The new managing director of the Australia Christian Lobby (ACL) is shocked by how much the nation has swung to the left during her five years overseas.
Michelle Pearse recently took up her new role after pastoring a church with her husband in London and is fast becoming aware of the challenges she faces.
She admitted to Vision Radio she wasn’t prepared for how much Australia had changed for the worse:
“I haven’t been involved in Australian politics or culture for five years. I come back and to me it was a big shock, honestly, to see how far our nation has progressed on the left agenda, how aggressive the push has become — the things that we were warning the nation about during the same sex marriage debate five years ago. We’re now seeing the consequences of that today.”
“I’m talking to friends who have children within the schools. Every single public school that my friends have their kids in is having children going through this gender confusion. It was just really sad sitting around with all of our state directors and they’re telling me what’s been happening in the last five years. And my heart was grieved. It’s really terrible. It’s tragic what’s happening. Through policy and through the laws all across our nation. So it’s just really stirred me and given me this determination that we absolutely have to turn this around. We’ve got no choice to do this.”
“We have to just work together to get this done from the grassroots right up into us working directly into Parliament. I’ll just be looking at how we can really sharpen that edge into Parliament to make sure that we are really building those effective relationships, that we have a detailed strategy as to how we can effect change on all the key issues at the moment. Being abortion and religious freedoms, online pornography and the gender issues as well, how we can wind those back.”
“I really believe with good thinking, with Godly wisdom, that we can create a strategy that incrementally, it can get better. But we need a strategy to do this. So that’s been my focus in talking with the state directors in how we can sharpen this edge into Parliament to ultimately see policies either reversed, halted or changed.”
Michelle Pearse explained to Vision Radio how she was first drawn towards becoming an advocate for Christians in public policy:
“While I was studying at university, I was thinking, well, what can I do that’s really going to impact our nation? How can Christians really have a voice? And so I changed my degree from sociology to public policy because I thought in public policy we could really have tangible impact. And for me, that was different to the way that I suppose my life was expected to go. I was very much involved in ministry as a youth pastor at my church. My older brothers had done Bible college and had become pastors, as was my dad, a pastor. So for me this was a bit of a different direction.”
”However, as soon as I finished university, this opportunity opened up with ACL and it was so exciting for me to be able to have influence on public policy and to actually see God work within the work that I was doing in my twenties at the Australian Christian Lobby to actually effect and change public policy because it is actually possible to change laws if you have that influence.”
She recalled joining ACL when Jim Wallace was managing director:
“I remember sitting under his leadership and hearing his focus on strategy and also his heart and submission to Christ. And that just really inspired me. I think I just felt like ACL was family back when I was in my early twenties and my heart just connected to the mission of ACL. Then under Lyle [Shelton] I went into a different role of becoming the national spokesperson for women’s and children’s issues. But having my family, I ended up stepping back from the role completely.”
But there was still a yearning to resume her career.
“I remember asking God after a period of time God, I want to re-engage in politics and I ended up working for a Christian Member of [the WA] Parliament who was working on the same issues as the Australian Christian Lobby was, and it gave me that insight into Parliament and how the parliamentary mechanisms work.”
”In my time away from the Australian Christian Lobby, I was still very much part of the ACL family and I always have felt like I was. I loved the mission and being able to step back into that role is such a blessing to be able to move this organisation forward. ”
“Burning in my heart is this mission of reconciliation, as we’ve all been called as Christians, to reconcile the world back to God. So I’m thinking, well, how does that practically outwork in our daily life? How am I personally called? How is the ACL positioned to be ministers of that reconciliation? And for us, it’s in the area of politics. There are so many various ways that people do this, but our mission is to do this in politics.”
”And so we have to actually believe that it’s possible to bring His Kingdom, to pray His Kingdom come and His will be done, and to see that outworked across our nations. So within my heart, I am just so motivated by the love for God and by His might, His power and His capacity to do miracles in this area and to see Kingdom come. And that’s the message of hope that I hope to bring to ACL.”
Click below to listen to the full interview with Michelle Pearse.