Catalyst is all about raising world-changing disciples who bring transformation into every area of life, and the Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible diversity of ways we are doing this together. For the first time this year, we are having a Politics Zone at the Festival to help equip you to engage meaningfully with issues on a local and national level. In this blog, Nigel Paterson explains a little more about what you can expect, and why you should come along:

 

If we ignore our local and national politics, we are missing out on a great opportunity to help shape our communities and the legislation that governs us all. At best, we can make lasting friendships and alliances in politics with people we might have never otherwise got near to. If we don’t get involved, Christians can end up all too easily sounding like victims and a party of protest. Instead, it seems a very good idea to team up where possible with those working hard to bring about positive change, including a number of our Christian politicians. The Politics Zone aims to help show that anyone can make a difference.

 

In the first session at 2.30pm on the Monday afternoon, led by Richard Wightman from New Life Church in Milton Keynes, we will be thinking about what some of us are already doing, including his work alongside local politicians and MPs addressing homelessness. The examples given will lead us to working out how to develop our own plan.

 

Then, at 2.30pm on the Tuesday afternoon we have possibly the best person from outside Newfrontiers to help us understand how to reach beyond what we are already doing or imagining. This is Andy Flannagan, Executive Director of Christians in Politics and author of Those Who Show Up. His inimitable voice may well be known to many already through his election-time videos that resource churches to help them engage with political issues.

 

I have the privilege of representing the Catalyst Network with CARE in Westminster, a very good means of two-way communication, and in the coming year am also going to be Chaplain to the Mayor of our Borough. I have recently started my own blog called ‘Change of the tide’, anticipating a change in the spiritual tide in the UK. It’s already reaching both politicians and Christians with an interest in politics, and maybe some of it is just coincidence, but I am starting to see some of my suggestions taken up or at least taken seriously. You can find that here, and stay connected through the sign-up space at the end.

 

Please do come and join us at the Politics Zone.

By Nigel Paterson

Nigel represents the Catalyst Network with CARE in Westminster, and is Communities Liaison at Kings Community Church, Hedge End.