Burn the Ships!

October 21, 2021

Mark Batterson, in his best seller, Win the Day, tells the story of Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés. On February 19, 1519, he set sail for Mexico with 11 ships, 13 horses, 110 sailors, and 553 soldiers. Two previous expeditions had failed to establish a settlement in the New World, yet Cortés was successful. Why? Once they arrived in the New World, he issued an order that turned his mission into an all-or-nothing proposition: BURN THE SHIPS! As his crew watched their fleet of ships burn and sink, they came to terms with the fact that retreat was not an option. There was no plan B for Cortés and his crew.

Batterson says “the lesson to be learned is that nine times out of ten, failure is resorting to Plan B when Plan A gets too risky, too costly, or too difficult. Most people are living their Plan B because they didn’t burn the ships. Plan A people don’t have a Plan B. It’s Plan A or bust.” I want to be a Plan A person and I need your help to do that.

It’s obvious that religious freedom is being threatened across America. Here in Rhode Island, it’s no different. The First Amendment allows religious freedom so we can live out our faith. As Christians, the mission of being salt and light has not changed – but it is becoming increasingly more difficult. In response to the challenge, nearly 40 states have Family Policy Councils that work at preserving our religious freedoms. They are independent organizations that work together in alliance, hosted by Family Policy Alliance. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire are those nearest us. They are on the front lines of the battle and their success birthed a vision in me to begin a Family Policy Council in our own state. I’m grateful to Family Policy Alliance for partnering with me to get this process started.

I shared that vision with my deacon board two years ago, and they enthusiastically gave me their blessing. That was the beginning of plan A and began a transition from the pastorate to establishing a Family Policy Council of Rhode Island.

The ministry requires a full-time director that would require me to move from being a Senior Pastor at our church to Executive Director and President of a Family Policy Council of Rhode Island. To make this happen, I need to raise a budget of $100,000. This process is similar to a missionary getting to the field God has called them to. My field is Rhode Island, and I can’t do it without you.

There are 3 ways you can help. First, would you personally consider partnering at $100, $50, or $25 monthly? My weekly newsletters will keep you informed. Next, would you ask the missions board of your church to support this ministry as part of your home missions’ budget? Three churches have already done that. And, finally, would you recommend this ministry to Christian businessmen and women? They are increasingly coming under government regulations that threaten to violate their faith, and we have resources to help them.

This year was very busy. The highlight was working with legislators who introduced two pieces of legislation: “Save Girls’ Sports” and “Online Posting of Sex-Ed Curriculum” that would allow parents to “opt-in’ instead of “opt-out’. We also conducted an online training seminar for lawmakers on dealing with hot topics. We promoted and supported a number of pro-life bills. When there was an effort to change the recommended public-school curriculum from being abstinence-focused to pleasure-based and LGBTQ+ focused, we opposed that change. I have also been working with other churches and was part of planning The Bible, Gender & Sexuality Seminar to be held on October 29-30. It’s a first-of-its-kind conference for our state. You don’t want to miss it! You can still register for it here: http://www.ministrytrainingnetwork.org/the-bible-gender-sexuality/

Plan A has begun; there is no plan B. I’m all in and committed to moving forward and making Rhode Island a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. Won’t you join me in this step of faith? If you’re all in for this shared vision, click on the DONATE tab below to make your commitment.

For Faith and Family,

Dave Aucoin
Chairman, Board of Directors – Rhode Island

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