The election cycle isn’t even in full swing yet and our Facebook feeds are full of political pundits, talking heads, media spins and angry status updates.
As leaders, it’s easy to overreact to the candidates or the issues we feel strongly about. However, we need to be discerning (and exhibit self-control)—because we’re setting a clear example for our people to follow.
So, think deeply, pray hard and be wise as we head further into this political season. Here are some commandments that might just help guide your way… or at least make you think.
The 10 Commandments of Politics in the Pulpit
Thou Shalt Not…
1. Pretend like it isn’t happening
Seriously, we can’t afford to ignore the election. Our people want guidance, wisdom and to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to today’s most important cultural issues.
2. Share your political beliefs as an act of rebellion
Politics in the pulpit are no joke. Telling people how to vote could get your tax-exempt status taken away. Be careful not to react in a way that’s more personal than pastoral. Mic drop moments are great, but they don’t work with politics in the pulpit.
3. Make a cagey effort to share your views—with a wink and a nod
You know, you put out the pamphlets in the foyer to share the religious views of all the candidates so your people will know how to vote… and it’s pretty obvious what you want them to do 🙂
4. Shame your people into voting your preferences
You have personal preferences and biblical convictions, but that doesn’t mean everyone will think exactly like you. Don’t make visitors or guests feel like outcasts for not following your political perspective.
5. Reach for a gun in your back pocket
Um, probably not a good idea. And not responsible.
6. Make fun of our current president
I get it, there’s soooo much material to work with, but use self-control and avoid being silly. We’re still called to respect and pray for our leaders. It’s hard to do that when your making fun of them at the same time.
7. Make one party feel like pagans
Don’t say things like this: “I don’t know how you can be a Democrat and be a Christian…” Just don’t.
8. Share your hatred for Muslims or gays
We’re called to reach this world for Christ and that means building relationships–not barriers. There’s a big difference between the two.
9. Predict the exact return of Jesus
It’s been done before and it’s always embarrassing the day after.
10. Lose it in the pulpit
Again, we’re called to set an example. It’s OK to show righteous anger, but for heaven’s sake, don’t lose it.
So, that’s a fun list of how NOT to behave. Now it’s your turn. How do you handle politics in the pulpit?
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