Events last week in Washington, D.C. were historic in all the wrong ways. For those of us who train leaders, it was a case study in leadership failures culminating in disgustingly seditious acts. For Christians, it was embarrassing as Capitol-invaders carried symbols of our faith, appropriated our language, and referenced God as being on their side.
Besides clearly denouncing anarchists operating in God’s name, everyday Christians can make a difference right now by fulfilling our mission with a simple, biblical strategy. We must intensify pastoral conversations with believers and gospel conversations with unbelievers. Last Sunday, my pastor preached on the story of the Good Samaritan, on the importance of getting personally involved in caring for and communicating with hurting people God brings across our path. He was right and I echo his counsel. Rather than being immobilized by the present crisis, ask God to refocus your attention on Good Samaritan-like acts of gospel-service and gospel-sharing. Make a difference in the world around you this week. Millions of American Christians shifting their focus in this way would change a nation—and we need that to happen right now.
Serve others and share the gospel because the gospel is true and powerful, regardless of how poorly some people (including all of us at one time or another) represent it from time to time. The gospel is the power of God to supernaturally change people. Keep sharing it because —in a world of fake news, distorted claims, and outright lies—it is true and will resonate with people longing for real news and good news.
Serve others and share the gospel because your personal example is more powerful than bad behavior by strangers in a distant news story. You are the living gospel message your friends and family see, know, and respect. When you talk about the gospel among people who have observed you living transparently among them, they will give you a hearing. Most unbelievers do not expect Christians to be perfect, just real.
Serve others and share the gospel with humility and deference. Some believers are substituting Christian nationalism, White Supremacy, or some other religiously-motivated political dogma for the gospel. Their erroneous messages are marked by anger, arrogance, and bombast. That’s not the same as boldness advocated for and modeled in the Bible. Boldness means clarity about our message and conviction about its efficacy, not mean-spirited attacks demeaning other people.
Serve others and share the gospel because connecting people to Jesus is more important than correcting their political views, changing their sexual behavior, adjusting their economic convictions, confronting their gender confusion, or winning arguments about masks and vaccines. Jesus really is the Savior of the world—not Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Let’s remember that this week and redouble our efforts at serving and sharing the gospel.