New Podcast Episode! Adam Discusses William Wilberforce and Christian Political Engagement

Check out the Newest Episode of the Forge Leadership Podcast

In Episode 7 of the newly launched Forge Leadership Podcast, Forge co-founder and President Adam Josefczyk addresses the need for principled Christians and conservatives to engage in the public square. This podcast episode comes from a talk Adam gives at colleges throughout the country, entitled, “What a Young Christian Should Know When Entering Politics.”

Illustrating each point with examples from the life of William Wilberforce, Adam lays out seven principles of Christian political engagement, ranging from theological truth to very practical advice. Drawing on the life and conduct of the British abolitionist made famous by the book and film “Amazing Grace,” Adam exhorts Forge students to “seek the good of the city in which [God has] placed you” (paraphrasing Jeremiah 29:7).

Adam speaking to Forge Mentorship Academy members in Washington D.C.

Adam Discusses what Christians can Learn from William Wilberforce

At the center of the mission of the Forge Leadership Network is the idea that faithful servant leaders are surrounded by great friends and mentors. William Wilberforce was such a leader. His friendships created a Christian community in London (the “Clapham Circle”) known widely for their intentional living and ministry together, and without his main mentor – John Newton – Wilberforce may have abandoned parliament and his legislative fight to end the slave trade. John Newton, author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” was Wilberforce’s spiritual mentor and one who shared intimate knowledge of the cause (abolition) that would define both men. Newton, you see, had been a slaveship captain before a radical conversion to Christianity and a life of ministry.

After becoming a Christian in his mid-20s, Wilberforce mistakenly thought that to be a Christian, one must withdraw from society and live like Newton, an Anglican clergyman. But Newton didn’t let that happen, telling Wilberforce that God had given him his oratory skills and brilliant mind for a specific calling (in his case Parliament). Newton told Wilberforce that for him to leave that fight would not be a “spiritual” decision but actually “desertion.” Adam tells the Forge students that the same God who called Wilberforce into public life still guides certain men and women into public life, and that they can embrace that calling. He then gives them practical advice for making the wise decisions and friendships necessary to navigate that arena, one replete with temptations.

In an episode recorded from a talk at the Forge Leadership Network’s recent January trip to Washington D.C., Adam encouraged the Forge class of 2019-20 to serve as “ambassadors” to the culture.

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Jeremiah D. Martin
Forge Leadership Network
Chief Operating Officer

P.S. Help us identity strong young people with hearts to impact their culture and world: Recommend an outstanding young person to Forge today!

Jeremiah is the Vice President of Programs of Forge Leadership Network. He is an Army Veteran, father to four, & Forge grad who has a passion for developing the next generation of conservative leaders.

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. He combines extensive legal, political, and policy experience with a love for the way biblical truth cultivates human flourishing.