While some question the motivation of evangelicals in the public square, evangelical leaders are undivided in their priorities: Faith is more important than politics. Respondents unanimously selected “faith” in answering, “Is the greater priority for evangelicals politics or faith?” in the May Evangelical Leaders Survey.

“Our faith moves us to seek public policies that bless our neighbors and enhance the common good. But for evangelicals, politics never trumps faith,” said Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “Evangelicals are first and foremost concerned with the good news of salvation brought to sinners by Jesus Christ.”

Leaders were so adamant in their answer that a few wondered why the question would be asked. “Seriously?” one leader asked. Another said, “I’m surprised this would even be a question.”

Anderson said, “We asked because it is a common question about evangelicals in American life. This survey demonstrates that evangelical leaders think the question is a no-brainer.”

While comments were not required in the survey, many added to their answer. Doug Fagerstrom, Senior Vice President of Converge Worldwide, said, “Jesus said to the centurion, ‘I have never seen such great faith in all of Israel.’ I don’t ever recall that he applauded great politics.”

Ron Hamilton, Conference Minister for the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, said, “Faith in Jesus drives all priorities because he is Lord of all.”

Many Christian leaders, like Steve Jones, President of The Missionary Church, Inc., clarified that their answer did not mean politics should be ignored. “A political stance that is not based on our faith is secularism (using the weapons of this world), but a faith that never requires us to take a political position is stunted and irrelevant (no longer being salt and light),” he said. Ron Boehme of Youth With A Mission added that “faith leads to good works in all spheres of life.”

The NAE’s public policy agenda is summarized in the document “For the Health of the Nation” and in resolutions passed by its Board of Directors.

The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. They include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.