This past Sunday morning (Feb. 5), I took the opportunity to talk to my church about America. While I do not do this weekly, I do practice it regularly. I believe it is a stewardship entrusted to me for the church I pastor.
I believe it is necessary for each pastor to talk to his church about America. If we do not choose to do it, then we are neglecting our responsibility and turning our people over to navigating through these issues alone. This is dangerous for any of us.
When it was time for me to speak on Sunday, I transitioned by talking about spending three days in Washington, DC last week. I discussed some meetings I attended, mentioned that Jeana and I attended the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, and concluded by talking about watching President Donald J. Trump's appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
Relating to the National Prayer Breakfast, I mentioned the dynamic and powerful message given by Chaplain Barry Black, the Chaplain of the United States Senate. Then, I mentioned the speech given by President Trump, and re-emphasized his commitment to religious liberty in our nation. Relating to the President's appointment to the Supreme Court, I reminded our people that while presidents come and go, their appointments influence generations. Finally, I challenged our people to pray for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as well as the remaining appointments to serve on the President's Cabinet. I appealed to our people to pray for our nation at this time.
While my remarks this past Sunday were specific, most of the time my remarks are much more general, leading us to a time of praying for America.
Pastor, it is Not Being Political to Talk About America
Pastor, stop thinking you are being political if you talk about America. There are bloggers who are of the opinion that a pastor should never talk about America. Do not let the opinion of someone you don't even know cause you to forfeit your stewardship responsibility entrusted to you as a pastor.
Clearly understand that your role is to give biblical light to this time in America. You are not a pundit on a night-time television show or drive time radio, you are a man of God who is helping shepherd your people through the challenges we are facing together in our nation today.
Your role is never to denounce a leader or movement publicly, but to bear light upon the issues themselves from a biblical perspective. You cross over into being political when you ooze with your personal preferences and try to sway your people into voting or thinking about something in the same way you do.
Interestingly, when you deal with the issues biblically and spiritually, you are much more convincing than you would ever be with your own preferences. Our authority is not in what we say, but only in what God says. I am convicted deeply that our people need to hear God's perspective about the issues in our nation.
5 Points of Counsel for Every Pastor
1. The Stewardship of Leadership: God has entrusted the stewardship of leadership to each pastor. We are temporary trustees, leading the people of God in a local church. We cannot forfeit our leadership of the church or operate passively about our nation. This would be spiritual negligence.
2. The Bible and Spirituality: In all reality, we do not need to be just another voice to our people. We need to become the biblical voice that challenges the church in America to become the spiritual life of our nation. What sets our voice apart is one thing: What God says! Not what we say or think, but what God Himself says in His Word. Our call to the church is always an upward call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our call is to become all God wants us to be.
3. Giving Honor and Dignity to Our Leaders: Leadership in America is hard and difficult. It is unimaginable for any pastor, business leader, or educator in our nation to even comprehend what presidential candidates and the presidents themselves face when elected.
For as long as I can remember, I have never referred to a president by their last name only, which to me shows disrespect and dishonor. It has always been, for as long as I can remember, President Kennedy, President Johnson, President Nixon, President Ford, President Carter, President Reagan, President Bush, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, and President Trump.
From a youngster in early elementary school when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas to where I am today while President Trump leads our nation, I am deeply convinced that pastors and spiritual leaders do not need to do anything less than give honor to the leaders in our nation. While we may disagree with someone's ideology or even lifestyle choices, we should always respect them by referring to them by their proper title. When we do not, it is disrespectful and a horrible example before others.
4. Praying for and Supporting our President: As men of God and pastors of local churches, we should always lead our people in praying for our nation and supporting our president in prayer and encouragement. All Americans should support and desire the success of each president in our nation. Our confidence is only found in praying for our president, entrusting him to God and His care.
5. A Future and a Hope: As a pastor of a local church, I should always lead people to have a future and a hope for their nation. Even in the worst of times, we need to be the type of prophets who, while being honest about where our nation is, also believe that we have a future and a hope in the Lord.
Therefore pastor, do your people a favor and represent Your Lord favorably by talking to your church about our nation regularly. When we speak to our people about our nation, we should also be burdened to pray for our nation fervently. Because it is in God we trust.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
Originally posted at ronniefloyd.com.