IN THE BEGINNING…
The idea of the COH formed in my thinking over a long period of time. By the fall of 2012 I had pastored for almost 20 years, engaged with politics for 8 years and had been immersed in the regional prayer movement for 12 years. COH was birthed from the convergence of these three streams.
I saw firsthand the unhealthy relationship between Church and Government. Either the Church was “in bed” with one party or the other, or they totally separated themselves from government altogether. Many pastors and Christians do not want to get involved in the divisive, messy arena of politics. To be honest, as a pastor, I understand the hesitancy.
Another continually distressing experience for me was that Christians did not even know the names of their government leaders. They were clueless to the names of congressmen, state senators and representatives. If they don’t know them, they certainly aren’t praying for them. These wonderful leaders are making massive decisions regarding billions of dollars and the moral direction of our country and there is little to no spiritual support for them.
What God was birthing in me was a conviction that if we, His followers, did not engage with the spiritual chaos of government, then nothing would change.
I became convinced of God’s promise in I Timothy 2:2 – that if we would pray for kings and those in authority then our culture would be characterized by peace, quiet and holiness.
So the idea of the Culture of Honor was birthed. While there were many wonderful prayer efforts aimed at government, I felt there was a need to train Christians how to pray and touch government leaders simultaneously with honor. To change the spiritual climate we had to bring a different spirit.
In September 2012 I left my job to devote myself to the work of COH. I had a small saving to support myself. I put together a diverse Board of Directors, began meeting with Christian leaders to tell the story and share the vision, developed the technical supports to make the organization work. I have not drawn a salary from COH but supported myself through a small paint company, weddings and speaking engagements.
Four times in 2013 (Jan, May, Sept, Nov) COH organized focused prayer efforts that challenged members to both pray and to reach out to their legislators in love.
This newsletter tells the rest of the story…
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Eric Moore, Pastor Pete Dresser, Bishop James Williams, Apostle Ellis Smith, James Muffett, President, Citizens for Traditional Values, State Senator Patrick Colbeck
Since September 2012 COH added 183 families to the “society”. We have at least one member in…
- 14 of 14 congressional districts
- 30 of 38 state senate districts
- 61 of 110 state representative districts
In 2014 COH’s growth goal is to have at least 5 members is every district. COH will also start the process for developing the organization in other states.
The key technical centerpiece of COH is our website – www.cultureofhonor.org. Every member who joins is given their own web page on the website that is password protected. Their web page provides vital information about their seven elected officials, which aids them in getting to know and connect with their legislators. Another feature is a dropdown box that identifies the other members of COH who are praying for that legislator. This tool is quite elaborate and took significant time and resources to develop.
We also added a Constant Contact account to manage our email communications. We currently have 580 people with whom we communicate regularly with articles, updates and a blog I write regularly. We recently added training materials for new members that are delivered through Constant Contact.
COH opened a Quick Books account for our bookkeeping.
SPIRITUAL COUNCIL FOR CONGRESSMAN
After freshman Congressman Kerry Bentivolio was elected in the Fall of 2012, I called his office to ask if he would meet with a group of pastors who wanted to get to know him and pray for him. That first meeting was very powerful spiritually and he shared his desire for an advisory group of pastors from his district to meet regularly with him.
COH organized it and now nine pastors meet every other month with him at his office. The impact of these meeting has affected both the congressman and the pastors. The congressman has given us easy access to him and has requested that we meet more frequently. The pastors realize the important role they have as spiritual advisors. During these meetings we discuss the spiritual challenges of the job, offer Scriptural counsel and pray for him.
Other pastors in MI have begun to meet with legislators to build spiritual support systems for them, too!
THERE IS MUCH TRAINING AND IMPACTING LEFT TO DO!