A Platform Is Not a Vacuum: Addressing the Real World from the Pulpit


As Christians, we’re supposed to live in the world but not be caught up in it. That can seem like a fine line at times, because let’s be honest—it’s hard to do! We can’t ignore world events, civil issues, and threats against the Kingdom—both locally and internationally—and consider ourselves to have forward-thinking, front-line faith. But we shouldn’t use every teachable opportunity to stand on our soapbox and talk about all that’s wrong with the world. We have 24/7 news channels for that.

People need hope and encouragement. They also need to know what the Bible says about current real-world situations…and they need to know what their church’s stance is on the matter as well.

Some churches have discovered a great balance with preaching Biblically based sermons and still addressing current events with their congregation. That’s the ideal arrangement when your congregation knows that you provide them with solid leadership, nourishment and knowledge from the Word, and Biblically based guidance on how to process social trends, daily threats to our faith, and real-life interactions with others—disagreements, emotions, misunderstandings and all.

Other churches struggle with finding the balance that works for them. Focus too much (and too often) on the latest trending news and the people can miss out on solid scripture-based sermons. They may even feel like church has become “too political” or too volatile if each Sunday’s sermon sounds more like a gloom and doom report.

Still other churches do a disservice to their fellowship if they never, ever address any current events, choosing instead to ignore the wider world outside the walls of the sanctuary and focus only on Bible stories from the past.

But the Word of God is a living, breathing entity. Just like us. The Word is applicable in every season, every circumstance, every nation. Your fellowship should be well-informed of not only how Bible characters interacted and reacted to situations back then—but also how we should interact with each other and react to local and global situations today, based on God’s Word.

Sure, it’s a fine line to walk. But if your church is going to be proactive, loving, giving, and growing, they need to be well-informed, they need to know where leadership stands and why, and they need to be encouraged to ask questions. You’re not pastoring a church of followers; you’re pastoring a church of leaders, so equip them to go out into the world on behalf of the Kingdom.

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