Pastors have Goliath task in transforming California
It’s confession time.
When planning our recent Awakening Tour in Washington, D.C. I was working hard to bring together some of the biggest national names in biblical worldview and public policy. I was seeking to WOW the 157 California pastors who, thanks to our generous donors, were part of the tour contingent. However, for various reasons, the big name speakers were not available. God’s plans are rarely ours…
In hindsight I am thankful because the speakers who came showed true hearts of Kingdom vision. What I realized was that God was using the ‘Davids’ to kill the Goliath, and Goliath must fall in California. California’s progressive Legislature is defiling the armies of God. And thanks to the wonderful team associated with the Awakening Tour, our guest pastors – representing churches from Redding to Chula Vista – were exposed to the dim reality of our once-Golden State. It’s like how David called Goliath out. As we know, God uses the least of these to confound the lies.
Here’s how the 2017 Awakening Tour played out: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from the 23rd district in Bakersfield, made an impassioned presentation on policy. McCarthy maintained a Kingdom worldview, despite none of the touring pastors being from his district. He was not alone. Every congressional representative (except one) who spoke to the entire group of pastors did not have a single constituent at the pastor summit: U.S. Sens. James Langford, Oklahoma, and Ben Sasse, Nebraska; U.S. Reps. Jody Hice, Georgia, and Mike Johnson, Louisiana; Dave Brat, Michigan; Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania; Louie Gohmert, Texas; and Mark Meadows, the North Carolina Congressman who chairs the Freedom Caucus. U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who represents Orange County’s 48th district, was the only one who found himself on familiar ground with several of his constituents in attendance.
You see, currency [to elected officials] translates to votes and money, and Church United has neither. But these representatives, most living thousands of miles from California, were speaking from the currency of God’s Kingdom. The loudest message the pastors heard collectively Congress was that they cannot change the country through public policy – the country will change through the people of God – especially when pastors engage. They all understand the Kingdom impact pastors have. It is the people of God who will change California and its cities, one city at a time.
Pastor Chad Lacomb [with Fully Restored Ministries in Murrieta] said, “As more and more pastors are educated and encouraged like we were, a revival is going to take place. It is in our churches and communities that change will begin. I can’t believe how ignorant and complacent I had become. No more!”
Complementing the elected officials’ presentations, other speakers included Christiana Holcomb of Alliance Defending Freedom, Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries, Star Parker of Urban Cure, Robert Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom, Jonathan Keller of California Family Council, and Pastor Scott Scharpen with Go Mobile for Life. Our speaker lineup was as diverse as it could get: male, female, white, black, and brown. Everyone had a voice at the table. It was representative of California – not only in the style of worship, but with the speakers and the topics.
In addition to the informational sessions, the pastors gathered into their own congressional districts and met face-to-face with their elected representative. Of California’s 53 congressional districts, 41 participated in the meetings. In keeping with 1 Timothy 2, the pastors prayed for their elected officials – with Republicans and Democrats, and Christians and non-Christians.
Other activities included topical presentations on family, marriage, immigration, and racism. The tour also spent a day at the Heritage Foundation where a rooftop luncheon gave pastors sweeping views of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. Pastors were treated to a private screening with the producer of the new movie, “Gosnell,” which sheds light on the notorious abortionist who was convicted of three counts of murder for killing babies born alive in his Pennsylvania clinic.
Rounding it all out was a tour of the Capitol building, which underscored our nation’s rich, spiritual heritage. Numerous worship events were provided and pastors were given free time to explore the city and build relationships with one another – since church leader relationships is a foundational element of Church United’s vision.
The next step for these pastors is activating their congregations, preaching boldly from the pulpit, and engaging in civic activity on the issues of life, marriage, immigration, and racism, to name a few.
Pastor Randy Ponder, who serves as a police chaplain for both the Morro Bay Police and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Departments, said he is already involved in discussions to have a joint meeting with his Congressman, Salud Carbajal, and the local sheriff to see how they can bring about change in their communities. Randy, who also serves as lead pastor at Rock Harbor Central Coast, said the connection would never have come to fruition without the Awakening Tour.
Going forward, we will continue with our outreach efforts, including monthly emails, conference calls, and regional briefings. The next briefing will be held this summer in Central Valley. We are also working on funding to bring other pastoral groups to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., continually building our spiritual web in California.
All of this, however, is dependent on how the Lord moves. God opened doors that Church United could not open. It’s all by faith. For me, it’s a great place to be. We have a Shepherd who manages these things, and I’m trusting and walking in faith with Him.
Our ultimate goal is to transform California – just as David took down Goliath. The pastors share this vision, but they also realize the importance of staying united.
If you would like to invest in expanding the pastoral reach in California, you can partner with us by donating online at: Church United.
Here to serve,
Pastor Jim Domen, M.Div.