10 Core Values for Churches in the President Barack Obama Era

What should the church do in an Obama era? What can we do to seize the moment? I want to suggest 10 things. 

1. Commit to allow the scripture to be what determines your beliefs, preaching, and agenda, not political values. Political values have too long been allowed to be grouped with biblical truth. Republicans did it for a long time. But the game is over. If scripture alone drives my preaching and ministry, then I will focus on what God wants me to focus on. Our culture is trying to slip its value system into the church communities. We cannot let that happen. We must not be Dems or Repubs, but Christians. 

2. Value other cultures without becoming a theological pluralist thus rejecting the exclusivity of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. Many non-Christian cultures will build relationships with others. But, when the discussion comes to Jesus Christ you will be challenged to accept other religious ideas, thus marginalizing the biblical teaching of “one God” and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. The exclusivity of Christ is already being softened in the American church. Be careful, but stay connected to unbelievers. 

3. Help your people by avoiding politics in the pulpit because it only causes division along party lines, thus eliminating Great Commission unity in your community. I’ve pushed politics in the pulpit. I’ve been subtle about it, but I’ve done it. It rarely helped me do what God has actually called me to do: “Make disciples.” Don’t get me wrong. I love our system of free voting. I appreciate a democratic culture. BUT, it cannot produce transformation, kingdom change in a culture.

4. Preach the gospel clearly and weekly. I follow a lot of pod casts and preaching on TV. I’ve noticed the gospel is rarely being shared. It may be added on barely at the end of the message, but it’s not the priority. I’m not saying preachers should preach the same evangelistic message every week. I’m saying evaluate your preaching. Are you leaving the gospel out? When’s the last time you challenged people to be saved from your pulpit or small group? 

5. Partner with Pastors who are not your ethnicity and build honest, long-term relationships with them. Our country is truly a melting pot is diversity. To see the election of Barack Obama was an amazing, stunning event. Yet the unity is cultural and political. Is our country really interested in racial unity? I’m not sure. What I do know is that the church is lagging sadly behind in race relations. Most White and Black pastors have no real friends of opposite color. And now, our nation is trying to have a dialogue on race? We are not ready for it. We are trying to have the hardest discussion with the wrong people. While I need to have the race discussion with people who are my color, I really need to have it with people who are not my color (different for me because most of my friends are non-anglos). We need to understand the other side of race. How can we do that when we don’t have any real friends of another ethnic background?

6. Hire/Call a staff leader/minister who is not the ethnicity of the majority of your congregation. Not all churches are ready for this, but some are. And it will only take a little vision casting to make it happen. Many churches and church people are ready to enter the game of race relations. They are just waiting for leadership. Bring on a person of different ethnicity proves our motives. Our country is experiencing racial unity. Why not the church? The time is right for us to make a move up on the front lines. We cannot stay in the rear forever. 

7. Start a multicultural church, in partnership with another church of different ethnicity, in your community. This would be the next level commitment. Can you imagine the witness of two or three churches planning, praying, promoting a new “multi-cultural” church start? WOW! Why not? Why not do it? Most churches are not going to become ethnically diverse. Churches are intrenched with racial division. Digging them out is probably not worth it. 

8. Develop “position papers” on homosexuality and abortion. Distribute them. Then don’t preach these issues often. These issues are being marginalized in our present culture. It’s not worth it to preach on them hard because when you do, you will be working against the momentum from the recent election. I’m not saying be weak on these issues. Just wait and be timely. I’ve heard only John Piper preach against these in the last week, in churches or even media. If you preach against it your preaching against the President. It’s not worth it. 

“83% of always-unchurched said lack of openness to homosexuals would negatively impact their view of the church.”Ed Stetzer at I3 Conference 2009. 

We need to change the way we communicate our message. The message also needs to have a practical, redemptive element to it. 

9. Host “Unity Forums” with your pastor friends in #5 to educate people in racial issues.” Get the discussion going. Yes, it may be hard, but hey isn’t it worth it? Move the discussion from the back room  and living room to the church rooms.

10. Partner with a church, not of your ethnicity, to do a ministry project in your community, together, as a witness (John 17). 

I plan to register soon as an Independent. Never again will a candidate get my vote by playing the Jesus card. I have told my family to not talk to people about politics, especially our Christian brothers and sisters. Interacting politically in the church only divides the church in America.

What do you think?

Explore posts in the same categories: Culture, Vision

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