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In recent years, and throughout history, the latest headlines have plunged many church leaders into difficult conversations about incredibly complex issues. Try as you might to lead with conviction and empathy, the reality is that it often feels like you just can’t win.
Our team at Subsplash has been deeply impacted by news, commentary, and conversations around the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. As Christians, we believe that life is precious, and every human being is made in the image of God—and so we celebrate life.
But one of the challenges of our hyper-connected world is that local stories become national issues, and national issues become broad stereotypes, which are often used to label our neighbors. Unfortunately, it’s easier to apply labels and dismiss people than it is to engage them and hear their stories.
We believe that the truth of Jesus through the life of the local church is the greatest source of hope and joy for the world. In times like these, we keep that reality at the center of our perspective and ask, “How is the Church doing good at a local and global level?”
Real experiences from real churches may be helpful for providing perspective and cutting through the talking points from the last few weeks. For example, one church in Southern California, which meets in a local high school, has been quietly carrying out the everyday work of being the Church and reaching their community with the truth of Jesus in these ways:
That’s just one church of 120 people. Yours is probably similar.
Though imperfect, the Church is called to embrace the “both/and” dynamic of caring for children and families. It’s possible to be opposed to abortion and actively work to serve the vulnerable.
The truth is that Christians have been holding this tension for 2,000 years. What if we took what local churches do in quiet, unseen ways and scaled it to a global level? With 300,000+ churches in America and over a billion Christians around the world, the unseen impact is staggering!
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, once explained why governments turn to churches first for assistance during a crisis:
The Church has the largest distribution network on the planet. There are more churches in the world than all the Walmarts, McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. The Church was global 200 years before anyone else thought of globalization. We could take you to thousands of villages around the world where the only institution to speak of is a church. —Rick Warren, Saddleback Church
Churches are already providing education and health care in their communities. Most of the food banks, hospitals, humanitarian groups, orphanages, and other nonprofits around the world were founded by Christians. The same is true for some of the world’s most influential universities and most important scientific discoveries.
So when people talk about being known by what you’re for rather than what you’re against, the Church can courageously celebrate life and continue its good work in support of life.
What lies ahead will likely be more divisive than what has come before. Cultural lines will be drawn by new boundaries. While the pendulum swing at the national level may slow down, the way in which Americans have become grouped into ideological cul-de-sacs will become worse.
In other words, loving our neighbor will prove to be even harder.
Here are just four things that we hope your church will consider (or continue) as we move forward together:
At Subsplash, our work directly supports many churches and ministries who do this kind of ministry every day. We’ve built our platform to be the means by which millions of people hear the truth of Jesus through the life of their local churches, bringing hope and joy to the world.
Now more than ever, we’re dedicated to serving you and partnering with your mission. We’re praying for you, your families, your teams, and your community.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9