When I look at the church, what gives me hope?
I am hopeful about the church, because of Jesus’ prayer in John 17: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” I see in this generation a commitment to both incarnation and obedience. We desire to both seek the peace and prosperity of those communities where God has placed us, but also to shed the cultural assumptions and baggage that can cloud how the church reflects the love and truth of Christ. This counter-cultural commitment—counter-cultural not for its own sake, but because we know we are to be conformed not by this world, but by the renewal of our minds—will present a beautiful witness to a world searching for hope.
Michael R. Wear is a consultant/strategist at the intersection of faith and politics. He directed faith outreach for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and during his time with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, he was one of the youngest staffers in modern American history.