Why Christians Must Run Into The Fire of Politics
Watch and listen to True North Leaders’ interview with Terri Hasdorff as she tells us why more Christians must run into the fire of politics like first responders.
- How God opens unexpected doors when we obey
- How the spiritual warfare in politics is a battle Christians must fight
- The importance of praying through every decision
About the guest:
About the host:
- Principled Profits: Outward Success Is an Inside Job
- True North Business: A Leader’s Guide to Extraordinary Growth and Impact
- The Freedom Paradox: Is Unbridled Freedom Dividing America?
Pause and Reflect: The Fire of Politics
- Do Politics make you uncomfortable or fearful?
- How are you battling Spiritually in the sphere of Politics?
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Transcription of Episode: Why Christians Must Run Into The Fire of Politics
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Terri Hasdorff 0:00
So that’s what has to be a paradigm shift. We’ve got to change the way we think about it. And do more to do our homework on candidates really treat it like a job interview. And once you find somebody that’s good, get behind them vote with your not only vote at the ballot box, vote with your wallet, with your time with your influence,
Bobby Albert 0:17
Howdy, and welcome to the true north leader podcast. And I’m Bobby Albert. And we’re here today to talk with Terri Hasdorff, and she is the president of capital solutions consulting. So Terri, welcome to the show. Thank you so much, Bobby, it’s an honor to be with you today. Well, Terry,
you know, tell us a little bit about you. And what you and your team do that. Capital salute solutions, consulting.
Terri Hasdorff 0:57
Sure. So I’ve got a background in government and politics, I’ve been doing this for about 20 plus years, I have a team of people that helped me with government relations, connecting folks into funding opportunities with government agencies that, you know, I work with a lot of nonprofits to help them with grant writing and capacity building.
I also work with for profits to help them with connecting into government funding, government contracts, things like that. So well well, heeled team that has got a lot of background in that area. And we do a lot of things in DC. But I’m originally from Alabama, and spend most of my time there and, and know a little bit about the political side of Alabama politics as well.
Bobby Albert 1:38
Yeah, because you were congressional candidate. And so it was now
Terri Hasdorff 1:45
I ran and 2020 2020. Yes. And then, after I finished that race, I took over a Super PAC that had been set up to benefit my race. And after the cooling off period, when they told me had been long enough, I ran that pack. Then I just felt like God really put it on my heart to write a book. So the book is called running into the fire. It’s about why more Christians need to be involved in politics.
Bobby Albert 2:09
Well, if you don’t mind to share a little bit, because this book is recently been released, and you just shared something, you probably want to share this about Amazon, about where you are with that. So talk with us a little bit about about your new book, because I It sounds fascinating.
Terri Hasdorff 2:30
Well, thank you. So yes, it was very exciting. The book came out September 6, that shot up to number one bestseller on Amazon for about two weeks straight. And it’s been doing very well. It seems like people are hungry for this kind of information. And I really wanted to try and empower people and equip them with information and tools that they can use to get involved in the political process.
So it’s, it’s three things, it’s a call to action for the body of Christ. It’s an equipping tool with a lot of practical information about how you can get involved, how you can be most effective how to make a difference. And then last but not least, it’s a reference guide that gives people firsthand information about where they can go to plug in and find more resources or opportunities for training, to continue to, to, you know, learn.
Bobby Albert 3:21
So, by the way, part of your background, you spent some time in the White House, you you want to share a little bit about that
Terri Hasdorff 3:32
I did I actually started my political career, working as an intern and then being asked to stay on for the last year of the Bush administration, Bush 41, I was in the White House Office of Public Liaison, which is now the Office of Public Engagement.
My boss was the Navy liaison, the chief liaison to the faith community, as well as veterans groups and a few others. So I had the honor of working with faith leaders from all across the country and getting to, you know, liaison with those folks for issues that were of concern to them. It was incredible. First start.
