positions with people of integrity and a servant’s heart. According to Wagner, it is inexcusable for believers to be uninvolved in the political process and reminds us that God is expressly involved in raising up and removing leaders in Scripture and that the same concepts apply to leadership today.
“Politics and politicians are not our Savior, but they aren’t our sworn enemy either,” Wagner observes.
Watch the full interview with Pastor Todd Wagner.