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The Church Can Turn America PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hope Taylor   
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 21:15

May 05   -  Hope Taylor

Image Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During presidential election cycles, many Americans, regardless of political party affiliation, bemoan the two choices that appear on their ballots. Conversations about the national political landscape often include statements like, “Are these the best candidates America can produce?” Exhibit A is the 2012 presidential election when we saw marginal enthusiasm among the Christian community for either candidate based on policy positions.

From a purely political perspective, there is a saying: “all politics is local.” The meaning is that to win state or national elections, a candidate must have a well-organized campaign at the local level, especially in key swing regions. Most Christians who are knowledgeable in community affairs and policy issues understand that winning elections and governing well are entirely different. The conclusion is we must upgrade our civil government leaders if we expect to move from political cartels to statesmen. Bad government reproduces after its own kind, and the offspring of this can be disillusioned and disengaged people.

To chart a course forward for our nation, we present three primary points. As this is being written in the beautiful snow-covered Colorado Mountains, we’ll use the levels of ski slopes to convey how we can “go up to the mountain of The Lord” and see transformation. (Isaiah 2:3)

Green Slopes

Green indicates the slope for beginner skiers and is therefore a beginning point. The Church’s beginning point is to have faith that America can be turned. Without faith we can’t please God or turn the nation He birthed. Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) and leads to hopelessness. The Body of Christ has been afflicted with the disease of hopelessness relative to America’s future and she must rekindle the gift of faith. Can America be turned? Yes, as those who carry the hope within are captivated by the Father’s heart for our great nation. Believers must break free from the shackles of pessimism and love our homeland as Nehemiah, who when hearing the report of his land being in distress, began to pray, fast and weep before God on its behalf. May the burden of God fall on each of us and give us a passion for our land. America’s best days are ahead! Having conquered the green slopes, let’s move to the next.

Blue Slopes

The blue slopes are for intermediate skiers and represent our next level — engaging in our communities. As we travel the nation and interact with God’s people, the strategy to transform communities is for believers to seek the welfare of their cities. The prophet Jeremiah wrote to the Jews who were exiled in Babylon and told them to get involved in the city where God had placed them. The Jewish communal caste system was violating the plan of God for His people much like today’s Christian cave dwelling. The focus on our lives, families and fellowships has isolated us while withholding the wisdom of God from the city building process. As Christians work for the good of their community, God will bless their lives, families and plans.

There is a subtle trend underway in American politics where some U.S. House members are leaving the federal government to be involved at the local level. A recent article in The Hill tells the story of Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif) running for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. She states, “I just feel I can be more useful here locally. My influence will be a little bit bigger.” As one of five county supervisors representing more than 2 million people versus one of 200 Democratic leaders in the House minority, the difference is considerable (The Hill, Vol. 21 No. 21). The pattern has been for those seeking to serve in public service to use the local office as a stepping stone for the state and national. We see God at work shifting something within the civil government process that will open the doors for His people to be elected and lead their communities as statesmen. We see a growing number of cases where Godly candidates are being set into local offices having run unopposed. The Lord is giving favor through open doors, and this is what we call a divine acceleration. When the righteous lead, it will exalt a community (Proverbs 14:34). The old political order has not produced a broad enough base of Biblical thinkers who are called to serve to make a significant difference in our nation. At best, we see isolated cases where statesmen leaders are serving their committees. While we affirm nations are turned one community at a time, from a strategic viewpoint, there is certainly a pressing need for critical mass among each state of experienced servant leaders who understand they are vice-regents serving at the pleasure of God! This is an opportune moment in the Kingdom for believers to give themselves to local public service and thereby become community disciplers.

To disciple or influence a community, the Church will begin to build partnerships. Through partnering at the local level with economic development offices, businesses will prosper and the city can grow as new industry and small businesses begin. As we partner with the education system and get involved through programs such as adopt-a-school, which can bring resources ranging from prayer to mentoring, our children’s education level will increase assuring a prosperous future for the community. As believers show up in their city council meetings and build relationships with city leaders, their voice of wisdom will be heard addressing current city challenges. The Church will not turn its community from within the church building or through programs. Through building partnerships and relationships, demonstrating a willingness to serve and becoming knowledgeable in city affairs, our communities can be transformed.

