Mar
1
2016

The Political Alignment of Denominations

As the 2016 election season continues to move forward, Ministry Briefing highlights the political alignment of different religious groups:

A Pew Research study of political views among religious groups found that Mormons are the most likely to vote for Republicans, with 7 in 10 identifying with the GOP, while only 19% identify as Democrats. The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the most likely to vote for Democrats, with 92% voting for Democratic candidates and just 4% voting for Republicans.

Source: Pew Research Center

Why does this matter for church leaders?

It’s election season (in the unlikely case that you didn’t notice!), and every church leader can expect pressure to take a side or to address a political issue. IRS concerns aside, is it a good idea for church leaders to take a political stand from the pulpit?

  • The Impact on the Gospel: Christians tend to be associated with certain political camps. White evangelicals largely associate with Republicans and black Protestants largely associate with Democrats. How does this division impact Christian unity and the way we share the Gospel?
  • What Do Potential Converts Expect? Have certain Christian groups become so associated with a particular political group that potential converts expect they need to change their political affiliation if they also change their religious beliefs?
  • Does Your Church Have a Policy for Politics? If you expect pressure to come out publicly in support of a candidate or political party, consider developing a church policy that makes it easier to hold your personal convictions without having to explain yourself.

Where do the majority of the members of your church stand politically?

How do YOU plan to negotiate the tricky conversations that are sure to come up in an election year?

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About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.