- - Monday, April 24, 2017

Here at “Jesus in the Public Square,” we often talk about the importance of Christians running for public office. And, we believe that pastors — shepherds of local congregations — can also follow that path and serve their community by means of elected office. Such an idea is the heart of the “Issachar” movement — where we pray for Christian men and women “to understand the times and know what ought to be done.” 

As a native Missourian, I keep tabs on what happens back in the “Show Me” state. Recently, I was pleased to discover that a friend and fellow Baptist has decided to run for the Missouri House of Representatives in 2018.

Doug Richey, the pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, is not a man who makes rash or hasty decisions. Nor is he a man who shirks hard work or difficult situations. Furthermore, he walks through life with contagious joy and a trademark, continuous smile — a true, “happy warrior.”

Pastor Richey’s congregation knows without a doubt that he cares for them. He has loved them well, and they have now given him a green light to share some of his time and energy with the wider community, by running for a seat in the House.

I caught up with Mr. Richey for an interview about his decision to run for elected office. Mr. Richey is a quote-making machine, brimming over with both intellect and passion. Hearing him makes for a good investment of time. 

I wanted to transcribe at least one powerful statement from the interview, so I chose this clip where Richey spoke about the need for embracing sacrifice if you’re going to enter public service:

“We’re not soft-peddling this thing. This effort will be costly. It will involve sacrifice. And that’s part of what I’m also trying to communicate to my two daughters—one of which is about to graduate from high school and another who is a freshman currently.

As a father and also as a husband, I want to live my life in a way that demonstrates for them what it looks like to be willing to sacrifice for something greater than one’s self. To be willing to step in and do something that is hard, that is costly, and that may not even be fair — but at the same time, the end game, what you’re striving to accomplish by far outweighs any of those costs.

So for us, we know the costs and the amount of time it’s going to require of me. But we realize there are a lot of people in this world who sacrificed more than I will have to sacrifice in doing this — and I think we owe it to those individuals for us to be able to pay this small price in comparison.”

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