Black Diamond

The final ski slope is the black diamond. As the name indicates, it represents the greatest challenge and payoff. The goal of the following strategy is sustained community transformation at the local level, which is our interpretation of the original mandate in Genesis 1:26-28 and the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Discipling nations implies a community of people or people group being significantly influenced with the Word of God for an extended period of time. For this to happen, the laws or culture will reflect a measurable level of obedience to the Word.  Our expectation is not that all those serving at the local level in civil government will be Christian, but our premise is that there will be a mature Christian influence expressed through the local decisions and policies. As we see it, this portrays a city having ascended the mountain of The Lord.

Community Watch Groups (CWG): While it’s not necessary that every local church, congregation or fellowship establish a CWG, there needs to be a significant level of participation among the various ministries in the community. Each group can be made up of a small number of people who represent the entire congregation and have the public endorsement of the leadership. These designated watchmen should be qualified by scriptural guidelines, a grace on their lives to relate to people outside the normal church experience, and an understanding of how to communicate with wisdom. Their assignment is to function as community watchmen who are responsible to be current on issues facing the community. This requires individuals who are available to attend local government meetings on a consistent basis, as well as periodic meetings where potential city impacting issues are discussed. In 2 Kings 18:17, King Hezekiah authorized a delegation to meet with the Assyrian King’s representatives when dealing with important issues for their city’s future. This delegation serves as a model for today’s CWG by highlighting the need for a small, well trained team with specialists who are skilled in dealing with sensitive city matters and not moved by fear or intimidation. Systems of communication must be built that assure timely, consistent and thorough reporting with ministry leaders. Methods will be established where the “intel” these groups gain through community involvement and spiritual discernment can be disseminated to the fellowship.

Apostolic leaders and pastors who carry a Kingdom view and demonstrate a cooperative spirit with other spiritual leaders will work to foster communication and cooperation among the city’s Community Watch Groups. Utilizing the Biblical principle of unity, these groups work in partnership with one another and create a citywide alliance that educates and can mobilize the Christian community in a timely manner. Unity is a non-negotiable component for this strategy to bear fruit in a transformed community.


Identifying who God has mantled for public service: Our experience and application of 1 Corinthians 12:28 is that God sets His people in key places. This strategy works on the belief that God has people in our local communities who carry the spiritual maturity and seasoned wisdom to serve in elected office. Due to lack of revelation or a host of other important issues, many of these men and women have not been involved in their community at this level. Therefore, it is necessary that these qualified people be identified. One thought is to look within the pastors’ fellowship or ministers alliance in your city. We’ve seen numerous times when God has trained and groomed a leader within the church and they are prepared to lead the city. It may be a local pastor who has credibility in the community and spiritual wisdom to become mayor. The key point here is to identify the person or persons who can lead the community. This work is best done by a spiritually mature council of leaders.

Having a designated person or persons to run for city office(s), the Community Watch Groups are mobilized into what we call “deployment phase.” In the past when Christians have run for office, it has been the Lone Ranger or entrepreneurial model. Often the person’s motivation has been honorable, but primarily fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this type of spirit, it lacks the principle of team and unity. Building on the grassroots organization of the CWG’s, their base of knowledge in city issues, the good they will have developed by being involved, and spiritual maturity, the candidate is not left to fend for themselves. Now there is a team to assist the candidate and also serve them in the governing process post election. In the campaign, there is a committed group of prayer warriors who can address the spiritual needs. There is a committed group of advisors who can brief the candidate on important issues and how to speak to the citizens’ concerns. The CWG’s and the involved congregations provide the boots on the ground for such things as community parades, manning citywide events to hand out literature and putting out yard signs. Finally, in the campaign there is a broad base of financial support for the designated candidate. Our experience is that often the Christian community will commit to pray and to some extent help serve, but the financial support has been minimal. Believers have not wanted to financially support Christians running for office at the local level.

Post-election, our cities can expect a surge in good government. As positions on city boards, planning committees and economic development panels need to be filled, the newly elected mayor or council person has a qualified pool of believers to draw from for these appointments. It’s reasonable to believe we can see numerous communities transformed within a short period of time.

As these people gain experience, wisdom and favor in their cities across America, God is raising up Kingdom leaders who now offer the good citizens of our nation premium candidates during state and national elections.

