Politician outreach to faith communities strengthened in recent years following the election and re-election of President George W. Bush. Senators, governors and mayors frequent churches, ministries and organizations, and hire specialized staff that studies ways to attract religious voters.
Oddly, while politicians are leaving Washington to reach the pews, evangelical Christians are bringing the tide back to the capitol with Bible studies and prayer ministries aimed at teaching the elected officials.
The Presbyterian Church in America, for example, established a new Capitol Service ministry to share the gospel with influential people who govern both nationally and internationally.
The program helps PCA-related churches and presbyteries share the gospel with government employees by establishing relationships with people in power, according to the denominations publication, By Faith online. It provides a healthy, non-partisan means of connecting the Church with members of government and will facilitate intelligent prayer by the Body of Christ for those serving in government.
Through prayer and Bible studies, it is the hope of the PCA that government workers will develop a biblical consciousness and more importantly a Christian worldview.
Chuck Garriott, who leads Capitol Services, said the effort would help his church develop greater opportunities to impact millions.
In the last six weeks alone, I have met with 12 different pastors (and churches) throughout the U.S. who are interested in developing ministry to government in state capitols. These PCA ministries are developing a vision for seeing the gospel intentionally applied to those in government, said Garriott.
Another ministry serving in this capacity is the Center for Christian Statesmanship (CCS). A division of Coral Ridge Ministries, CCS prays for government officials throughout the year and hosts luncheons where officials are able to pray.
"It is my hope that congressional aides who heard his message will be motivated to consider daily how their faith must impact their public and private lives," said George Roller, on staff with CCS.