Where do we go after the elections?

by Jim on November 15, 2012


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #020

11/14/2012 – Rev. Jim W. Hollis


Welcome back to the twentieth episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  I hope this podcast will touch you at the point of one or more of your greatest needs, encourage you to lean fully in God’s love and inspire you to discover the adventure of Christian ministry.

I’m Rev. Jim W. Hollis, founder and Executive Director of Proactive Ministries – which I founded in 1993 after having served as a Pastor of churches for 18 years.  Proactive Ministries has worked with more than 900 congregations across 40 states in the USA.  This podcast is sponsored by Proactive Ministries.

In this episode I will be sharing with you about:


Beyond the election – Where do we go from here?


      As many of you know, I work with Christian leaders all over North America from Orlando, FL to Phoenix, AZ to Seattle, WA to New York City, NY.  I’ve had the privilege of becoming friends with hundreds of pastors, church leaders and denominational executives across the past eighteen years.  My Staff and I have stayed in numerous host homes, which we encourage as this helps us model initiating and building authentic, caring friendships.

This past election perhaps more than any I can recall points out the great divide politically in our nation.  We have all been bombarded with a steady diet of politics, immeasurable accusations, shame & blame games and pressure to not allow the other person to win.  I have close friends and colleagues in ministry who are passionate Democrats who believe that their positions are fully ordained by the Almighty.  If you use the word, “Republican” around them in a positive way they will reflexively grimace like someone who is getting an old fashioned penicillin shot.  At that point they will express deep concern for you that you would even take seriously anything Republican.

I’ve also been in the homes of devout Republicans who seek to assure everyone God wants a Republican in the Presidency of the United States because we are a “nation under God.”  When you say anything positive about President Obama you can see their breathing rate immediately increase, their face go flush and small blood vessels begin to show in their neck.  Often they will ask me, “Surely you are not supporting HIM, are you?”  Now you know you are being evaluated for your level of POLITICAL acceptability.

My friends in both these groups hold leadership positions in their local churches.  They sing some of the same hymns, recite the same Christian creeds, and pray the Lord’s Prayer on cue at the right time in the service.  Some sing beautifully in the choir.  Some are ushers and others are greeters.  On some of their car bumpers I see stickers like, “Jesus First” or “God is in control” or “In case of rapture this car will be unoccupied.”  Ask any of them if they are a Christian and they will all give you an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  A few may even add,“Praise the Lord.”

Facebook is a place where most of us communicate.  The daily “chatter” on it proves both interesting and entertaining.  You can learn a lot about us if you do a minimum amount of research on our Timeline, scroll through our old posts and see what we have on our “Favorites” list.  We have become so accustomed to Facebook that we forget it is a portal to the world and a stage for the world.

After this last presidential election a gargantuan amount of stress and emotion spewed forth in words, right on our newsfeeds.  People felt so “at home” on Facebook that I just knew we were not in a Bible study, worship service or a Christmas drama with the children.  We were suddenly seeing a full tilt expression of what had been pressed down deep and stirred for months by the media.  Six billion dollars can produce some serious unguarded reactions over time.

Before the final counts were close, some of the Democrats begin to post comments about, “Salvation is closer than ever before with the President in place for another four years!”

Another one was, “Those nasty Republicans are now the new minority and will find out what wrath and justice are all about, up close and personal. Their time is done and they will be sent into exile.”

And several others were just too profane to put in this episode as I am still trying to forget them.

So what from Republican friends on line?  “The countdown for the end of the world as we have known it has come.   God is putting our nation into exile for the sins we have greviously committed.”

A few said, “The Anti-Christ will fly over us another four years on Air Force One.  We will see the United States fully socialist before these next four years are up.”

Many posted about how physically sick they were and just knew the growing number of terrorists were laughing and throwing celebration parties over the choices America had made.

One post said, “Opportunities will sure be easier for them to attack us now, just like they did in Lybia and we’ll call that acceptable.”


Now some of you are wondering two things at this point:


1) Jim, did you vote?

2) Jim, did your candidate win?


I did vote (absolutely – as a matter of fact I had ample reasons not to!)

And as to whether the people I voted for won or not is not anyone’s business but mine. Thank you.

The bigger point is this: the election is over and we have elected leaders for another term.

We are Americans and that means we have much work to be done – TOGETHER.

I didn’t even mention other comments posted by friends who are Independents and verbal members of the Tea Party.  They were in a similar vein as the others I referred to.  Everyone had their positions.

I wondered, “Where are we as the Christians?  What is the world really seeing in all these posts?  Are we not harming our collective witness as Christ-followers in a predominate culture that is growing a group who call themselves ‘Nones’ – for not having any religious beliefs at all?”

It hit me hard.  If anyone is gleeful and laughing from this hurtful barrage, it would be the one who wants Christian Community to be destroyed.  And for the moment, it appears that many in Christian Community are assisting in the attack on what we profess is so Holy. 

