things are not actually worse than ever before
As a borderline millennial myself I find myself at a complete loss for this election season. I have tried to stay out of most of the craziness, but I keep getting drawn back in by the media that is all around me. I have read several superb articles in regards to the church and this election and while I don’t necessarily feel like there’s much more to be said. I do feel like there’s quite a bit of room for encouragement.
Everything mass circulating is so “doomsday,” and I get it, one day an actual “doomsday” might be upon us, so we want to be prepared. But despite everything that seems “bad,” there isn’t really more “bad” than ever before. There is just more media than ever before. Less than 75 years ago we killed off over 6 million people because of racism. Even with cultural issues flaring up all around us, today’s generation would not tolerate such an event. It’s imperative to continuously remember the progress we’ve made to see that things have actually been worse than right now.
It’s true; there’s more work to be done. The Church needs to rise up now, just as it’s always needed to do. We need to be known as lovers of mercy and justice and people who walk humbly with our God. We need to stop taking political sides and start making sure that people know us by our love. It seems everyone thinks they are the prophet and therefore an exception to the commands that Jesus lays out about how to treat our neighbors. However, if you, as a ministry leader are talking about these things on the regular, then your church family is much more likely to actually take their cues from you.
sheep need to be shown how to act
A lot of the current political events are unknown territory for your flock. The morality of our public officials has not been called into question with this level of intensity in quite a long time. It’s your job to show them how to act and to remind them what acting like a Christian looks like in uncertain times. If you are reminding them to be honorable without acting “holier than thou,” then when a controversial political situation confronts them, hopefully, they will remember your advice.
five affirmations your congregation needs to hear in this crazy election season
one – practice uplifting conversation
I am the first to admit that when I’m on a “truth tangent” I feel completely empowered to say whatever I need or want to say no matter who it hurts in the name of truth. However, this isn’t what we’re called to. Ephesians 4, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” and about fifty other verses just like it, remind us that we are supposed to have gracious speech.
All it takes is about five minutes rifling through the comments on a blog, or forum or Facebook and you can easily see that people’s comments are out of control. Not only is what you are going to say not going to matter, because truth is only impactful in the context of a relationship. But more than that you can say something that you consider “truth” while still speaking with grace. In the face of all the negative talk from our candidates, you have the opportunity to make an impact with uplifting conversation. There is good in the world, so find it and share it.
two – pray for your leaders
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my whole life, it’s that you can’t change anyone except yourself. So, when you are upset about your leaders, or you feel like they need to change, you have no control to make that happen, but you can pray, and it will change you. You can also pray that God would move upon their hearts, that they would listen to wise counsel, and that there would be wise counsel for them to listen too.
three – our worth is found in our creator
God says we are more valuable to Him than little sparrows, who neither sow nor reap, but always have everything they need. Part of the reason that so many people are in a constant state of identity crisis and depression and highs and lows is because we define ourselves by things that we can’t rely on like our political affiliation.
Remind your congregants that they will not find any value that actually lasts in those arenas because people will let them down, world leaders will always disappoint . Tell your people to find their worth in God because there is not a lot that we can count on in this life, but we can rely on that.
four – it doesn’t matter who’s in office, what people really need is jesus
I read a fantastic article about how part of the reason that people were up in such arms over this election is because people are looking for a physical savior, and that’s all well and good, but as Christians, we believe our Savior has already come. A wall, and a war on terror, and whatever else Donald Trump would bring will not save your soul. A path of international peace and reconciliation for the races and whatever else Hillary Clinton wants to do will again not save your soul.
Your congregation feels unsure because there appears to be real lives that seem to be hanging in the balance right now, but reassure them that God sent his Son 2,000 years ago and his Son already outlined the peace plan, it’s called “love your neighbor as yourself.” His Son already outlined the grace plan, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” We can’t do much to affect anything politically taking place in our world, but we can still graciously point people to Christ.
five – god is >
A few years back, this was the theme of a conference we had at our church. I know appealing to faith and spiritual things in times of real life physical trial can sometimes be unsettling because as humans we want to invoke justice in the immediate. However, there is often very little we can do.
Your congregation needs to be reminded that God is bigger than all of this. Have them fill in their own blank, God is > ______. Remind them that this story has gone on for a very long time and that God is in control EVEN when Hillary or Donald take the role of the oval office. Because God is greater and we all said, Amen!
Chief Creative OfficerStacia has over a decade of ministry experience, with the majority of that time leading next generation change. She has experience leading almost one hundred volunteers, and developing curriculum for kids and students. Stacia has a B.S. in Church Ministries and Biblical Studies, as well as experience educating in an elementary public school environment. She is also immensely creative and accomplished in teaching children about the wonder of God.