The Sunday Before: Addressing the Election from the Pulpit

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Intersect.

A seminary professor once told me that he would much rather preach a funeral than officiate a wedding. He argued that at a wedding the audience tends to view the pastor as just another decoration, a well-placed ornament adorning the bride’s perfect day. And in his experience, despite the fact that he stood front and center before the crowd, no one cared what he had to say. They were not there for him. But conversely, at funerals, those gathered to remember and mourn their recently departed loved ones were not only attentive to this pastor’s words, they were desperate for the hope that he would offer.

Pastor, your congregation will be desperate for your words this Sunday.

The election is everywhere. For more than a year, the chaos of the 2016 election cycle has been building. Print and digital media have offered non-stop coverage of the campaigns. News cycles have been driven by scandal after scandal. Our mailboxes and inboxes are full of negative ads and fundraising letters. Our public discourse has returned to the gutter. And nearly every day we are reminded once again that this may be “the most important election of our lives.” But there is good news. It is almost over.

Though some states have offered early voting for several weeks, the vast majority of voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots. Pastor, what you say to God’s people this weekend matters immensely.

This is an important election. No matter what happens, some of our people will be joyful, some will be disillusioned and some will be fearful. I can think of no better opportunity for the shepherds of God’s flock to exercise faithful leadership.

Read the entire piece here.