Home group is the place where we can be authentic and transparent. If that is the case then anything goes right? What about politics? Do we follow the old expression, “Don’t talk about religion or politics at the dinner table.” Well that doesn’t work, because home groups are all about spiritual matters (the concept of religion, even though Christianity is about a relationship, not religion). So what about politics? Is that something that should or should not be discussed?
Always ask yourself, “What is my purpose?” What is the purpose of discussing politics? Will doing this help believers at different stages (infant, child, etc.) grow in his relationship with Jesus Christ? The answers to this last question will normally be no, so that should help provide some discernment. However, are they absolutes? Is there a time when you can or should discuss politics? Consider these principles.
There will be people from both sides of politics.
Consider that there will be people from both sides of the aisle, politically, that may be attending. Our purpose is to intentionally disciple people so the home groups can multiply for the sake of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Anything a leader says can be easily misunderstood. Politics are an emotional subject. They should be discussed in the right context. The question is what is the best context in which to discuss them and who is the audience?
Emphasize biblical values, not parties or people.
Biblical values are important, not the parties or particular candidates for public meetings. Yes, biblical values, like the importance of life and the sanctity of marriage are important and can be discussed according to the leader’s plan for meetings. However, the issue is spiritual growth, not political agendas. In the process of discussing biblical values, there will be enough said to clarify issues, which are pointed and will identify candidates understood by association with values. Set up separate meetings to discuss politics if you desire and make sure you hold to biblical values of reaching the heart of people, not just their vote.
Stand for truth, not a party.
Always stand clearly on what the truth is, not a particular party. Parties have become so muddied in their views, that the issues have become far more complicated than simple platform statements. A former conservative party has demonstrated horrendous non-biblical stands in the last two decades and people resort to choosing the lesser of two evils. Great, so we talk about evil, rather than righteousness? Give clarity to values when necessary, but keep home groups to growth toward worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ, not a party.
God loves people in both parties.
Believe it or not, but God loves people in both parties (all three parties). Remember that your Savior and Lord died for the people in your group also, so treat them accordingly. If someone takes a position that is contrary to Biblical values, like the value of unborn life or the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, then take the position that Jesus took, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Talk about politics outside of the group.
Talk about politics outside of the group, so people feel like home group is a place for refuge away from the controversies and trials of life. Home group ought to be a place of peace, not storms. People have enough things to be concerned about without adding the elements of politics to spiritual growth. At least save the discussion for afterwards.
Please understand, churches need to take stands on issues and values. As the church has become weaker, she has failed to help people think through the issues. Choose your context well and think more of the person’s heart than pontificating on a political party. The political divide is becoming more and more clear. Use one-on-one time or smaller groups to disciple people on how you believe someone should vote as you are led by the Holy Spirit.