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We’ve all heard it and seen it: “If your pastor doesn’t preach on (fill in the blank), then walk out.”

Undoubtedly, people who are posting such statements have never served a church with truly different perspectives.

I’ve personally only had experience being a pastor in churches where there are people to the far right and far left and everywhere in between.

So while my message may be focused on hot topics of the day, I have to say things in a way that as many people as possible will listen to the message- because if I seem like I am siding with one perspective, then some people will close their minds and hearts to my sermon and to where God may be directing all of us.

And the message will not reach the people who have not yet heard it from another angle – especially if the news they watch are biased towards the other perspective.

Yes, it is our calling to be prophetic as well as pastoral. It’s our call to love all of the people in our pews. We can’t completely shy away from the subject, but we must speak words that will be considered. We must evaluate the time and space in which our message will be delivered.

So friends who are prophetic and shaming your fellow pastors into mandatory preaching on subjects: please stop it. Please stop putting extra pressure on colleagues. We are all trying our best in our unique contexts. Additionally, we must preach according to the Spirit’s call – not from the pressure of our clergy colleagues.

And to friends reading this who may disagree with your pastor- please give them a break. They are trying to be faithful to the Gospel. They are trying to share the Good News. And it may sound the opposite to what your favorite politicians may be saying. This is not the time to automatically side with your favorite politicians. This is the time to engage in discussions and dialogues on why people believe what they believe. This is a tough time to be in the pulpit because. Please extend grace to your pastors and one another.

To my fellow pastors who serve diverse-perspective churches: let’s keep working together to scatter the seeds whenever possible. We are called to preach the Gospel, and it’s tough. So let’s work together to lift one another up.

If your pastor doesn’t preach on (fill in the blank) this week, have a conversation with him or her. Please do not leave. This is a crucial time for us to dialogue our way through the wilderness.

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