How the church can weather oncoming political storms

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How the church can weather oncoming political storms

April 2, 2024 -

A dark, cloudy sky looms over the US Capitol building. By gelangelan/stock.adobe.com

A dark, cloudy sky looms over the US Capitol building. By gelangelan/stock.adobe.com

A dark, cloudy sky looms over the US Capitol building. By gelangelan/stock.adobe.com

Remember back in Covid days how tough it was to find a balance as a church?

  • If we said, “Gotta wear a mask,” some folks would be mad.
  • If you said, “Mask-free is OK with me,” other people would boycott.

I have a feeling in the coming months, those days may feel quaint.

As the current election cycle heats up, tensions are rising, accusations are flying, and both sides claim the country is doomed if the other guys win!

If you’re a church leader, how will you shepherd your flock through this? If you’re a person in the pew, what can you do?

God help us: It’s uncharted territory, but here are three ideas I believe will do more good than harm.

Commit to civility

If, having read that heading, you’re thinking, “Wow. How insightful. Never thought of that!” I don’t blame you. But let’s be honest: It’s one thing to believe in civil interactions; it’s another thing to engage in them.

Social media consumption and production have trained many of us to accentuate our more strident thoughts and voices. And maybe having that outlet has dampened our need to interact in real life.

How much good would three good questions and a listening posture do? Much.

Engage with good questions

So what are some of those good questions?

I’m tempted to begin with:

  • “What do you see Jesus saying or thinking about this situation?”

The downside to that is the ease with which we can put words in the Messiah’s mouth. (Although, of course, I would never do such a thing. No, not me!)

So maybe go straight to the source docs with:

  • “What do you see the Bible saying about this election process? About the state of our country and the world?”

If we’re people of the Book, let’s commit to vigorously wrestling with it. (In kindness! See point one!)

If depth of relationship permits, let’s ask each other with all empathy, vulnerability, and love:

  • “What are you afraid of?”

And, sharing your own fears, then ask:

  • “Can we pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to breathe into and dissipate these fears?”

Cannonball into the mission

One antidote to existential angst is audacious action!

While any one of our churches can only have a small impact on the election, we can make a serious splash in our neighborhood. What if you sent a postcard to every house in your zip code that simply said, “We don’t know where the election is going, much less the country, but we believe Jesus is with us. Visit us Sunday if you could use a hug and some hope.”

We can also make a fresh launch into the world. My teammates at Healing Nations and I believe there’s never been a better time to humbly but decisively reach out to hurting people around the planet.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride, I have no doubt.

If you agree, join me in taking a deep breath of the coming kingdom of God and deciding, “We’re done wringing our hands. Let’s ring some gospel bells!”

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