Pastors

I Like Donald Trump

Do I have your attention?  My prediction: this will be my most viewed blog post of 2015. Why? Because I’m mentioning politics and I’m a Pastor. That’s controversial and controversy catches people’s attention. 

So, I Like Donald Trump.

On Facebook. 

I like his Page.  I actually liked Donald Trump on The Apprentice and living in New York it’s impossible not to see much of the positive impact he has had on the city. 

As a politician, I’ll leave my opinions to myself. 

My wife sent me this text yesterday: “You like Donald Trump?”

I responded: “What are you talking about?”

She said: “I noticed a post on Facebook from Donald Trump and it showed next to the post that you like him. Do you think that’s a good idea?”

My response was that I “Like” Donald Trump along with pretty much every other presidential candidate so I can better track him or her through my News Feed. The problem is that this simple “Like” communicates to others that I’m probably voting for Donald Trump and support the things that he stands for. Even without saying a word I can get myself in trouble when it comes to social media and politics as a Pastor.  

To say that pastors addressing politics is a sticky matter is a massive understatement. 

The reality is pastors are people and they have opinions. The problem is that as a pastor you are a leader of people spiritually and often because of that spiritual authority your congregation takes everything you say to be truth rather than opinion. When it comes to politics we form opinions that are often based on truth, but at the core still just opinions and we have to be careful how we communicate them.

On social media we are given a very unique platform to share whatever we want. We can share inspirational messages, scriptural challenges, personal celebrations, and opinionated beliefs. This platform can be used for great good and, as we have seen so many times before, it can also be used in a very divisive and destructive manner intentionally or unintentionally. Many times the statements (through words or even Likes) made on social media are misunderstood, but it often doesn’t matter if they are understood or not because conclusions are formed regardless of our intentions. We must understand the potential consequences as we navigate delicate and divisive conversations and this is particularly critical when it comes to social media.

To be honest, I’m anxious even writing this post even though I'm not making a political statement, but rather just addresses politics. It’s that sensitive and for so many, incredibly personal.  

So, as we continue into this political season I want to encourage you with a few Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to pastors, politics & social media:

  • DO encourage your congregants to watch debates and pay attention to politics. Electing our governmental leaders is an incredibly important role for every citizen!
  • DO encourage your congregants to consider how each political stance aligns Biblically and with their spiritual beliefs.
  • DO encourage your congregants to vote in a very educated way.
  • DON’T push your personal opinions or political beliefs on your congregation.
  • DON’T use social media to share your personal political stances. Yes, you do have the right as a person, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.   
  • DON’T avoid politics all together. Just because it’s sensitive doesn’t mean you can’t mention it. Just be careful and encourage research, healthy dialogue and discernment. 

What other best practices might you recommend?  Do you disagree or agree with this post?  I want to know and I think other pastors NEED to know. 

All Access Notes - Day 2 Quotes

"Most of us care more about how many people are following us on Twitter than how many people are lost in the world." - Christine Caine

"Don't force your kids on the church and don't force the church on your kids." - Willie George

"5 Anchors that you need when you feel like you're about to crash: relationships, the Word, Vision, His Presence, Order." - Joe Champion

"If someone has the courage to confront you on something, don't ignore it." - Rob Ketterling

"Culture trumps everything." - Chris Hodges

"Success comes as a result of growing to our potential." - Brian Houston

 

NYC Experience and Excellence

Screen shot 2012-11-24 at 6.23.44 PM While in New York we went to see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  This was our second time to see the show and it was just as amazing the second time!  It really is an experience from the moment you walk in to the moment you step out of the door.  I take that back, the experience begins before you even walk in the doors.

There was a long line to get in, but it moved fast and this was all a part of the anticipation.  Once you enter the building the decor is overwhelming and ushers are everywhere to help you find your seat or meet whatever need that you might have.  The show flies by as there is not a moment that lacks engagement with the production and transitions flow seamlessly.  The show was an incredible experience and had the highest level of excellence in every way.

I often hear people say that the church is not putting on a "show" and shouldn't be compared to tv productions or broadway type shows.  I agree that the church is not putting on a show as what we are doing is far more important!   We lead a congregation of people in a worship experience and the level of excellence we should hold ourselves to should be much higher!

Whether you agree or disagree with this perspective, I hope you will consider these questions as you think about guests who visit your church:

Does the exterior of your church building create interest or curiosity of what occurs inside the walls?

As a guest walks into your building what do they see?  smell? hear?

How engaging is your worship experience from start to finish?  Are the transitions seamless?  Does the production enhance or distract?

As guests leave the building and parking lot what do they see?

 

View other posts in this series:

Restoration

Under Construction

Making the Most of What you Have

Attention to Details 

Starbucks Everywhere

Different Perspective

Hardy on Pastors and Politics

Over the past 5 years I have been incredibly privileged to meet weekly with one of the greatest ministry leaders of our time, Hardy Clemons.  Hardy has 50+ years of successful ministry experience and has invested in my ministry in more ways than I can describe.  In this session we discuss Pastors and Politics:

What are your thoughts on Pastors and Politics?  Do you agree or disagree with Hardy?

If you have any questions that you would like for me to ask Hardy, feel free to comment and I will ask and share in future weeks.