Issac Crockett:              Well, welcome to the program and I’m glad you’re with us today. We’re joined by the President of the American Pastors Network here, Sam Rohrer, as well as Pastor Gary Dull from Altoona, from Faith Baptist Church, and then we’ll be introducing a special friend of ours who is a very special friend of mine, Pastor Doug Stein from Grace Baptist Church in Anderson, Indiana. My name is Issac Crockett. I’m the pastor at Hamburg Bible Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Today I want us to as we look about all that’s going on in our nation especially but even throughout the world and we think about sometimes we look at the elections that just past and we look at the highlights and the lowlights of what happened there and a lot of times we say what’s going on in our country. I hear this a lot, especially as a younger pastor. A lot of older folks will say things to me like, “What in the world is happening to our  country?” There are times that we think maybe if we could get certain people elected that would be a change and that could be a good thing and we encourage you to vote biblically. But we also know that as Christians and as American Christians that sometimes it is difficult for us to individually or even as congregations share our faith. In fact, we are accused of being hypocritical or being insensitive, it feels like, when we do try to share our faith, and so it scares us away sometimes from telling other people.

Some people tell me they don’t want to do more harm than good, and so they don’t want to have conversations about their spiritual beliefs. When you look at some of the factors behind why people aren’t sharing their testimony, it’s kind of out of fear, and so how do we balance this? How do we be salt and light in the world and yet come across as compassionate and loving to people? Well, here at the American Pastors Network as preachers we know that this is difficult for all Christians. I think especially pastors are living in a difficult time where we can be attacked very easily, even by our own congregations or by other people, and sometimes it’s kind of lonely. Being a Christian though is never an easy position when we live in this dark work; it’s oftentimes lonely.

We need to be effective as salt and as light in this dark and carnal world. How do our churches, how do you as individuals listening to this radio program reach the lost and show the true Jesus, true biblical understanding to our communities? Well, here with us today to join us in this discussion is a spiritual mentor of mine, someone who has known me literally my whole life, and he has played a big role in my spiritual discipleship. Pastor Doug Stein I often joke is looked up to by many people, but it’s not just because of his physical height. Yes, he is a former wrestler. He’s over 6’5″ tall. He was a champion wrestler in high school and in college. He has been training ministry leaders from the next generation now for a couple of generations at least, for 40 years he’s been in ministry.

Pastor Stein has also been a volunteer firefighter and an EMT in different communities for years. He’s ministered to law enforcement as a police chaplain and just as a friend, and he’s had a role in influencing civil leaders and elected officials. In fact, maybe we’ll get into this a little big later in the program, but technically he is now himself an elected official. He gave me personally my first opportunities to preach over 20 years ago and he helped instill in me and in many of my friends a passion for soul-winning. He would have us as a youth group going out weekly going door to door witnessing to people and witnessing in parks and different places, and so we’re excited to have him on the program today to help us look at practical ways that we can have an influence, not just our churches but in our communities and in our nation.

Pastor Stein, you know one of the areas that we often focus on here on Stand in the Gap Today is approaching our civil leaders. In fact, I believe it’s next month, the month of December we’ll be airing a television interview with Perry Gauthier from Capital Ministries about this subject as well, of dealing with civil leaders. Pastor Doug, could you tell us maybe a little bit about the scope of ministry that God has given you and the church there in Anderson, Indiana, Grace Baptist Church, when it comes to dealing with civil leaders and just reaching them and showing God’s love to them, praying for them, and helping them over the years?

Doug Stein:                   Sure, I’d be glad to, and thanks for having me on this afternoon, Isaac. Here at Grace Baptist Church we have had for many, many years relationship building with our civil leaders going back to the earlier days when Isaac’s dad, Lee Crockett, was our pastor. We had our annual civil leaders Sunday and we’d invite all the civil leaders to come, we’d have a special service for them. There was a message that was preached, the gospel was presented, a message preached about the Christian’s responsibility in government.

