This entry is part of a series of blogs that connect political volunteering with spiritual themes. These observations come from my current volunteering for a congressional candidate. Today’s thought: The fellowship of believers.
One of the strongest benefits of being part of the Body of Christ is the reality that believers are joined together in a bond of fellowship. No matter our dissimilarities in other ways—when it comes to faith, we’re family. We belong—to God, to God’s will and to the people of God. As I’ve experienced so many times when present in churches around the country, “Wherever I go, I’m home.”
My spouse and I experience something similar in our political volunteering. This campaign—this work, these beliefs, these people, this place—is starting to feel like home. Together with other campaign workers, we believe fervently in this cause, these tasks, this candidate. Those beliefs only get stronger over time.
The similarities with church-related ministry are many. We gather together for insight, directions, encouragement—and then are sent out into the world. We live with great hope about the eventual outcomes of this work. The diversity of volunteers and paid staff provides a depth of talent and experience to the campaign. No matter how passionate we are about this cause, we guard against our self-righteousness. Our leaders work alongside us; they exemplify servant leadership, equipping us for what we all want to accomplish.
You’re getting the picture, right? It feels right to be doing this work, at this time and for reasons beyond narrow self-interest. Sometimes we think of our collective efforts more like a movement than an organization. We’re taking action, our faith in God at the core.
Although the fellowship of these particular believers doesn’t leave much room for leisurely moments of conversation or relaxation, we’re not there to soak up enjoyment. The campaign is tightly focused, laser-aimed at electing the candidate—We can delay our celebration until the campaign is over on November 6th.
There are places where this political work is NOT the same as God’s mission through the church. When the campaign is over, this enterprise will fade back into the rest of society. In comparison, the people of God have the distinct benefit of thousands of years of history, supportive institutions and proven processes. We understand the long haul. The church’s part of God’s realm extends throughout the world, visibly and invisibly, and is guided by Scriptures whose inspiration comes directly from the Spirit. The good news of God in Jesus permeates all of our lives. We understand the big picture.
For the time remaining in this campaign, we will enjoy this fellowship of believers. We have come to admire deeply the commitment of fellow volunteers, each of us undertaking our part of a vast enterprise. We will be grateful that God has raised up people to accomplish the greater good that can come from political campaigning: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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