One Big Takeaway from the 2016 Election

I know what you’re thinking: “Not another article about the election!” My Facebook news feed has been full of them. I’ll relieve you now. This isn’t a political article. It’s an article about being a missionary.



I’ve written before that the church needs to shift the way it thinks in order to thrive in the 21st Century. We need to make the shift from thinking reactively to proactively. We’ve got to start thinking like missionaries.

Missionaries are students of culture. They never stop learning about the cultures they want to reach. They’re always looking for insights into being more effective. 

Last Tuesday night as the election results were coming in I was watching a news network that shall remain nameless. In the process, I noticed something that seemed more obvious than ever.

People in urban areas think differently than people in rural areas.

This isn’t universally true. But, it’s generally true. 

There was red all over the map. Yet, the election was close. Why? Because urban centers are the most densely populated areas of the country. This isn’t a new idea.

Here’s the bigger thing. Since I’m a campus minister I was interested when one of the analysts pointed out that the presence of certain universities made a big difference in certain counties. This was realization 1b…

Not only do people in urban areas think differently than people in rural areas. People on college campuses tend to think more like people in urban areas. Again, this isn’t universally true but it’s generally true.

I was intrigued when I came across this fascinating article. It points out that only 4 out of 10 Americans have a college degree. And, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors 5 to 1. 

The result? 

Universities are some of the most progressive pockets of our culture. 

Not only that, they’re unique pockets of culture. What you experience, in terms of beliefs and lifestyles, doesn’t necessarily match up with the culture that surrounds a campus. On college campuses people tend to think differently than the rest of the population.

We need gifted leaders with a missional mindset who recognize this — and appreciate it — to engage the college campus. Universities present unique ministry challenges. They also present unique opportunities.

On Wednesday morning I took the long way to work. I turned into our 14,000 student campus off one of the major thorough fairs in our small, 35,000 person town. The very first person I saw was a female student wearing a burqa.

What might seem out of the ordinary in a small town in Arkansas is common place on university campuses, even in small town America. 

I said a prayer for that student. It was a powerful, real life example that brought my thoughts from the previous night to life. 

This difference in culture is exactly why we need our best and brightest leaders engaging university campuses for the cause of Christ.

Thinking like a missionary, what big takeaway do you have from the 2016 election? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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