Preaching Prior to An Election
At the Great Commission Collective, we want to see churches equipped to bring the Bible to bear on all of life. Many of our churches are about to enter election seasons—U.S. churches in 2024 and U.K., Canadian, and other churches in 2025.
As a pastor, whether you are entering an election cycle this year or next, this content matters now and people are looking to their pastors as guides. As our cultures secularize, our neighbors' religious and moral energies—which God created in each of us—will increasingly find their eschatological hopes and missional actions in the public square. As pastors, we ought to help people grow in gospel-shaped hopes and actions.
To that end, we gathered a few articles which we think can be helpful as you prepare to preach in an upcoming election cycle. Here are some unifying themes in each of the articles:
- Emphasizing the sovereignty of God helps strengthen your people for any confusion or hardships they perceive.
- Congregations want clear answers from the Bible. They are increasingly intolerant of ambiguous exposition. Pastors should thing: how can I lay bear what God's word says on these ethical and moral issues on both sides of the "aisle."
- Focus on the Word---not political issues---but don't shy from answering the question "How then shall we live?" in application.
Bottom Line: “My answer to how you preach, considering current persecution and pressure, is that you preach the sovereignty of God and that suffering is to be expected.”
Pastor John Piper responds to the question, “How can American pastors begin to prepare the churches for persecution?” His answer is that you start with how you preach today.
Bottom Line: “The people in our pews don’t want to be sold a sanitized, fake Christianity that conveniently affirms them wherever they are and leaves them unstretched and unshaken. They want the truth — however hard it is to hear.”
Brett McCracken exhorts preachers to preach the full counsel of God — even when it means bringing awkward or offensive topics to full into the spotlight of the pulpit. If it’s hard for you to preach, and harder for them to hear, it may be all the more necessary. (For more McCracken, see his book, Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community.)
Bottom Line: “Whether one is a brand new pastor, a seasoned shepherd, or a professor training others for future ministry, Owen sheds invaluable light upon the most important undertaking in the church, namely, feeding the people of God the Word of God.”
The church needs men who can both persuade our minds and spur our spirits. Matthew Barrett shows us that in John Owen we find such encouragement. Let Matthew Barrett curate your enjoyment of Owen’s example, and engagement with his exhortation.
Bottom Line: “Every pastor, I argue, is a public theologian, called by God to bring biblical truth to bear on all of life such that his people storm the gates of hell and promote righteousness and mercy in a fallen world.”
Preaching is an inescapably public act, both because it is done publicly in the presence of people, and because it shapes people who live their lives in the presence of the public. One measure of a man’s preaching, then, is the public witness of the lives of his church members. If your people hear fire in the morning, they’ll smell like smoke in the afternoon.
Bottom Line: “There is no exact formula for when you interrupt your sermon series, when you drop a blogging bomb, or when you add current events into your pastoral prayer. These things call for wisdom, not one-size-fits-all solutions.”
What will you say to your people this Sunday morning? What words will you declare to the congregation? This is perhaps where pastors feel the greatest pressure. As we pore over the text and pensively eye the pulpit, Kevin DeYoung offers preachers seven comments to help us decide on what wise words to prepare for our people.