If there was prevailing mood in our nation today, it would be cynicism or pessimism.
Both issue from a dark belief that there is nothing pure, good, altruistic, or hopeful in this life. In this perspective, every person with an opposing view is demonic.
The local coffee shop is a good place to take a core sample of the national mood. The thing you will hear a lot is “we’re all going to hell in a hand-basket.” Or,to quote Chicken Little, “the sky is falling.”
The cause of the sky falling depends on to whom you are talking. Democrats think it’s Trump, and Republicans think it’s Clinton. There’s never any conciliation or meeting in the middle. Nor ever a settled belief in God’s care about this all. Which is relevant to church planters.
A church planter who is not spending his/her entire time within a religious community has the enormous advantage of being able to hear the whole conversation. Of hearing the perspective of each side. Of why each side is afraid. Or what may be informing his/her unique perspective.
Ironically, both extremes are gripped by the same fears. My atheist friend and my conservative, evangelical friend both worry about safety, about what seems apparent and true, and about what a future world will look like.
What I frequently notice is that neither side thinks there is any hope. The best option either side believes in is electing their respective candidate.
A church planter has unique opportunities created by the gospel. To a doubtful John the Baptist, Jesus sent this message. “…the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them…” Luke 7:24. What Jesus did is eminently hopeful.
In trusting relationships, a planter has the opportunity to dispense hope. It is the best antidote we can offer to a world that is desperate for a word freed from politics and despair.
Hope is a very attractive and winsome commodity in a world divided by politics of anger, judgment, and vindictiveness.