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Join the Drop The Stone Movement!

Join the Drop The Stone Movement!

In this turbulent period in American history, Christians need to band together, not against everyone else but to draw all people toward Jesus.  Yet our culture sees churches disagreeing and competing over theology, leadership, programs, and facilities.  They see believers taking sides on social issues – scoffing and dismissing Christianity because of how quickly we turn on one another.  If our unity and love win people to Christ, it’s not surprising that we all lose when Christians divide.  The 2024 Presidential election season is unprecedented opportunity to provide a stark contrast and alternative to society’s hatred and divisiveness.

Christians often convey that same attitude toward non-believers.  We speak more about what we’re against than Who we’re for.  Rather than throw stones, Christ-followers should look for common ground and build bridges to facilitate civil discourse.  We’re not to be “unequally yoked”, but we can’t lead those who don’t know Jesus toward Him without relationships.  Arguing, insulting, and lecturing will only increase animosity and distance in this politically charged climate.  Apologizing, confessing, and reconciling are the only paths to open lines of communication.  Christ modeled and demands we be the bigger person, step forward, and drop our stone through loving acts of service.  Those who don’t follow Jesus can’t be expected to extend the olive branch as the election approaches and the divide widens.

That’s why we’re launching Drop The Stone, a campaign asking all Christians to embrace grace by confronting anger with Agape in the months leading up to the 2024 Presidential Election.  Drop the Stone’s core values and guiding principles for Christians and churches include…

What Dropping the Stone IS NOT…

The request for Christians to replace head-to-head battles on social media with mind-blowing acts of kindness for their political “opponents” is not a call for…

  1. Conformity – building bridges by eliminating differences; relationships are about getting along despite differences
  2. Agreement – expecting to find common ground on the existence or definition of absolute truth when worldviews are diametrically opposed
  3. Patronizing – trying to make others just like “us”, as if we’re somehow better or more deserving of grace, rather than valuing their unique qualities
  4. Endorsement – applauding, redefining, or acquiescing to sin in an effort to get close enough to share the Gospel, diluting its power before words are spoken
  5. Dependency – reaching out to help through handouts, checking the box rather than establishing symbiotic relationships respecting each person’s capabilities
  6. Self-sufficiency – performing a single act of kindness without forming circles of sustainable support, walking alongside those in need of help and hope
  7. Enabling – having no expectations or demands for reciprocation, change, or compensation, risking a one-way street becoming a frustratingly vicious cycle

 #DropMyStone does not invite Christians to condone, condescend, or compromise.

What Dropping the Stone IS…

The quintessential candidates for this campaign of kindness are grieving Christians longing for unity.  They’re tired of reading social media posts by avowed believers lashing out in anger at those attacking their viewpoints.  They see the path to reversing the rising tide of resentment toward Christians in America as…

  1. Agape – practicing a biblical, countercultural and unconditional definition of love, looking past words and actions at eternal souls made in God’s image
  2. Relationships – not distancing or disassociating, but interacting with those who have diametrically opposing worldviews to understand and be understood
  3. Compassion – recognizing our own faults, like the adulteress’ accusers, repenting when we look in the mirror, neither excusing nor accusing
  4. Forgiveness – knowing forgiveness is bidirectional, but as a Christ-follower preemptively initiating to open the door by apologizing for carrying a stone
  5. Evangelism – although many today equate sharing faith with hurling stones, risking social status by loving enough to present what is unavoidably offensive
  6. Peace – remembering that Jesus rebuked His disciples for wanting to “call down fire” to destroy their perceived religious and political “enemies”
  7. Humility – not bragging about our kindness or holiness when “dropping a stone” but confessing through caring and asking others to follow our lead

When we practice those principles, we’re being true to our identity as children of a loving Father and will expose the futility of a postmodern world “living its truth”.

For Churches, Dropping the Stone Deprioritizes…

Few pastors deliberately throw stones but inadvertently encourage an “us” versus “them” mentality by treating members as church consumers rather than Kingdom employees (trained to pursue the intended “customer”) and by emphasizing sin in the world while letting it fester unabated within its own congregation.  A church ready to drop its stone would have to abandon contemporary church growth paradigms of…

  1. Accommodation – making church comfortable and convenient “when in Rome”, hesitant to convey inconvenient truths about the costs of discipleship
  2. Accolades – constructing skyscrapers that gather many but occupy a small footprint, rather than flattening the hierarchy to take ground for the Kingdom
  3. Growth – subordinating institutional goals (addition) to GC3, the Great CommandmentGreat CommissionGreat Calling (multiplication)
  4. Retention – worrying less about survival or success than about whether the church is transforming culture more than it’s being transformed by culture
  5. Marketing – redefining “outreach” to mean drawing attention to the church or “checking the box” through seasonal compassion that perpetuates poverty
  6. Politics – disentangling beliefs increasingly intertwined in the political sphere by tangibly demonstrating God’s love to bridge division and reopen discourse
  7. Finances – removing a significant impediment to Kingdom collaboration, over concern about partners dipping into donor pools or exposure diverting giving

Taking the road less traveled would be like yelling fire in a crowded theater, but the disciples remaining would heal the divisive wounds inflicted on America by churches throwing stones at those who don’t believe, think, or look like them.

For Churches, Dropping the Stone Requires…

Valuing King over kingdom and Church over churchdom would break down the walls that keep the Word from the world.  During the 2024 Presidential election season, a nation divided must see churches united – not around parties, politicians, and policies, but Jesus.  Imagine the cultural impact of the Church collectively declaring a cease fire in conflicts with one another and secular society, opting instead for…

  1. Unityaligning with other Christians around true north, Jesus and our core values, while looking for commonalities and causes to engage non-believers
  2. Prayer – coming together with leaders from across the community and world to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the power to surrender our stones
  3. Transformation – putting aside differences and pursuing joint initiatives with other organizations to move the needle on poverty and faith in a community
  4. Generosity – supporting secular agencies and Christian ministries financially, proving through sacrifice that talk of compassion and unity is sincere
  5. Family – giving toward our persecuted brothers and sisters suffering overseas because ignoring our spiritual siblings is passively throwing stones at them
  6. External-Focus – looking out for our own while neglecting the real “customer” ensures society won’t care what we know because they don’t know we care
  7. Celebration – not fearing the arrival of a church plant down the road, instead welcoming and getting to know those leaders and their vision for the city

#DropMyStone asks pastors to lead by example, conducting collaborative ground campaigns (prayer, care, and share) rather than verbal air assaults (divide and conquer).

It’s Your Turn…

Join the Drop The Stone movement!  Respond to the vitriol spewing on social media by posting stories about your acts of kindness for someone across the political aisle.  Use the #DropMyStone hashtag to personally challenge 5 friends to pay your kindness forward.

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4 Responses

  1. Glad to post this on Reimagine.Network – hope many more get introduced to this ovement,

    Phill

  2. Jim, this call to drop our stones and love our neighbor (even those we disagree with) is a challenging but needed message we must all follow. We need to keep abiding in the Vine and bearing good fruit as we read in John 15: [5] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. [6] If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. [7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. [9] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. [10] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. [11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
    ———-
    May the Lord bless this movement and cause the dropped stones to ripple out through our churches, communities and beyond!

  3. I love this. If any church would like to directly help families fleeing domestic violence, and single parents recovering from abuse who are struggling to make ends meet, that would be awesome.

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