Communicating God’s Word in an Election Year

The Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 239

As election season approaches, pastors across the nation find themselves faced with a unique challenge: how to effectively communicate God’s word in a highly charged political climate. In a time when emotions run high, opinions are deeply divided, and the stakes feel higher than ever, it can be tempting for church leaders to use the pulpit as a platform to promote a particular candidate or party. However, this approach ultimately detracts from the church’s true mission of making disciples and proclaiming the gospel.

While it is true that the Bible speaks to many issues that are relevant to modern politics, it is crucial for pastors to remember that their primary calling is not to be political pundits, but to be faithful preachers of the word. This does not mean that they should avoid addressing controversial topics altogether, but rather that they should approach them with wisdom, nuance, and a deep commitment to biblical truth.

Below, we’ll explore some key principles for communicating God’s word effectively and responsibly during an election year. From selecting and preaching texts faithfully to addressing political issues without endorsing specific candidates to maintaining a kingdom perspective that prioritizes understanding God’s Word and character over partisan loyalties, we will examine what it looks like to be a voice for Christ in a polarized political landscape.

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Preach the Word, Not a Political Platform

A pastor’s primary responsibility is to preach the word of God faithfully, regardless of the political climate. This means trusting in the sufficiency of scripture to address the issues that our congregations are facing rather than feeling the need to supplement it with our own political opinions. While it can be tempting to use the pulpit as a platform to promote a particular party or candidate, this ultimately undermines our credibility as ministers of the gospel.

Instead, we should focus on selecting texts, as led by the Holy Spirit, that speak to the needs and concerns of our people and preaching them with clarity, conviction, and compassion. This does not mean that we should intentionally steer clear of passages that touch on controversial political topics, but neither should we go out of our way to find them. Our goal should be to preach the whole counsel of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us as we prepare and deliver each message.

By committing ourselves to preaching the word rather than a political platform, we demonstrate our trust in the power of scripture to transform lives and shape worldviews. We also create a welcoming environment for people from across the political spectrum, inviting them to find common ground in the truth of Scripture rather than in partisan loyalties. Ultimately, our job is not to tell people how to vote but to point them to the one in which all wisdom can be had.

Allow the Bible to Speak to Political Issues

While we should not go out of our way to preach on political issues, there will be times when the text we are preaching addresses them directly. In these moments, it is crucial that we do not shy away from the truth of God’s word, even if it is controversial or unpopular. Our job is not to make people comfortable but to challenge them to conform their lives to the teachings of scripture.

For example, if we are preaching through the creation account in Genesis 1-2, we may encounter the issue of gender identity. In a culture that is increasingly confused about what it means to be male and female, we have an opportunity to proclaim the goodness and beauty of God’s design for human sexuality. This does not mean that we should approach the topic with a combative or dismissive spirit but rather with a sense of wonder and reverence for the way in which God has made us in his image.

Similarly, when we encounter Jesus’ teachings on divorce in the gospels, we must remember that this was a highly political issue in his day. The Pharisees sought to trap Jesus by asking him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason, hoping to force him to take sides in a contentious debate. Instead, Jesus pointed back to God’s original design for marriage, challenging the assumptions of both the Pharisees and the culture at large.

As we preach on these and other potentially controversial topics, we must be careful not to reduce them to mere political talking points. Instead, we should seek to address them with the same grace, wisdom, and compassion that Jesus displayed. This means avoiding the temptation to offer simplistic answers or to avoid addressing the issues altogether. Instead, we should pursue Godly wisdom and teach the truth–regardless of which political sides we may offend by speaking the truth.

Ultimately, our goal in addressing political issues from the pulpit should not be to win arguments or score political points but to help our congregations develop a biblical worldview that can guide their engagement with the world. By allowing the Bible to speak for itself, we trust in its power to transform hearts and minds and to equip God’s people for decision-making on election day.

Speak to Issues, Not Candidates

It is important that we distinguish between speaking to political issues and endorsing specific candidates or parties. While the Bible certainly has implications for how we engage in the political process, our role is not to tell people how to vote, but rather to help them develop a biblical framework for making decisions.

