Prepare Your People for Election 2020
I’ve been suggesting/challenging younger (and older) pastors in a few areas for 2020, and today I want to continue that short series with a short challenge.
Not too long ago the average evangelical congregation was politically conservative. The differences between “us” and “them” came down in most respects to social issues. As a result, our churches – especially white congregations – tended to be populated by conservative Republicans.
With this last election, the wheels fell off that bus. I remember some of the exchanges I read on Facebook and hearing of conflict that took place within congregations and families over the two principal candidates, both of whom were polarizing figures. Frankly, some of what I read was horrible.
While I have very definite political conviction, I am not by nature a political person and do whatever I can to avoid political discussions. Unless you’re conversing with someone who agrees with you, talking politics is – especially in our day – is like walking in a mine field.
Our people need to remember that they are Christians first and citizens of an earthy nation second. I’m assuming that I am writing principally to those in the US, but if not, the fact still holds. As a result, we are called to love each other as brothers and sisters, and my challenge to you is that, as we approach the 2020 election here in the United States, you start early helping your people learn to behave themselves in both face-to-face conversation and in the use of social media.
Whatever you or your people think about the President and the person(s) running against him, it is your duty to promote peace within your church. Perhaps a sermon or two – before the serious mayhem takes over – on the true citizenship of the believer would be helpful. Perhaps an elder-produced bulletin insert on getting along when we differ politically would help the church remember that we need to do a better job than we did in 2016. Maybe some instructions on how to use social media properly would go a long way toward promoting peace.
You should talk this over with your leaders. Your people need to worship God together and they can’t do that well if they’re mad at each other over political views and thoughtless Facebook posts. So my challenge is to get on top of this before it gets out of hand, for the sake of the peace of the church, and for the sake of unity in the Gospel.