By Tim Schindel
If you were to ask Canadians which group of people are the easiest to complain about or criticize, most would quickly say the same thing: politicians. Yet, is there any other group of people in our nation whose decisions have a greater impact on our lives? Our elected leaders are responsible for making choices that affect daily life not for dozens or thousands of people, but millions. I believe our political representatives and systems need to experience the power of transformation as much as anyone.
For the past nine years, Leading Influence Ministries has been working among Canadian politicians to help bring transformation into the lives of our leaders both personally and corporately. Working in this arena brings unique challenges, but it also provides exciting moments and opportunities. I think of these moments like clouds that start small but later billow up and produce rain in the lives of those God has called to lead our nation.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
I facilitate a weekly prayer gathering as part of my work with elected members. Until recently, the participants had been from one party. I’ve always sent invitations to members on both sides, but the response has usually been the same: “I can’t be seen praying with members from the other side”. Despite this pattern, I kept sending out invitations, thinking “just one more time”. And, as the Lord would have it, a member from the other party said yes to an invitation with the promise to see us the next morning.
She arrived right on time to a room full of men. I watched with bated breath to see how our morning would go. As we took time to share prayer needs, she shared something intensely personal and I watched five men immediately gather around her and begin to pray. In that moment, everything changed! We suddenly went from praying about government bills and internal issues to praying that God would use us to see His kingdom come and His will be done within caucuses, bills, debates and policies.
Just recently, this same member turned to her spiritual brothers (and political adversaries) and declared, “I want you to know that YOU are my brothers and that THIS time is my sanctuary and refuge when I am here. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do.”
The entire culture of our prayer time has changed. So has the depth of the relationships shared among members. There is a deep solidarity among us and a willingness to walk and work together for the sake of seeing the Kingdom come in our provinces and nation.
What I would hope people could take away from this is a reminder that, first, politicians are very much human and need as much (if not more) prayer as anyone else, and second, while many Christians profess they want nothing to do with politics, God is actively making a positive difference in this crucial arena.
This is but one cloud that is producing rain. There are others on the horizon and still others to rise from the sea. Transformation is coming to government all across our great nation!
CREATIVE COMMONS: ‘The BC Legislature Building’ by Nick Kenrick. Licensed under CC 2.0. Adapted for use.