New ministries have launched in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Vermont after leaders completed training last week on how to plant and sustain ongoing long-term discipleship ministries to Legislators and Constitutional Officers in their state Capitols.The Vermont ministry is gearing up for a 2017 start while ministries in Wisconsin and Ohio have hit the ground running, having already begun this summer.”These men are all seasoned Bible teachers and disciple makers and were carefully chosen,” said Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder of Capitol Ministries. “Their ministries are vital to shaping our nation’s future because through them, God will be shaping our leaders’ hearts.”
“We must be deliberate about discipleship if we expect Public Servants to act in ways that please the Lord and build our nation in keeping with fulfilling the Great Commission.”
Mike Beresford, Director of Outreach Services at High Point Church in Madison, WI., will be taking the Gospel to elected leaders in the Wisconsin Capitol early 2017. Beresford will be in ministry with his wife, Estel, who also completed the training.
This summer Nic Gibson, Senior Pastor at High Point Church, began a ministry and weekly Bible studies for legislative staff with the assistance of the church’s Workplace and Politics Intern Joanna Schroeder.
Pastor Beresford said the Bible study will provide Legislators a comfortable and safe place to fellowship, bring their seeking colleagues, and learn God’s Word.
“The Word provides a plumb line of what is true and everything else should be measured against it,” he said. “It will also be a place where Legislators can drill down and ask questions without fearing rejection, and where there is a pastoral response as to what the Word says.”
Brian Hanson, Director of Gatekeepers Ministry, a chaplaincy outreach to athletes and legislators, said the Ministry Leader training was very beneficial. Pastor Hanson’s wife Mandi, who will also participate in the Ohio ministry, also attended the training.
“I embrace Capitol Ministries’ evangelistic and discipleship focus,” Pastor Hanson said. “I truly have a heart and a passion for reaching Legislators. My prayer is to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Joel Tate, Senior Pastor of Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church, Pittsford, VT, will begin a ministry to Vermont Legislators when session begins in January 2017 with his brother, Rep. Job Tate, District 1, as the legislative sponsor.
Pastor Tate said at first he didn’t fully embrace an outreach to Legislators because he had an aversion to the human tendency to value celebrity conversions more than those of ordinary persons, but that after the Capitol Ministries training he realized the importance of Paul’s mandate to kings and leaders of nations in Acts 9:15:
… “he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.”
“I realized this is not an approach at the expense of the marginalized, but to their benefit,” Pastor Tate said. “I definitely see the wisdom now and have grown more enthusiastic for that methodology. It’s a triage approach where, in an accident, you would treat the doctors first so they could help others.”
Even though two ministries have begun, the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors requires that before being approved, all Ministry Leaders must undergo training, which includes completing a 32-page instruction manual that covers topics that range from the biblical mandate for ministry to Public Servants to proper dress in state Capitols and financial reporting, among many other areas.
The three-day training seminar was presented by Drollinger in Santa Clarita, CA who taught new leaders effective techniques in many aspects of their ministries, including how to prepare and establish a Bible Study to elected officials, the value of discipleship and relationship building, and the importance of leading Public Servants toward maturity in Christ.
The three states were among ten that were targeted for new ministry plantings in 2016 as Capitol Ministries continues its mission to expand in the United States and foreign nations. Click here to view our state map to chart the progress.
Drollinger encourages Capitol Ministries supporters to pray for these new ministries and for established ministries in other states, our nation’s Capitol, and the more than two dozen that have been birthed in foreign federal Capitols.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I command you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matthew 28:19-20.