Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders,
We live in an age of unprecedented prosperity, but we also live in a time of immense pain, chaos and confusion. Here in the Commonwealth, our communities are in desperate need of your ministry, particularly in the areas of protecting the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors and strengthening a culture of marriage and family. In Massachusetts right now:
And the list goes on and on. However, many pastors and people of faith question whether or not they should be involved in social issues and politics. The answer is clear: People of faith have historically influenced public policy and culture, from the times of Samuel, David, Elijah, John the Baptist and the followers of Jesus to this day.
Where would we be had not pastors and churches been publicly involved in the American Revolution, abolition, public education, health care, woman’s suffrage, and civil rights? With Massachusetts and the nation at the crossroads and deeply divided on profoundly significant issues, the need for people of faith to participate in public policy is greater than ever.
As a pastor or ministry leader, you have the ability to move dozens, perhaps hundreds of people of faith to action, and by doing so, effect positive influence on the culture of our state. I challenge you to educate yourself and your staff on what your church or faith community can and cannot do in regards to both public policy and political activity. You have broad constitutional rights to express your views and we have provided links to documents that clearly explain the many political and civic activities in which you, as a pastor, or your church as a whole can participate.
I also challenge you to find an individual or a group of individuals within your congregation to lead your efforts to educate and activate other members of your faith community. Massachusetts Family Institute will communicate directly with this person or committee—usually through e-mail—about the current active issue in need of citizen action, and they will in turn pass on that information, with your approval, to the rest of your congregation.
As a pastor myself, I understand that many of you are hesitant to cause a stir by taking on social issues. But as someone who has been in the trenches of the culture war, both as a pastor and now as a public policy leader, I know how critical it is for pastors and ministry leaders to take a clear and firm stand in the public square.
Please use the resources on this page and throughout our website to do your part to effect real culture change and renewal throughout the Commonwealth. God bless you.
Community Alliances Director, MFI
Massachusetts Family Institute launched the 200 for 200 initiative to build a strong network of personal relationships between leaders of faith communities and leaders of local and state governments in Massachusetts.
In our culture and in our courts of law, a new perspective—that sexual autonomy trumps religious freedom—has begun to impact churches, ministries, and people of faith across this nation. Learn how you can prepare your ministry to meet these new legal challenges.
When it comes to politics, every church and ministry must decide for itself how best to engage. This guide will help you navigate the laws surrounding tax-exempt status for churches and equip you to identify what activities are permitted and prohibited by the IRS so that you can both shepherd your people and protect your ministry.
This curriculum is MFI’s resource for churches and small groups to learn how to impact our local culture. We have developed a biblically-based curriculum that educates and informs people of faith about the specific challenges to our family values here in Massachusetts. The class materials teach from the perspectives of scripture, culture, law and politics, and demonstrate how you can serve effectively as an advocate for our shared values.
Church leaders are passionate about advancing justice and edifying the body of Christ. Many pastors are unsure about what they can and cannot do on behalf of the church when engaging the “political arena.” This updated guide will inform you on what you need to be aware of before speaking about political issues, supporting a candidate or legislation, engaging in voter education, allowing the use of the church facilities, and more.