Bobby Albert 4:05
Well, it sounds like that, along with that, that really gave you a lot of experience about how to work through Washington, DC he, I’m sure. Yeah. So by the way, I’m asking this in a funny way. So is how does somebody you know, I’m from Texas, I talk really slow. I’m kind of you know, I tell people look, I’m from Texas. I’m a simple man with a simple mind and things just go slow for me. So how did you from Alabama? Learn how to speak so fast?
Terri Hasdorff 4:49
Well, it’s funny when I first started in the Office of Public Liaison, I had a friend who good good natured way but she used to ribbed me all the time about being from Alabama and she would tell people that I kept going out Back to look for the white, the outhouse and you would pick on me all the time. She’s been California. So I I started realizing very quickly that I needed to probably, you know, be able to I consider myself bilingual, I speak southern as well as North. I can slow it down when I need to translate.
Bobby Albert 5:21
Well, well, I’m just I’m impressed that you can, you know, pick up the pace, you know, so I’m sure they talk a lot faster. They’re Washington DC. So, yes, yeah. So why do you feel passionate about what you and your organization is doing?
Bobby Albert 7:34
Sure. So the book that I wrote is really geared towards, you know, trying to encourage the body of Christ to get more engaged. And the reason I targeted Christians is because 64% of Americans identify as Christian. yet, according to the Jonathan project, about 41% of Christians are not even registered to vote. Ooh. So when you look at, you know, the percentages of people that that turn out to vote, especially in primaries, they’re usually low anyway. But when you add in the number of Christians that are not voting, that’s a pretty major voting bloc.
If the majority of Americans are Christians, then that’s why I really targeted this book towards the body of Christ, because the mountain of government is something that, you know, really is the most important in a lot of ways because that mountain influences all the rest. And the reason why I titled the book running into the fire is because I was talking with a friend of mine who had run for Congress about the same time I did. I asked him, Why do you believe Christians shy away from being involved in politics? And he said, well, because they’re afraid of it. They think of it as dirty and corrupt. And I’ve said, You are absolutely right. That’s what I hear over and over.
Bobby Albert 7:46
Yeah. He said, but you know, what they really need to be doing is thinking of it more like people who are in law enforcement, or people who are firefighters, because they’re trained to overcome their fears. Instead of running away from the burning building, they run right into it. I thought, boy, that’s it. Because as Christians, we’re called to walk in faith, not fear. God calls you to something, He equips you for it. But you have to get trained, you have to learn how to do it. That’s where we just kind of pulled out completely. When we do that, that leaves a void that’s going to be filled by somebody, and it may be somebody who does not share your values and is not in it for the right reasons.
Bobby Albert 8:00
Well, you touch on just making an observation on my part is, and, and, you know, interacting with other Christian leaders is, I mean, our world is really turned upside down right now. I put it in the category of, you know, we’re in this spiritual warfare. And it, we’ve always been in a spiritual warfare, but we’re at a level that in my lifetime, I’ve never even seen it at this level. We need people like you that are speaking, you know, with, you know, like, like, your, your book, running into the fire. Is, that that’s, that’s the kind of message we need to hear. To bail to run into the fire with confidence. Even with the courage, you know, to do
Terri Hasdorff 8:39
it. That’s right. Well, Courage breeds courage. You know, we’re at a time in our country where we’ve never been closer to the brink of socialism. Yeah. Socialism, at its core is about replacing God with government, and freedom with tyranny. Yeah. When I was in high school, I traveled to the Soviet Union as part of a student exchange program, I was one of 40 student leaders selected from across the state to go from across state of Alabama. You know, what I saw just horrified me.
I mean, I got to see firsthand what communism and socialism does to people, and the oppression and the lack of hope, and the just, you know, fear and despair that I saw there. People didn’t smile. They had to stand in line for hours to get food. I mean, it was terrible. I came back after three weeks in Russia, and I literally got down on my hands and knees and kiss the ground. When I landed at John F. Kennedy Airport, because I was so grateful to be an American. That’s part of the catalyst for me getting involved in government. I just realized how rare and how precious what we have is, yeah, and we have to fight to protect it. Yeah.
