Can Pastors and Churches Address 2020 Election Issues? A Free Legal Guide to Answer Your Questions

March 12, 2020
John Harding

How your church teaches, operates, and ministers are careful decisions your church leadership makes. We respect and honor those decisions. And we want to ensure your church leadership understands its rights in order to make the most informed decisions.

Our heartfelt desire to support those who lead churches is central to our release of a new, timely legal guide for pastors and churches, Election 2020: Five Things to Know.

With so much confusion surrounding what churches can and cannot do as it relates to engaging with politics, we hope to bring clarity to you this election season.

The guide for pastors and church leaders provides helpful, timely, general guidance on politics, elections, and the issues of the day. Not all pastors will feel called to address these matters, but all pastors and church leaders will benefit from knowing how the law may affect their rights.


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Most pastors and church leaders have real concerns about the Church in the U.S. today.

According to studies conducted by Barna, many pastors are wondering how the shift to a more secular culture will impact the Church. Pastors want to address complex social issues with biblical integrity, and they are very aware of the political polarization in the country. Many have also taken notice of the diminished influence of pastors and churches in the community.

These concerns are the backdrop for how pastors lead their churches and some of these concerns are intensified during election years.

This election season, pastors are being pressured to address certain issues from the pulpit because those issues are discussed in campaign speeches, within party platforms, around the water cooler, and at the dinner table.

We understand that the people sitting in church pews look to their pastors and other church leaders for guidance when it comes to how they should think about political issues. It’s natural for churchgoers to seek out the wisdom offered by those in leadership at their church. After all, many people rightfully look to their pastor as a moral compass when thinking about the pressing issues of the day.

We created this legal guide to be a blessing to ministry leaders across the country as they navigate the issues and seek to serve their congregations in the midst of difficult issues and a divisive election season.

We pray this guide informs and empowers those who do not know what the law allows and does not allow when it comes to engaging in political matters and social issues as a church. Still, this guide offers general guidance and not specific legal advice. Every situation is different so please contact an attorney to get answers to your specific question.

Churches should be free to live and preach the Gospel as they are called. Knowing the rights of your church should be your first step in discerning what to do with those liberties.

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