What a privilege it was to join with several partner organizations for “Pastor’s Day at the Capitol” this week in Topeka. More than 50 pastors from across Kansas were introduced in the House and Senate, met with lawmakers, and – most importantly – prayed together for these leaders and our state.
A huge thank you to the many members of the legislature who participated, Governor Brownback, and Secretary of State Kobach.
The event this year occurred the same week that the nation celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. As I walked the halls of the Capitol with the church leaders in attendance I couldn’t help but think of these words from King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail:
“There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period that the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was the thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
“Things are different now. The contemporary church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch supporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s often vocal sanction of things as they are.
“But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic ring, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.“
These prophetic words about the church in America from 1963 are worth considering today. We still struggle to be “thermostats” and not merely “thermometers?” But, our event at the Capitol was a healthy reminder that all is not lost. There are many who remember the “authentic ring” of the early church and seek to bring the Gospel to bear on the issues of our time. I thank God for them.
Is your pastor a thermostat? Connect us with your pastor by emailing Robyn Essex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President and Executive Director