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Talking Points for the Conversation
By Tara Vin Cross

Many have been asking me, what do I say to those who are hurting after this vote? To young adults and others ready to walk away, what can be said to them? Here’s an answer I shared with a friend and church member that I think can make for a good discussion starter for those having similar conversations.
First, I say nothing. Listen to them. Hear the legitimate anger and pain over this decision. State that these are important and valid emotions. That you want them to know it’s safe to feel all they are feeling. God is big and can handle it.
Then, share with them that the voice and the actions of the church are not always the same as the voice and actions of God. This is a really important distinction. All though Bible history the people of God often do not do what God desires. Just because humans take an action does not mean that God was leading them to do it. God will, by God’s grace, keep working with us.
Love them. State their value to you and to those who have been blessed by them.
At the right time, as the Holy Spirit moves, invite them to be part of the change from the inside out. Depending on what people have experienced though, and their level of disillusionment, they may not be ready for this yet. But the right time will come and they can be invited to be part of the change together with you.
We are the church. We need each one. God will bring healing through us all.

Tara Vin Cross is director of REACH Columbia Union Urban Evangelism School and lead pastor for the REACH Philadelphia Church