Last week, the Lachlan Macquarie Internship ran a three-day short course for pastors and church leaders on the outskirts of Canberra.
The aim of the program is to empower church leaders with a greater understanding of the democratic process and inspire them with the impact the church can have on society, and challenge them to think politically and strategically about issues facing Christians in Australia and around the world.
Nine church leaders attended this year's program, titled 'Engaging Politics'. They came from across Australia including Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, and represented a number of denominations such as Baptist, Orthodox, Anglican and Presbyterian.
- Nick Aroney, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Queensland's TC Bierne School of Law, and the author of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship curriculum
- Jim Wallace, Deputy Chairman and former Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby
- Lyle Shelton, Managing Director the ACL
- Nick Jensen, Course Manager and director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and of Leadership Development at ACL
Pastors had an opportunity to hear from parliamentarians from both sides of politics.
The pastor's course ran for the first time last year. Mr Jensen spoke to ACL's Katherine Spackman about the course prior to its commencement. Listen to the interview here.
Visit this link for more information and to keep informed about upcoming pastor's short courses.
I had the privilege of being in Federal Parliament last week as the budget was handed down. I don’t know if anyone quite expected the extent of the explosion on mainstream and social media. Most of it was complaints of course, some justified such as the disproportionate cuts to foreign aid, but overall I had unease about the mindset behind the complaints.
It seems that now whenever there is a problem, it is the government’s responsibility to do something about it. Even Christians often fall into this trap. We treat the government as Saviour and put our hope in its sovereign arm. The reality is, however, that the State needs the Church.
A recent study published in the American Political Science Review (May 2012) explored what caused some countries to develop into successful modern democracies, while others nearby turned into harsh and corrupt dictatorships. It turns out that it was not economic conditions, strong media colonial origins, or even political ideologies. Instead it was the number of Christian missionaries in that country in 1923!
These missionaries spread not only the gospel, but also religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, voluntary organisations, and political reforms. An article in Christianity Today explains this amazing discovery in more detail.
What this means for today is that the Church has always played, and will continue to play, a foundational role in public policy. Without active and sacrificial Christians and communities, the State quickly loses not only its moral compass, but also its ability to deliver justice, prosperity, and effective programs.
At ACL we are looking to develop the next generation of leaders who can positively influence the public square. Leaders who have the understanding, skills, networks, and character to withstand such a challenging environment. Leaders who are faithful and effective, committed to seeing a just and flourishing society.
That is our vision. A vision which people may be doing studies on in 100 years’ time as they discover that it is the body of Christ, not the Government, through which salvation comes.
Applications for the Lachlan Macquarie Internship are now open, with the next program running from August 17th to November 21st.
The Lachlan Macquarie Internship is a 14-week program aimed at those who are looking at careers in politics, public policy and/or leadership.
The live-in community program is based outside Canberra. The curriculum covers four major blocks: biblical foundations, historical traditions, political ideologies and religion and politics in Australia.
Generous scholarships are available which cover most of the course costs.
Applications are now open for the August intake. To find out more information and to apply go to www.lachlanmacquarieinternship.org.au
Nick Jensen is the Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship. He spoke with the ACL's Daniel Simon about the current internship, now in its last week, and the vision behind the 14-week intensive worldview training programme.
Open House is a three-hour talk show airing across Australia on Sunday nights, exploring life, faith and culture from Christian perspective. Nick Jensen, the Programme Manager of The Lachlan Macquarie Internship, spoke to Leigh Hatcher on Open House last Sunday about the program and how he's working to instil a Christian worldview in tomorrow's leaders. He also spoke on the importance of Christianity in world politics, particularly in raising up people of value, integrity and faith to shape the way public policy is formed.
To listen to Nick's interview, click here.
For more information on The Lachlan Macquarie Internship and to apply, please visit the website.
Nick Jensen (left) is the Manager of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and will be speaking to Open House's Leigh Hatcher on Sunday, August 26th. The Open House program is broadcast on Christian radio stations between 8 and 11pm. Tune into your local Christian radio station to hear about the internship program and it's purpose or alternatively listen online.