Bobby Albert 9:46
In addition to you been an author, I’ve published three books. The first two were on workplace culture and leadership. But the third one was, it was differ in one way. But, but it’s I took a lot of the culture and workplace leadership principles and things. It’s called the Freedom paradox. Geared toward, you know, how do you how can we reunite America and publish it? The publishing came out, and actually in 2020, when you run for that congressional seat, and the way, you know, one thing I found, this is what a teach on in the workplace culture and the leadership about knowing you know, who you are your core values, why you exists, your that your principal, your, your purpose.
Bobby Albert 10:46
What I discovered through all my research is that we were founded our core values was pretty simple. It was freedom and responsibility, talking about personal responsibility. And the phrase, I came up with the shows about the paradox, that’s where this is coming to, is, as, as we continue to be irresponsible, the more freedoms we lose. Conversely, if the more responsible, we behave, the freedoms we gain. That’s right.
It’s very biblical sound. And what I found is our founding purpose, why we exist, and I think you probably know, this, you know, especially is religious freedom. That’s what of all my research. I already thought that would be the answer, but I let the research prove it to me. It proved that this country was founded on religious freedom.
Terri Hasdorff 12:17
Yeah, that’s exactly right. That’s why it’s such a deep concern to me where we are right now, because our very freedoms could be in jeopardy, including our religious freedom. So it’s a time when people really, you know, political engagement is something that I think we’re really called and commanded to do. That’s where there’s been, I think, a great misperception, you know, Christians are called to rule and reign, we’re called to seek the welfare of the city that we’re in, we’re called to be salt and light. Why do we think that, you know, being involved in government would be any different than any other type of arena where Christians are, you know, called to be so yeah, it’s it the time is now? Well,
Bobby Albert 12:59
The reason why I really focus on the core values and the purpose, there’s a researcher, an author, you may know that recognize the name of a guy named Jim Collins. He wrote the book Good to Great integrate. And through the help of a guy named Bob EUFOR with an organization called halftime. I know that, okay, well, Bob, arrange for 50 of us to spend a day with Jim Collins. Oh, wow. Yeah, it was it was a fascinating time. Having that day with him. As you might remember from that book, and, you know, some of his other books is he had a phrase called to preserve the core and stimulate progress.
Bobby Albert 11:39
Yeah, I’ve seen your head shaking, you recognize that? Well, as you may remember, in his book, is what he meant by preserve the core was to preserve your core values and your purpose. What he found in his research on a publicly traded companies over from like 1926 and 1991 is there was a there was a group of company which he called good outperform the average stock market by by two times during that time period. Now, if you just think about it, that’s long enough that there was a depression. There was several recessions.
They were multiple wars that took place during that time period economy going up and down, you know, just all kinds of stuff going on. But what he found is, you know, you would want to invest in and companies during that time period that would have outperformed the average stock market. Two times, I mean, Slack, were to sign up. But he found a small group that outperformed the average stock market 15 times during that period. Now, that’s almost like, that’s unbelievable. And that’s the reason why his research team really dug in to those small number of companies.
Bobby Albert 15:32
That’s where what he called great companies, and find out what was what was unique about him. And what he found was this preserve the core and stimulate progress. And from the day, they were found in and many of them were over 100 years old, that the core values and the purpose never changed. Wow. But everything else was on the table for change, like that’s going on in Washington, DC all the time. But everything in that organization was constantly on the table for change compensation schedules, organization structure, even products and services completely. Taken out, and they replaced it with other products, everything was on the table for change. But with all of that, they would outperform the average stock market by 15 times. Wow.
So that’s part of why I focus on the book on the core values and the purpose and then talked about also about four cultural changes I see taking place in, in America. I do plan to do a follow-up book. I may be speaking too soon here, but I’ve been playing with a formula. It’s mind times heart equal wheel.
