Whether delighted or despondent, everyone has an opinion about the recent presidential election and President-elect Trump. Some are relieved. Others are furious. Either way, all of America is chattering. Pundits will write pieces about the various divides in America—political, racial, class, and religious, etc.—that bled over during the election cycle.
It’s not difficult to diagnose the divide in America, but few offer tangible solutions. The best that’s offered right now is to “establish dialogue” and “have tough conversations with our neighbors.” While these are noble pursuits, the question has to be asked, “Are the American people even equipped to engage in civil discourse?” In a time of defiance and unrest, too many seek to “make a statement” rather than search for a better way forward.
Who has the capacity to equip the American people to forgive and trust one another again? The love of Christ does. The Gospel molds people to filter their worldviews through Christ’s resurrection, and when one’s eyes are wide open to the spiritual war, he recognizes that political policy does not fully account for all that keeps the nation intact. Politics takes its cues from the culture, and what changes the culture? The Gospel. Here are some ways that we as young men in Christ can take the opportunity to get in some post-election evangelism.
The Election Result Is A Conversation Starter
It can be excruciating to try and bring up the Gospel during everyday conversation without seeming artificial. Now we have our wedge. If you want to know your bro’s life philosophy, there’s nothing better to bring up politics, especially the results of this election.
And there is our chance to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. I have a number of friends who are left-of-center when it comes to political philosophy, and as such, they are frustrated with the election’s outcome. Considering their viewpoints, I explained to them where my hopes are ultimately, which is in Christ, and how he changes hearts, which are far more valuable than political persuasions.
There’s a saying that goes, “All politics are local,” meaning that on-the-ground relationships contribute to efficacy at the national level. Take the same approach to witnessing in the midst of all the post-election hysteria. If all politics are local, then your evangelism should also have a ground game. When you develop solid relationships with unbelieving acquaintances and demonstrate a willingness to listen to their frustrations, they will count you trustworthy, and therein lies your opportunity to give the reasons for your hope.
This isn’t flashy evangelism, but it is rewarding. You may not convert thousands like a Billy Graham, but you do have an opportunity to witness to your closest friends and family. With that comes the opportunity to disciple those who do make the decision to take up their cross.
Become A Leader
Whether this means discipling someone or running for state/local/national office, as young men in Christ, we have the opportunity to be the standard bearers in politics and culture. I heard a lot of people groaning about the lack of godly leadership in the political realm this past year-and-a-half, but I saw few getting involved in the political process.
If we want godly leadership, we’re going to have to look for it within our own ranks, since we are the next generations. I’m not suggesting everyone needs to run for office, but if each of us remains involved in the political process, we can give voice to the issues that the Bible charges us to remember.
This election has divided the body of Christ, and there’s no need to rehash the points of contention. Despite the splintering, Christians cannot afford to retreat from politics. If the church wants to reassume its post as the conscience of the nation, then its members must make an effort to get involved and glorify God through articulating a Biblical worldview in relation to governance.
On another level, we must become leaders in our own churches, whether through writing, singing, discipling, or pastoring. Ministering to the sick, poor, and forgotten means that we need more leaders within the church to stand up.
Be the First to Repent
The spiritual entombment of this nation remains and our culture is increasingly hostile to the Gospel. Confession of sin and repentance, beginning with the church, reaches more hearts than theological arguments and debates. A repentant church is one that’s humble and prepared to follow God’s direction
As we repent, we also must continue to pray for revival in this nation. Pray for those to whom you want to minister and ask for more if you can’t think of any. Pray for your communities and for God to give creative solutions to solve the issues that plague it. And pray for the President-elect, Donald Trump, so that God would give him a humble spirit, wisdom in governance, and godly advisors.
Praying for country and community is just as much a part of evangelism, because when we contend for that which is dear to us through prayer, we are sowing the fields for changed hearts.
Of course, there will always be those who are unwilling to forgive or trust again, but that is to be expected. Prophets like Jeremiah were often scorned and discarded, but he never relented to give the Word of the Lord. In the same way, we are to be prophets as well, articulating God’s good news through Jesus Christ as on-the-ground evangelists.