This means that we should focus on the issues themselves rather than on the individuals or parties who are advocating for them. After all, our ultimate allegiance is not to any earthly kingdom or ruler but to Christ alone.

When we speak to political issues, we should do so with the goal of cultivating a biblical worldview in our congregations. This means teaching them to evaluate policies and candidates in light of God’s character and desires rather than simply aligning with a particular party or ideology. It also means acknowledging the complexity of many political issues and the fact that faithful Christians may come to different conclusions about how to apply biblical principles in specific situations.

Ultimately, our goal should be to equip our people to make wise and discerning choices as they engage in the political process. We can do this by modeling a spirit of humility, nuance, and grace in our own political engagement and by consistently pointing them back to the authority of God’s word. By speaking to issues rather than endorsing candidates, we create space for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts and minds of our congregations, leading them to make decisions that honor Christ and advance his kingdom.

Maintain a Kingdom Perspective

As important as political engagement is, it is crucial that we keep it in proper perspective. Our ultimate citizenship is not in any earthly nation or kingdom, but in heaven. This means that our primary allegiance is to Christ, and our primary mission is to advance his kingdom through the proclamation of the Gospel and the making of disciples.

When we lose sight of this eternal perspective, we risk allowing political ideologies to become idols that compete for our loyalty and devotion. We may become more passionate about defending our preferred policies or candidates than we are about defending the truth of God’s word. We may even begin to view those who disagree with us politically as enemies to be defeated rather than as fellow image-bearers to be loved and reached with the Good News.

To combat this temptation, we must consistently remind our congregations of their true identity as citizens of heaven. This means emphasizing the temporary and passing nature of earthly kingdoms and the eternal significance of God’s kingdom. It means calling people to prioritize their relationship with Christ above all else and to view everything else – including politics – through the lens of his Lordship.

We must also model what it looks like to love our neighbors, regardless of their political beliefs or affiliations. This means treating those who disagree with us with respect and kindness, even when we strongly disagree with their views. It means being willing to listen and learn from others, and to seek common ground wherever possible. And it means consistently pointing people back to the reconciling power of the Gospel, which alone can bridge the divides that separate us.

By maintaining a kingdom perspective, we help our congregations navigate the challenges of political engagement with wisdom, humility, and grace. We remind them that their ultimate hope is not in any earthly leader or party, but in the sovereign God who rules over all. And we point them to the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


As we navigate the challenges of communicating God’s word in an election year, let us remember that our ultimate goal is not to promote a particular political agenda but to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. While we must certainly address the issues of our day with biblical truth and clarity, we must do so with a spirit of grace, humility, and love.

By preaching the word rather than a political platform, we demonstrate our trust in the sufficiency of scripture to speak to every area of life. By allowing the Bible to address political issues directly, we help our congregations develop a biblical worldview that can guide their engagement with the world. By speaking to issues rather than endorsing candidates, we create space for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts and minds of our people. And by maintaining a kingdom perspective, we remind them of their ultimate allegiance to Christ and his eternal purposes.

As we enter this election season, may we be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, proclaiming the truth of his word with boldness and compassion. May we be a light in the darkness, pointing people to the hope that is found in Christ alone. And may we never forget that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, where we will one day stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords, giving an account for how we have served him in this world.

Let us preach the word, in season and out of season, trusting in the power of the Gospel to transform lives and shape nations for the glory of God.

The Malphurs Group is a non-profit ministry serving churches worldwide supported by generous individuals and churches. Visit to learn more and to support this important work of building up churches to make disciples and expand the Kingdom of God.

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A.J. Mathieu is the President of the Malphurs Group. He is passionate about helping churches thrive and travels internationally to teach and train pastors to lead healthy disciple-making churches. A.J. lives in the Ft. Worth, Texas area, enjoys the outdoors, and loves spending time with his wife and two sons. Click here to email A.J.

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