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The President Visits Your Church?

Did you read this news about President Obama going to church yesterday (publicly) for the first time in nearly six months. Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal. He is the President and going to public places must be incredibly delicate and difficult so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s not going to church regularly.

But what did surprise me is the speculation of politics behind his decision to publicly go to church because of the increasing number of folks that believe he’s not a Christian but rather, a Muslim…

Nearly one in five Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, up from around one in 10 Americans who said he was Muslim last year, according to the survey, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The number of Americans who expressed uncertainly about the president’s religion, meanwhile, is much larger and has also grown, including among Obama’s political base. For instance, fewer than half of Democrats and African-Americans now say that Obama is Christian.

But again, that’s besides my main point I’d like to discuss with you.

The reason why the story captured my imagination was the fact that President Obama and his family attended a church called St. John’s Lafayette Square (an Episcopal church) approximately a block from the White House.

I just automatically assumed it was a larger church but in reading the story on CNN, there were roughly only 4o other congregants at the church. It fascinated me because I wondered this question:

How does the President and his family being present at your church influence the dynamics of your church, worship, and fellowship?

I’m not knocking the size of this church at all. I’m just imagining that in such a small group, the presence of the Obama family would be that much more distinct and overwhelming and possibly…distracting?

I’m curious about how you would respond as a leader or pastor of a church if the President dropped by for a visit?

  • Would you agree to the President attending?
  • Would it be a distraction?
  • If you disliked him and his politics, would that impact your decision to agree to his visit?
  • Would you change your sermon or teach what you had scheduled? That would be Leviticus for me.
  • Or would you preach something in hopes of being a voice or influence to him?
  • Besides a “welcome”, would you do anything else?
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eugenecho@churchleaders.com'
Eugene Cho is the co-founder (with his wife) and executive director of One Day's Wages — "a movement of People, Stories, and Actions to alleviate extreme global poverty." He is also the founding and lead pastor of Quest Church and the founder and executive director of Q Cafe — a non-profit community cafe and music venue in Seattle. Follow Eugene on Twitter or his personal blog.