“This however is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you want to be great they must be the servant of the rest and if one of you wants to be first they must be your slave, like the son of man who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”
How can Australian Christians do this in the way that has substantial impact? There will be many thoughts on this question, but my answer is “by influencing government”.
Governments in Australia have more resources and power than you or I will ever have. So if we can influence governments to serve the people of Australia and even specific Australians or groups of Australians, then we will have done what Jesus suggested in this passage – served them – well.
For 8 years between 1978 & 1986 I pondered how to get governments treating people decently. In July 1983 I believe I received a direct encouragement from God. Three years later, in March 1986 I launched the revolutionary computer-based Votergram service. It allowed me or any other Australian to directly send a brief 100 word message to every Member of Parliament.
It was an amazing overnight success. Governments did what I and others asked. People came to me who I had never met, about personal problems with family members and governments fixed those problems. They came with national issues and governments fixed those too.
No-one was more surprised than me. Overnight I had become a servant to many other Australians wanting governments to do something, almost always for the benefit of a third party or parties. It was a daughter needing care for a mental illness; a seriously disabled young adult son needing care interstate away from his family and near young friends; a home for disabled adults needing additional government support or forced to close; farmers needing price support.
After 34 years, that service has grown into the FairGO Voterlobby, Votergrams and the Australian Voters Network, providing a way for Christians to serve their community by influencing government to do what is needed. Those Christians can leverage the enormous resources of government to do Christian good. So many people take their suggestions to the media or public protest. which makes politicians look silly and so is counter-productive. Whereas we make it simple to nice and politely tell them within the confines of parliament so they are encouraged and able to own the changes they make at your request.
You can personally serve individuals, communities, states and territories or Australia as a whole and even people in foreign countries, in this way. Australians influenced the ticklish question of naming “North Macedonia” and they have influenced Indian government attention to rape and abuse of women.
A strong Christian influence is important in our governments. Do not leave it to the PM or Christian MPs, for parliament is a voting forum at all levels, where the majority rules. There are a good number of MPs who would not be swayed by a Christian leader wanting to do something that disadvantaged them. Voters who contact EVERY MP influence their thinking because elections are a matter of votes too and votes are the currency of democracy.
Votergrams are not the only way to bring Christian influence to bear on government, but they have proven to be the best because they go to every MP without any party-political connotations, without any bias caused by funding. Jesus taught us that people are more likely to respond well to those who treat them patiently, kindly and tolerantly. You can treat politicians that way by Votergram. You can do good works on a large scale with very little effort time or money because the MPs and government will do it for you.
May God bless this work of Christian service to others.