News and Articles
1 May 2013
I was recently in London helping one of my ushers, Iain Bott, knock on people’s door to encourage them to vote for him in the Westminster by-election on May 2nd 2013. Iain is the conservative candidate. It was a memorable 36 hours and I was really struck by:
- The commitment of the volunteers. I arrived at my friends house, after travelling up from Southampton, at 10.30pm. Within minutes he had received a phone call from a lady involved with the campaign who said she was going to come to his house with letters for the next days canvassing. At 11.50pm she arrived and we stayed up until 2.30pm stuffing almost 2000 envelopes with the latest conservative news. Are we as committed to spreading the news of Jesus?
- Their considered strategy. We did not knock on every door. Each team was equipped with a clipboard, individually addressed letters and flyers and an electoral roll printout. If a house was not listed on the electoral roll we did not ring their doorbell. They were not eligible to vote. If a house had already been contacted and had indicated they would vote conservative or any other party, they received a newsletter but not a door-knock. The volunteers wanted to connect with people who were undecided about how they would cast their vote. My reflection: Who is open to the gospel? Which people in your workplace, street or friendship group would be willing to talk about the meaning of life, injustice and forgiveness? How can you open up a spiritual conversation with them?
- The friendliness and inclusivity of the volunteers, team & family. New people were introduced. Great conversations developed as we walked the streets. Friendships were built. The team knew I was only there for a short time and yet they were so kind to me. The people of God have a far deeper bond. We are the family of Christ. We bear one another’s burdens, love one another and think of others better than ourselves. Yet are we sometimes cold, exclusive and ungenerous?
- How much they believe in conservatism. These twenty or so friendly volunteers had a common cause and went the extra mile to communicate it. I was on the streets for seven hours chatting to people. The team will have done this for two weeks by the time the election is over. Yet can conservatism change the human heart? Can it forgive past errors? Can it give certainty for the future? Does it have a perfect leader?
There are good things about conservatism but it cannot even be compared to the magnificence of the good news of Jesus, or inviting people into a community of thankfulness, generosity and certain hope which will last forever. We serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.