Bobby Albert 17:12
I’m trying to, you know, you’ve recently have gone through the name of your book, and I’m trying to decide, Okay, do I take the negative approach where, you know, like, the destruction of, of America’s will, our talk more on a positive side is restoring America’s will because with the spiritual warfare we’re going on, the thing I see because I’ve talked to various leaders, is a lot of people were just I’m sure you’re hearing it from your, you know, in your consulting people who are just burned out.
You know, that term, quiet, quitting. They’re giving up. I’m a missus, even pastors, you know, I talk with, and it’s I really sense that we’ve got, you know, in the spiritual warfare, that we’ve got to get back to something that’s solid rock, because, you know, Jesus told us what Satan, you know, his mission is, is to steal, kill and destroy. I mean, that’s from Jesus. It seems like our whole culture has been destroyed right now. It’s breaking the will of the people. That’s what got me got my attention.
Terri Hasdorff 18:34
Well, you know, Bobby, that’s a lot of the reason why I wrote this book was to give people some hope, because I think people just get so burdened down with all the negativity and all the media seems to report on or things that are really, you know, troubling and negative. People, you know, need to know that, hey, there are good, honest people working in government, there are godly people who are running for office. There are people who, you know, every day, God is on the move doing things in the world of politics.
So don’t believe everything here. Not just like the house of cards. There’s a lot that good, you know, average people can do to just get involved and make a difference. The way I love to talk about it is, you know, it may not be that God’s called you to run for office, it may not be that you’re supposed to serve in government, that’s okay. But just because you’re not called to do it directly, you still don’t get a pass. I think we’ve just in the past thought, well, I’ll just pray for that candidate. Or maybe I’ll just go vote.
Terri Hasdorff 19:14
I’m here to say no, you know, if you’re not called to do it, you need to be supporting those who are because it’s, it’s a time where that’s what so desperately needed. Yeah. One of the best ways you can support candidates other than praying for them and voting for them is to help give to their campaign. I almost titled this book less than 1% because that’s the percentage of Americans who gave to political campaigns in the 2016 election. So Michael? Yeah, less than 1%. So if you’re somebody who’s honest, and you’re not a multimillionaire, and you’re not willing to take money from people who will basically want to own you, once you get an office, where do you go for help?
If the Christians that you reach out to say, Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t get involved in politics. Where do you go, you’re not going to be very effective. So that’s what has to be a paradigm shift. We’ve got to change the way we think about it, and do more to do our homework on candidates really treat it like a job interview. Once you find somebody that’s good, get behind them and vote with not only voted the ballot box to vote with your wallet, with your time with your influence, and in every way you can.
Bobby Albert 20:41
Yeah, well, you’re exactly right. So, Terry, why do you feel so passionate about what you and your organization do?
Terri Hasdorff 20:56
Well, I think it’s because I’ve just experienced it firsthand, you know, having been a first time candidate and running for office, and then realizing, gosh, this is sort of a runaway train, in some ways, we’ve created a system right now, where the cost of elections just keeps getting higher and higher and higher every year. Yeah. You know, pretty soon, that’s not going to be a democracy, because the only people that will be able to get an office are people who are millionaires.
People who were completely taking money from, you know, others, and those others are most likely going to want something from them, because that’s what most people give money about. So, you know, it became very obvious to me that if we don’t make a change quickly, we could very soon see a lot of things. Change in not-so-good ways. That’s a lot of the catalyst for this.
Bobby Albert 21:47
Yeah. You know, lock, what you have been saying, you know, part of this is, is part of being involved in the election process, is really seeking the Lord to guide you to find the truth. That’s one thing else about a future book that I hope to publish, is, I’ve got one another one in the making, but it’s more business and culture, workplace culture oriented. It’s a prayer that I’ve had about we need changed hearts in America. For not only for unbelievers, but for believers to move from being only secured by the Holy Spirit, but being failed by the Holy Spirit, and are really seeking truth.
