If your social feed is like mine, it looks like people are losing their minds.
As the world has become more fragile than it has been in my lifetime, my feed has gotten more and more polarized, partisan, angry, bizarre and downright weird in 2021.
I wish I could tell you Christians were the healing part of my feed, but that’s not the case.
Christians have been sucked into the nastiness, division and partisanship along with everyone else. Often Christians aren’t providing an alternative to the anger and outrage online, they’re fueling it.Many Christians aren’t providing an alternative to the anger and outrage online, they’re fueling it.CLICK TO TWEET
At some point, we have to stop blaming the year 2020 for everything and take a bit of responsibility. There are definitely important matters at stake right now. Racial equality, climate change, economic dislocation and deep divisions (just to name a few) are pressing issues that have implications for generations to come.
I understand how hard it is. Some days, I’ve been upset, frustrated and tempted to lash out at people with my words and viewpoints too.
But public discourse should be different than private emotions.
Social media has moved us all into public discourse. And the world is watching. Your friends are watching and listening, and so are unchurched people.
Here’s what’s at stake: When Christians lose their minds, people lose their faith.
I shudder to think how many people are losing faith right now because Christians are losing their minds and losing opinions online.
Christians should be fueling the solution, not fueling the problem. In a season where the church should be gaining ground, by many measures, we’re losing.
Here are three reasons why this matters more than we think, and five things you and I can do to hopefully make our online presence, personally and organizationally, much better.When Christians lose their minds, people lose their faith.CLICK TO TWEET
1. Influence Takes Years to Build and Seconds to Lose
John Maxwell is right. While leadership is complex, at its heart, leadership is influence.
The hardest part about influence is that it takes years to build and seconds to lose.
While you can ask anyone who’s had to resign in scandal how true that is, it’s actually more insidious than you think.
With every post, rant, video, text, sermon, or link to some weird website spouting the latest theory, you’re either building influence or diminishing it. People either trust you more or trust you less.
If you’re a follower of Christ, you believe the influence you’ve been given is a trust.
You’re not leveraging influence for your sake, but for the sake of a cause much bigger than yourself.
You’ll never even know you lost influence with the people you’re called to love and reach.
They’ll roll their eyes, unfollow and decide that once again, Christians have lost credibility.
Lose your influence with enough unchurched people and you’ve lost your mission.Influence takes years to build and only seconds to lose.CLICK TO TWEET
2. Despite What You Think, God Isn’t a Republican, Democrat or Independent
By definition, your church should include people who are different than you, economically, racially, socially, and ideologically.
Which means it should include people who vote differently than you. Five minutes in the New Testament will show you that has always been a characteristic of the church.
God is not a Republican, a Democrat, a conservative, a liberal, or a socialist. He transcends all our political categories, however important they might be to us.God is not a Republican, a Democrat, a conservative, a liberal, or a socialist. He transcends all our political categories, however important they might be to us.CLICK TO TWEET
Politics matters, but it will never change the world the way the Gospel can (or has).
Tim Keller has a simple and profound answer on how Christians fit into a two-party system: they don’t. The Gospel can’t be reduced to a political platform. I talk to Tim Keller about how to be a Christian in post-Christian America in this interview.
The church doesn’t exist to elect or defeat politicians. It exists to glorify Christ and grow his Kingdom (which is an alt Kingdom) in the world.
As I remind myself again and again (because I have convictions too), if God has all the same opinions your political party does, you’re probably not worshipping God.If God has all the same opinions your political party does, you’re probably not worshipping God.CLICK TO TWEET