5 Ways to Start Conversations Post Election

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The last seven years, especially these last two years, politics has become far less important to me than the relationships I want to foster. People on my newsfeed have expressed weariness over the anger, the riots, the hate, and all politics in general. Politics has its place, but we need to recall why we are on social media and how to start a meaningful conversation.

Here are some helpful conversation starters:

  1. “How are you?”
  2. Meaningfully comment on someone’s status and pursue that thread of conversation.
  3. Share posts that edify and help someone be a better believer.
  4. Follow up on a prayer request in text, private message, email, or on social media.
  5. Think about some of your political posts. Are you demonizing an entire people group without understanding the dynamics of that group? Would those posts hinder other Christians from compassionately reaching that group because of that group’s impression of us from your public post? Ask a missionary about the people groups he or she serves. Post accordingly and with discernment.

The more I grow as a Christian, the more I understand that I don’t have a full understanding of situations, right and left political “news” have agendas, and situations are complex. Life doesn’t fit in neat boxes, and I must be a believer first and an American last. Listen first and speak last must be my new way of life.

Can I encourage you to think about what you post?

• Is it necessary?
• Is it true?
• Does it help us?
• Does it divide unnecessarily?
• Lastly, as a Christian, are you acting in the best interest of your audience?

Conversation with an Angry Man


People are shorter on patience and quicker to resentment and anger to the point of retaliation. The post on a public Facebook group was just that: an angry man who resented someone for parking crookedly and wanted to zip tie a shopping cart to their door.

He compared it to causes such as women’s rights or civil rights. It wasn’t a joke. His language and overall attitude were serious. Most people would have ignored the post (or reported him to the police), but I used social media to try to bridge the gap and find out what was really wrong. Instead of using social media to be negative, I tried to be compassionate. This is what social networking should resemble.

Businesses, non-profits, and even churches use social networking mostly as a way to market their brand or vision. As a writer, I (and others) recognized how short-sighted Christians were in this field. When our focus is only on the brand, we forget the people.

In a business article recently, I read about how customers want a relationship with the business through social networking. The catch phrase is, relationship. As Christians, we have a large presence online, but its overall impression is that each church or non-profit is separate and competing rather than an impression of unity in Christ.

I know what goes on behind the scenes. There’s more unity than most people understand. People believe impressions. That’s why reputations online are shredded in minutes when a video goes viral that doesn’t tell the whole story. Or when people bad mouth their church, it joins with other voices bad mouthing church, creating another impression.

How we respond online makes a difference, but not everyone will be satisfied. Even if you are polite and kind, non-believers still think Christians are “yes” people. Love means something different to the secular group. If we don’t give in to everything, we aren’t “loving” enough.

Most people wouldn’t do, out of love, what Jesus did for us. He knew when to turn the cheek and when to speak the truth. God help us as we navigate this world.

My only regret in the above mentioned conversation is that the post was quickly deleted. I had hoped the angry man would have seen my request for him to email me. Maybe we could have gone deeper into what was really wrong.

Social Media Tip: Look for a Facebook group for your town or city or neighborhood. Join it. It’s the modern version of neighborhood get-togethers.