Can America be turned? Yes, one community at a time. Let’s go up the mountain of The Lord together!

 
Mitigate! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hope Taylor   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:27

 

Mitigate!

 

By Hope Taylor

 

At a recent Texas gathering of leaders, intercessors and believers committed to influencing their spheres of life with the Kingdom of God, I heard something from theLord when I woke up and was preparing for the day, but it somehow got mentally filed away among the host of other thoughts. Only after a prompting question from one of the conference conveners as to whether or not I was “hearing anything” did it resurface and begin to open revelation, encouragement and, I trust, direction for us all. The purpose of this article is not a teaching on listening or hearing the Lord, but to communicate what He spoke and how it applies to each of us and our nation in this turbulent season of economicuncertainty and political charades.

 

The word I heard was mitigate, which means “to cause to become less harsh or make less severe or painful.” (Merriam-Webster)

 

So we have a clear understanding and will be better prepared to make application, a brief framework of what I had been sensing over America the two previous weeks will be helpful. On Monday, October 7, I arrived in Washington, DC, and immediately went to the Capitol to spend time praying and walking the grounds. It was night time, the grounds were well lit, and the secured parking lot reserved for Congress was full. Of particular significance was the light at the top of the Capitol dome that indicates either the House or the Senate are in session. Politically speaking, the headlines were riveted on the partial government shutdown and beginning enrollment in what is commonly known asObamaCare. Poll numbers are steadfast and reveal public confidence in the legislative and executive branches of the United States government is very low. When I walked across the Capitol that night, what gripped me was something far more serious than poll numbers. I was arrested with the sense that our elected national leaders were in murky swamp waters way over their heads and were incapable of resolving the issues facing America.

 

As of this writing, the partial government shutdown has ended. It was ended due to an agreement between the House, Senate and President that also raised the national debt ceiling to 17 trillion plus.

 

It is my conviction that three recent things have escalated the code red conditions in our land. The partial government shutdown was like lighting a fuse that is moving toward an explosive device. In what I’ll label the national soul of common Americans, the shutdown signaled a realization or awakening among some that our federal government is not infallible. Some readers may well have been aware of this and used their voices to awaken others. The first responders can’t do it all in a crisis moment; they need an awakened population. Common Americans who once hoped their government would take care of them in a crisis now hear a voice from within. A fuse has been lit.

 

The implementation of ObamaCare is the second clear signal. The purpose here is not to argue the points of healthcare. This launching of a federal government program is not about offering healthcare to ‘poor’ Americans. At its core, it is about who is in control and who will the citizenry put their trust in. Will it be God or will it be a man or political system? The prize in this race is who is in control, not who has healthcare.

 

The final escalation point is the decision by our national elected leaders to raise the debt ceiling. Biblically, civil leaders are to protect the people they serve from domestic or foreign enemies. Raising the debt ceiling for some meant they could return to their jobs or visit national monuments again. For our elected officials, it meant the political pressure gauge was turned back. For common Americans, it meant they and their offspring for generations will have front row seats to a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this case, those responsible to protect the people have become chief offenders!  The violation of Biblical wisdom in economics by our current national leaders will be addressed by the eternal God! One only has to be reminded of the Pharaoh who ended up at the bottom of the sea when he sought to oppress the Hebrews through his government building program by enslaving them.

 

It was in this context that I heard the Lord say: Mitigate. The praying Church, the passionate Church, the prepared Church, the persistent Church is a powerful army whoGod has delivered from the mindset of entitlement and slavery. My dear friends, this appeal and burden for America’s future reminds me of Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:4 — “and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” We must not expect God to bail us out of this anymore than the citizenry can expect government to bail it out. Yes, He will demonstrate His power as we who represent His interests in discipling this nation mitigate current affairs through our prayers and sacrificial service to our communities. Your role in this is critical. Mitigate!

 

Pray and Act:

 

1. Ask God what your prayer assignment is concerning America, and let your voice be heard in the throne room, your fellowship sphere, and in your community.


2. Repent of any wrong attitudes we may have or those in the church may carry that says God’s assignment on America is over.

3. Get involved at the next level of influence and doors God will open to you.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:28
 
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