After reading and praying for a while I put a statement out on my own FB newsfeed –

In the last 24 hours on FB I have seen posts by persons I know as mature Christ-followers express a range of posts which have harmed our collective Christian witness. On the one side we read that we are doomed, exiled, and delivered into the pits of tyrannical oppression. On the other side, a new kind of salvation has arrived and a divine mandate has come to crush all who stand in the way of the new morality. Can we move past the election and put the enormous energy from all “sides” into living as disciples of Jesus Christ, fueling up our passion for ministry which builds community that’s grounded in unity and the love of Christ? Come on sisters and brothers – let’s live out what we say we believe not only in word, but action.

The results were encouraging.  Some of my most Democratic friends hit the “Like” button.  Others of them wrote comments about being thankful for the Post and others wrote, “Amen.”

Republicans began to hit the “Like” button as well.  It was as though I could see some real moves toward reconciliation forming in front of my eyes.   A few strong Republicans commented, “Agree.”

And then came the Posts I was praying for the most – those from Christian leaders who would dare be heard with such conflict still at a fever pitch.  These were the most helpful and encouraging of all.

One of my wonderful Christian sisters, Susanne Lakin, who works as an excellent Author top Editor and passionate Christian in San Francisco posted the following:


“Thanks for that! God voted. Jesus is king. that’s the only election that matters.


And in an encouraging AARP article, Secrets of the Presidents Retirement Club, written by two editors of Time Magazine, Nancy Gibbs and Micheal Duffy, they offered this quote from former President Bill Clinton:

“When your ambition is slaked it becomes more important to see something good happen for your country than to just keep winning arguments.  At some point you’re just glad when the sun comes up in the morning, you get up and you want something good to happen.”

In my heart the most important contest took place when an angry culture nailed an innocent Jesus of Nazareth on a cross for crimes and accusations he did not do.  Some think that he was forced there.  No.

He chose it in the Garden when escape was still a very real choice.  He went willingly because he loved the world (including all of us – those like us and unlike us).  He could have done it all differently but he was modeling God’s Divine love and living out what later came to be John 3:16-17:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.

And that day sin was defeated, the power of death conquered, and the reality of grace and forgiveness became an option for every human being to choose for eternal life and security through Jesus Christ. Jesus came out of the tomb on the third day, walked right out and appeared to countless disciples giving them a commission to go and make disciples from that time forward.  He ascended to the God the Father and was seated at the right hand of God.  THE victory was won.

We are recipients of the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Comforter, God’s Presence made real with us today.  The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to point people toward a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and in so doing to transform the world.

So now, as Christians, with the election being over, where do we go from here?

I’ll offer 5 major places for us to GO:

We go to God in prayer to find strength that is not our own. Let’s pray that we can get over ourselves and insisting on our own way.

We go outside our own comfort zone and the walls of our congregations to follow the Commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  We do this by intentionally and consistently loving others with the love of Jesus Christ, requiring nothing of them in return in order for us to love them more.

We go to risk ourselves in various spiritual adventures of ministry with others.  God will bring persons across our paths.  With others we will be led to simply discover them in our lives.  In either circumstance we will pray for spiritual discernment so we may not miss multiple opportunities to experience Divine Appointments, which can touch many lives and change us forever.

We go to get involved in social justice.  We will work to free the oppressed, heal the hopeless, bring joy to replace sadness and heaviness of heart, and speak against positions and systems that do not hold life as sacred.  We will oppose systems which victimize persons in the name of gain, progress or technological advancement.  We will be advocates for social change, which ushers in new justice in settings throughout our lives.  BUT we will do this in a way that does NOT compromise our Christian witness and integrity.

We will go and intentionally risk initiating new friendships with those we do not know who are in positions where we would not typically expect someone to respect, care for and like them.  These would be those who serve in restaurants who come and take our orders at table.  These would be those who work as a cashier at the Walmart check out line.

We have a tendency to live first as consumers and second as Christ-followers.  At times we don’t  even notice THE PERSON who is serving us or helping us check out at the store.  It can be all about us.

When we begin to truly see these encounters as ministry possibilities, then the experiences themselves can bring great joy and serve as a blessing to someone else.

There is much MINISTRY to be done and we have something to offer the world that no one else does: a Risen, Living Savior who can forgive sin and bring each of us into the fullness of Christian Community.  We have the Gospel to share,  God’s Divine Love which will inspire us to seek and lead the lost to Christ, seek reconciliation where there is division and hurt, and to make the Risen Christ known to all we meet and influence.

So when is this world going to come to a close?  Not one second before God has the Trumpet sound,  Christ comes again, this time in Glory and Majesty – not in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.  Every day we have from God is a day to be in ministry with others through the motivation of Christ’s Love.

I encourage you to share this Ministry Encouragement Podcast with others you know and love.  Offer it to those you are seeking to become friends with and know that God is with US and for US all the time.

I’d love to hear from you.  You can contact me via email at jim@ministryenouragementpodcast.com  OR you can leave a voicemail on the blog site for this Podcast, ministryencouragementpodcast.com  There is a button there and you click on it, using your computer’s microphone and leave a voicemail which will come to me.

Let’s keep each other in our prayers as well as our Leaders, both spiritual and secular.  Our God is able – let’s always remember this.  God bless you!


Rev. Jim W. Hollis


Offices: (770) 803-9988


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