Georgia Baptist pastors pose together in the Appropriations Committee Hearing Room of the state capitol on Pastors Day in January. PUBLIC AFFAIRS/Special
DULUTH — It’s important to remember that state government leaders need prayer, points out Mike Griffin, Public Affairs representative of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. To that end, seven upcoming training events will focus on how Georgia Baptists can impact legislators in a positive way.
“Many moral issues that affect our congregations are debated at the Capitol and directly impact our communities,” he says. “This training will help participants understand why it’s important for ministry leaders and churches to be engaged and why state leaders need your ministry.”
The free events will take place throughout the state from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and include lunch. Host churches and dates are:
- Sept. 17, Flat Creek Baptist, Fayetteville
- Sept. 21, First Baptist Blakely
- Sept. 22, Morningside Baptist, Valdosta
- Sept. 29, 1025 Church, Monroe
- Oct. 13, First Baptist, Woodstock
- Oct. 20, First Baptist, Statesboro
- Oct. 27, First Baptist, Perry.
Links to register can be found on the Public Affairs training page.
Guest speakers joining Griffin include W. Thomas Hammond, Jr., executive director for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board; Brad Hughes, Public Affairs Committee chairman; Harrison Smith, Alliance Defending Freedom; Rep. Kevin Cooke; and former Georgia Senator Josh McKoon.
“The Public Affairs Training sessions have been instrumental in my increased appreciation and understanding of the critical role that the Church plays in the political process,” said William Givens, pastor of Buckhead Baptist Church in Atlanta. “Scripture says that when the Righteous rule the people rejoice and when the wicked rule the people mourn.
“The sessions have helped me to see that when I, as a Christian believer, make the decision to engage in the political process, be it to pray for a believer who is running for office, support a Christian principle that is on the ballot, or run for office personally, my decision distances this generation and the next from mourning and put us on the path of rejoicing.”
Discussions will cover questions and topics such as:
- Why are we here?
- Is there not a cause?
- The challenge to be engaged
- Churches relating to today’s cultural issues
- Understanding the legislative process
- The legislator’s perspective.
Josh Saefkow serves as pastor of Flat Creek Baptist in Fayetteville, site of the first training.
“God has used Mike Griffin and the Public Affairs ministry to awaken me from my apathy concerning the public square,” he testified. “Since attending his training, I feel equipped to minister to local and state officials and I have learned to speak to biblical issues facing our community with confidence. I highly recommend you attend one of the upcoming Public Affairs events.”
Hughes, who also serves in the office of Gov. Brian Kemp, urged Georgia Baptists to participate.
“Christians are rightly concerned about the state of politics and culture these days. The reality is we got here, in large part, because people of faith became less engaged in the public square and that needs to change,” said Hughes.
“Every pastor and ministry leader can benefit from this kind of training event to become better educated on the issues facing our state. They will also be encouraged to participate in government by running for office and/or holding those accountable who are already there. This really is the first step to getting things back on track. We need you!”