BY STEVE DUNN
It is now less than a week until we find ourselves in the year 2016. For many, the words of Thomas Paine in his 1776 tract Common Sense reflect the sentiment of the age: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The continuing threat posed by ISIS and the onrushing American political campaign grapple with ordinary needs and more eternal issues for the heart and mind of our nation.
Jesus gave a challenge to his disciples which is quite timely today.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5.13-16 NIV
As I reflect on this challenge let me share 7 Thoughts for the Church in 2016.
1. Do not retreat into your fortress, get out into the streets. People need you doing the good work of the Kingdom. They need to rub shoulders with you to see God’s more excellent way. They need you to be building redemptive relationships where you can legitimately speak into their lives and be a bridge to Jesus. Remember our first priority is life change not regime change.
2. Do not your politics trump your theology. Be careful of being used by politicians for their purposes by unreflectively trumpeting their position and voting because of their party. The issue ultimately is values and character for the church.
3. Remember that there are Christians who are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Be civil and respectful. Speak the truth in love and encourage everyone to vote via their conscience. And be sure to get out the vote.
4. Give your money to charity. Too much money poured into candidates is wasted as each election-starting with the primaries and caucuses. It will become irrelevant the day after.
5. Be wise with your social media and encourage your people to do the same. Too much that is “shared” and “liked” will not speak well of Jesus. Our job is to see that our Father in heaven is glorified.
Do you have some thoughts?