Part of the book that a future book is I was going to put some, you know, the thinking is, I’ve done already a lot of research in Scripture about false teachers. Because it in this season of spiritual warfare, I’m just been fascinated with people giving in to what just like what the Bible talks about, like Paul was faced with, in the, you know, in the New Testament, is the, the mound of false teachers that were all around me. They said the right things, and they really encourage people to pull away from Paul, but it was false teaching. So well, Terry, can you share a story about an obstacle that challenges you? Your team and talk a little bit about how you handle there?
Terri Hasdorff 23:56
Sure. Well, you know, I think one of the biggest things that that you face a lot of times is just feeling a little overwhelmed or not knowing who to connect with. And I think, you know, that’s one of the things that God has really taught me is that we’re the body and we’re supposed to work together with others and find ways that we can not feel like we have to do it all alone. So you know, I think, you know, running for office was something where I really learned quite a bit from that process. I prayed a lot about the decision. I really felt like God had called me to run I didn’t know if I was supposed to win. Just knowing I was supposed to run.
And when I did decide to run, I reached out to a lot of different friends for advice, and some of it was just amazing and super helpful. Then, you know, once I got through that whole process, and took over the super PAC that I started running, I just learned so much that that’s really what was the catalyst for this book. So it’s never wasted. Even though I didn’t win the election, a lot of people would think, Oh, gosh, you know, why would you want to do this if you weren’t successful in that? In my mind, I was very successful in a lot of other ways. I think God used it for some big purposes. Outside of just the actual race.
Bobby Albert 25:16
Yeah, you met? Well, number one, you felt called to run the race. The other is the Lord put some people in your path that you wouldn’t have ever met, if you weren’t running for that. It’s also when I think about it, it’s giving you the foundation to even write this book. So there might have been some things that the Lord wanted us to run so he could open your eyes so they could prepare you to write the book, you know, so? Well, Terry, you know, I’ve you’ve gone through your journey in life, which to me has been really fascinating, is do you could you share about a mentor or mentors that have helped you along the way?
Terri Hasdorff 26:09
Sure. Well, one of my mentors has been Dr. Frank Wright, and he wrote the foreword for the book. He’s now the chairman of the board for the National Religious Broadcasters Association. When I first met Dr. Wright, he was with the Center for Christian statesmanship and DC. And he was leading a Bible study on Capitol Hill, I used to go faithfully every week, yeah, and just learned so much from him.
Over the years, he has really been somebody that I turned to for, you know, guidance. And he’s somebody who’s connected me with other people that have been very helpful along the way. Even, you know, being somebody that has been willing to get behind me. That’s something that just means the whole world. You know, if somebody’s willing to vouch for you, and write a foreword for your book, that means a lot. So definitely, I’m very thankful that God put him in my life.
Bobby Albert 26:58
Well, he’s in a very important position and deals with lots of people really seeking the Lord. So that’s a great mentor to have so. So Terry, few months share about how your faith has influenced the way you approach the way you know, you lead, if you might share about that?
Terri Hasdorff 27:24
Well, it really influences every part of what I do. My career has always been one where, you know, I’ve just tried to pray through every decision, it’s pretty much been a very Spirit-led career. Sometimes, you know, there have been times when I even turned jobs down. Because I just wasn’t sure. I felt like God just kept saying, No, this is where you’re supposed to go, I had one job that I turned down three different times.
They kept offering it to me, which is so unusual, that almost never happens. And I kept praying, and I felt like obviously, you know, this is where you’re supposed to be. I took the job. It was really what I learned so much through that I could not have done a lot of the other things that I did later, had I not gone into it. So you know, having God direct your steps is really key.
Bobby Albert 28:10
Yeah. Well, he does. Sometimes he’s got a caucus on the head. You know, to get her attention well. So, Terry, because of, you know, the things that you are, you know, the that you’re working on, and things like that, when you look toward the future, what is one opportunity, or potential opportunity or obstacle that you see on the horizon? What does that need to be talked about?
Terri Hasdorff 28:43
Well, I think, you know, the body of Christ needs to really engage more fully the, with the mountain of government and with helping those who are called to it. So that’s something that I just feel like right now, God has really given me a, you know, burden to put out a call per action with that, because that’s just something that I see after having gone through this firsthand as a very critical need.
