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Why Churches Should Pay Attention to Bernie’s Win in NH

Last night, Bernie Sanders won big in the New Hampshire primary. This was not a .2% victory like Hillary’s in Iowa, but a 59.9% to 38.5% win. Does this mean Bernie will be the democratic candidate? No. Does this mean that South Carolina and following states will go to Bernie? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that Hillary now has to pay more attention to Bernie, his message, and his followers.

Bernie’s average donation is just $27. He hasn’t concentrated his efforts and energies in the megadonor, but has touted the power of every person explaining that every gift and every donation makes a difference. His message against Wall Street and giving power to the average person has made him popular among college-aged people as well as young professionals struggling to make ends meet.

Bernie’s financial message and his young followers is something churches need to pay attention to. For years churches have touted and even catered to the megadonors in their congregations who have formed the foundation of the church’s budget, but megadonors are a dying people group, and unfortunately they are leading churches to death’s door.

You are dust and to dust you shall return.

 

Churches are made of dust in the form of bricks and drywall. Churches are not immune to the reality that decomposition and death come to all living things. I can show you how real this is to many churches. I can show you the empty wings of churches not being heated to save money. I can show you the empty, roped-off pews urging people to come closer to make the church look fuller, hoping people don’t concentrate on the shadows of people and families who used to be there. I can show you the children’s furniture in empty classrooms collecting dust.

You are dust and to dust you shall return.

Churches can continue to ignore what millennials are concerned about (and it’s not worship with drums or praise teams), but there will only be more emptiness that invades and begins to overtake churches.

You are dust and to dust you shall return.

Millennials are concerned about finding enough work to feed their families and pay for school supplies and student loans. Millennials are concerned about the vast wealth discrepancies that exists in our country, in our business, and in our churches. Millennials are concerned about finding a place that welcomes and affirms them as they are trying to figure out who they are in the world. Millennials are concerned about joining a movement that is going to make a difference; that is going to provide hope; that is going to provide a future for their families and themselves. Millennials are concerned with the fleeting nature of life and work.

You are dust and to dust you shall return.

Churches can choose to stay the same and continue to worry about megadonors, but there is a movement going on that Bernie sees.  A movement that sees politics and the world differently. A movement that kicks up the dust, forms it, and creates something new.

It’s time for a breath of fresh air.