By Jared Steven Musgrove
As group leaders, we take a lead role in maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. Tense conversations are often part of growth together. Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent in the 21st century than in our politics.
Even when we aren’t facing a global pandemic, fruitful, meaningful, and productive political conversations can’t be had if we jump to conclusions about each other.
Politics may be defined as “the struggle that determines who gets what, when and how.” This struggle is rife with contention, war, conflict, influence, and power.
Yet, the church does not wrestle against flesh and blood. We are in a spiritual battle of Word, love, and actions and our call is to maintain the unity of the Spirit.
Below are some ground rules for navigating political conversations in your group. You might even consider sharing these points in your group meeting, letting group members know that you are praying about the coming elections and your time together as brothers and sisters. Invite them to join you in this.
- Talk face-to-face. If you want to talk politics, it’s best to do so face-to-face.
- Respect one another. Does this conversation seek to practice the “one anothers” of Scripture?
- Speak with honesty and candor. If you disagree, say so politely. If a statement is hurtful, say that it was, and be quick to forgive. If you make a hurtful statement, be quick to apologize and seek forgiveness.
- Give goodwill. Are you seeking to understand over being understood or validated? Are you seeking to be righteous over being right?
- Be informed. Be okay with admitting if you are not informed and wish to talk about something else.
Dr. Jared Steven Musgrove is Groups Pastor at The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX and co-founder and Executive Director of communityleadership.org. He is married to Jenny and father to Jordan and Joshua.