I think that if the body of Christ is gearing towards supporting those people more fully, then it will help us get a lot more people in office, who are people who, you know, will represent those values and views and it’s not just a matter of helping them when they’re running. It’s a matter of staying in touch with them after they’re elected. So often we elect people, and then we just kind of forget all about them until they do something we don’t like.
Yeah. So that’s one of the things that I really, you know, speak to in the book is, hey, you know, there’s a lot of practical things you can do to support somebody and stay close to them once they’re in office. That’s, you know, maybe as small as writing a letter or attending a town hall meeting are calling in on a radio show, but you know, look for things you can praise them on. Don’t just wait until they do something wrong. Yeah, say something negative. There’s a lot of practical things with that.
Bobby Albert 29:59
Yeah, that’s true. So is, is there any other story that you’d like to share with us that from your experience?
Terri Hasdorff 30:12
Well, I think, you know, just having the experience of being in Washington for so many years has really taught me that people can make a huge difference, even if it’s just one person. The story that I opened the book with is one about how I traveled to Africa. When I was at USA ID, I ran the Center for faith based and community initiatives. I met a man who really had been an enormous force for change in this slum in the authority Valley. Slum called them authority Valley in Nairobi, Kenya.
That that one experience, which I write about and talk about in the opening in the opening part of the book, showed me how powerful it is when when one person even gets involved. I think that’s what makes America so incredible, is we have a system where even if it’s just one person, if they’re passionate enough, if they really want to get involved and make a difference they can. That is just what makes us so rare. I think people don’t really understand how precious that is. And having traveled to 78 countries around the world. I realize versus and why that is so important, because there’s just so many places where they just don’t have that, that freedom and that luxury.
Bobby Albert 31:29
Yeah, you know, I’ve heard you now mentioned that word that make a difference or those phrase, that’s actually my organization, and I’m going through a rebranding to values driven culture. That that’s our purpose statement for our organization is to make a difference. To me, it means making a difference in people, for people. And through people. We do it by our vision, and that is to renewing minds touching heart and transforming lives. That’s so I relate very closely, when you use that phrase, make a difference, because we can make a difference.
You even use that expression earlier about, you know, the hope that we have, and we all have the hope in that rock, and that’s Jesus Christ. So we can, you know, it’s fascinating to me, and I’ve seen this not only in organizations, but I see it in our country is when we have a rock, like Jesus Christ in our life, we can manage all of the change that is going on around us. And this is the reason why I mentioned earlier but you know, we need changed hearts because we’ve, there’s a lot of people that are out there that don’t, you know, haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Bobby Albert 32:39
Their whole life is such a mess, because everything in their whole life is changing, but they don’t have a rock. I see it in organization and their culture. You know, I call them the essentials. That’s, you know, the core values, purpose, vision, and super objective, some people would call a mission, but that’s your rock in an organization. When you have a rock like that, along with Jesus Christ is you can you can muddle through all of the change, and you can even there is hope that you can enjoy the change. Right? That’s right. Sometimes people say I can’t handle all this change. Well, it’s hard sometimes. But anyway, well, Terry, where can people go to connect with you and learn more about Capitol solutions, consulting and even about your book call running into the fire?
Terri Hasdorff 34:21
Well, you can find me on LinkedIn. It’s just Terry Hausdorff on LinkedIn and then for the book, you can check out the website God over government.com If I was to sum the book up in three words, that would be it. We got over government. Yeah, we’re out over government.com
Bobby Albert 34:39
Yeah, I love that thought what you just said because right now feel like we’re trying to substitute one G for the other G right now and substitute God with the word government and seeing like going on in our world. Bob’s right that’s part of that spiritual warfare so well Terry thank you it’s been such a pleasure for you to be a guest today and hopefully I’ll have a chance to meet you in person.
Terri Hasdorff 35:14
that would be wonderful Bobby thank you so much it’s been an honor to be on the show