What if Christians in America were courageous voices of truth and love in our neighborhoods, jobs, culture, and government? Texans Bunni Pounds and Trayce Bradford see us shifting our nation for the better, and they started an organization here in Texas to give Christians simple action steps to do just that.
“We are a Christian, nonpartisan nonprofit called to awaken, motivate, educate and empower the whole church to do three things: pray, vote, and engage,” said Pounds. “We talk about Biblical values and how that connects with the individual Christian.”
Pounds is a mother of two, a small business owner, and a former longtime campaign manager, while Bradford is a mother of seven and the former president of the pro-family group Texas Eagle Forum. Together, they started Christians Engaged because they saw a desperate need for Christians to wake up—to know the truth and use the powerful voices we have to engage our culture and government.
“We felt like there’s a disconnect in the church, where people simply hear motivating sermons but then walk out the door and forget,” Pounds said. “Only a small percentage even read their Bible after leaving church in a given week. There’s no habit forming in our lives as far as prayer, voting, and engagement.”
“Statistics for the church are pretty sad,” Bradford added. “I did a little digging and broke down the numbers, and it’s not even the number that are registered to vote, it’s the ones who will actually vote Biblical values. It’s like half of half, and it keeps dwindling.”
Photo: Christians Engaged
Christians Engaged exists to encourage believers to connect with God and answer the Biblical call to impact our government and culture with truth and light.
“In Genesis, God said, ‘Take care of this garden, subdue and take dominion of this earth I’ve given you,’ and we believe Christians have an authority in any realm they walk into, whether it’s business, education, media, or government,” Pounds said. “We need Christians in every realm of our culture, and when we don’t fill that vacuum—if we stay home and say. ‘No, I don’t need to be involved in my city or in my culture’—who’s going to take over?”
“People will often say they don’t want to get involved in ‘politics,’ yet politics is already involved with them whether they want to be involved or not,” Bradford said. “We already have the liberty and freedom to do so many things, so why would I not do everything I can to protect that? I don’t want to have to go win back a freedom I’ve already been given. The hardest ground to take is what you’ve already conceded.”
Trayce Bradford speaks at an event. | Photo: Christians Engaged
“Within the New Testament, you see issues where the early church could not abide by the rules of Rome, and they were persecuted and suffered because they had a higher calling, a higher kingdom,” Pounds added. “Yet even still, Romans 13 tell us to pray for our governmental leaders. Proverbs says when the righteous rule, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan. We still don’t want to see corrupt and ungodly people rule our cities, state, and nation, especially since government is the only system that can take away our rights.”
Despite the bold and vast vision, Christians Engaged is all about simple, everyday practicality for individuals.
“Everything in Christians Engaged revolves around simple action steps believers can take to respond to what God is doing in their hearts,” Pounds said. “And first of all, that starts with prayer. We ask folks to ‘take the pledge,’ as we call it. The pledge is to pray for our nation 5 minutes a week, and we’ll help you; we’ll send you a really cool text message on Mondays at 5:55 p.m. with a prayer and scripture to remind you specifically to pray for something outside your own life.”
“It’s such a simple tool, and you get to join your voice—with a group of over 350 now and growing—to pray alongside them for our country,” added Bradford.
Bunni Pounds speaks with people at a public gathering. Photo: Christians Engaged
Pounds and Bradford believe that when Christians choose to connect with God amid the busyness of everyday life, they’ll then hear and act on what He’s saying and wanting to bring in their individual lives and their communities, culture, and country.
“Every election makes critical choices that shape our communities, whether [it’s a] primary, runoff, constitutional amendment, city election. So if Christians created a habit in their life of being salt and light in their community by showing up at the polls each time, using discernment and wisdom on what the Bible says about the issues of our day and educating ourselves about the candidates we’re voting for, Christians have the numbers to literally change our country,” she said.
“We’re also connecting people to issues they want to see a difference in, figuring out their core values and what really motivates them, whether it’s pro-life issues, criminal justice reform, fighting human trafficking, national debt, whatever they feel passionate about,” Pounds said.
“We’ll plug them into people who do that work,” Bradford added. “Our board has such a varied background of the groups we’ve worked with and the people we’re connected with, so we can direct people to whatever issue they want to get engaged with.”
A sign outside a Christians Engaged informational booth. Photo: Christians Engaged
Pounds shared that, though it’s only recently begun, Christians Engaged is already seeing encouraging and life-changing results.
“When we speak at a church, we’re normally having about 50 percent of the congregation take the pledge, which is an astronomical amount,” she said. “And we’re not just talking politics and prayer, voting, and engagement. … We’re actually sharing the gospel with people when we’re out at public events and festivals, and a few have actually come to know Jesus.
“We believe there are people being awakened in the pews all over Texas, and much more so as we get through all the 2020 elections. And we’re going to be there to motivate them, to educate them, and to empower them with the information and Biblical voting guides they need.”
“I love seeing new people, talking with them, and watching them ‘get it’ and realize the voice they have and the amazing life God is calling them to,” Bradford concluded. “Christians Engaged isn’t about building this big entity, it’s about helping to connect all of these voices in a line alongside us, not behind us, to shape the culture and live the powerful lives we were made for.”
Those interested in learning more about the organization can visit ChristiansEngaged.org.