During the election years, of course we had all the candidates. Everybody would come. They would see a large platform to be able to be introduced. We did it off years as well where we just honored our elected officials. We’d recognize them, give them a special little momentum and a gift, and had a meal for them afterwards in our fellowship hall where we would assign different staff members and deacons to be seated at different tables to get to know our civil leaders. Every week in our prayer meetings, we list one of our civil leaders for prayer and we rotate those through, all in the process of building relationships for Christ and with our civil leaders.

Sam Rohrer:                  Pastor Doug, I’m going to ask you a question here now and follow up on that. We’ll get in more into why it’s important to be reaching out to civil authorities, but let’s just start here. Many think that, well, if I’m going to get involved and to get to know those in office and so forth, they may think I’ve got to go down to Washington first and then start from there and come down. How do you recommend? Going to the top and working down or starting at the bottom and working up?

Doug Stein:                   Start at the bottom and work up. That’s really not even necessarily the goal to work up. It’s just being real and living out Christ in your community, starting at home working at the local level with city and county and state, building relationships. I’ll often say your first contact as a church or ministry will deal with fire departments and EMS personnel. Police departments and civil authority ought not be when there’s a problem going on. It ought to be building relationships prior to those issues and getting to know those folks and them getting to know you and know what you are and what you’re standing for without having some big problem at hand.

I remember one time years ago, Isaac talked about our teenagers going out weekly, we one day were at a fast food restaurant in line and one of our local judges came in to eat at that restaurant, and so these 40 or 50 kids are standing there. I recognized the judge and I offered him the opportunity to skip to the front of the line. He said something very interesting to me. He said, “No, I want to sit back and watch your teenagers and see how they behave.” I thought that a very interesting comment that he made. He was watching and seeing what was going on.

As we get to know our leaders on a local level and over a period of years, they may move up on a state level or even a national level. Our vice president, Mike Pence, is a very good friend of our church, was a very good friend of brother Lee Crockett, who’s gone home to be with the Lord now, and building relationships took place early on in all these different areas.

Issac Crockett:              Well, welcome back to the program. We’ve been talking about being truly salt and light in our communities, not just by the way we vote, which is a very important thing, but as Christians to really get down and show God’s love to people around us. We were talking about even reaching out to our civil authorities, our local authorities. Pastor Doug Stein from Grace Baptist Church in Anderson, Indiana was talking about some of the ways that God has opened opportunities there even with people, now Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, but other people on local levels and just getting involved, being real, not being there for a photo opportunity or something like that but being there to help them, being there to look out for them and their families. It is lonely even as a civil authority and to be somebody who can be trusted to give biblical advice to them, even if they don’t always want to hear biblical advise but they know they can count on you as a pastor or a Christian to always tell them the biblical answers.

We also though a lot times we forget about another group of people and that is our young people. We often hear people complaining about schools. Having taught in public schools myself several years, I know that there’s a lot of concern for what is happening, the secularization of our young people in the schools, but I often wonder what are we doing as a church, as Christians, as families, as individuals to train our young people in the truth and to train other young people. Pastor Stein in your 40 years of ministry you have spent a great amount of that time working with children, with teens, and college students, and you’ve taught in Christian schools, you were a youth pastor, but you also worked into your busy schedule opportunities to reach out to young people in the public schools, and I’m just curious maybe what were some things you did to reach into public schools and why did you feel that you needed to do that when you were already so busy with so many other young people in the bubble, so to speak, of your church and Christian school ministry?

Doug Stein:                   I smile when I hear that question and the reference to the bubble of church and Christian school ministry. Certainly, we have the opportunity as, I have the opportunity as a busy pastor to be around Christians all the time and never put myself out into an unsaved community, an unsaved environment. We’ve lived in the country most of our life. I don’t have any neighbors. When I lived in the city, I lived on a cul-de-sac and everybody on the cul-de-sac went to our church. We can put ourselves in a bubble, but God has not called us to live in a bubble. He’s not called us to live in a cave. He didn’t call us to be spiritual hermits, rather he’s called us to personally pattern evangelism and discipleship in our ministries and our lives and in our families.

I’ve always wanted to be known more than just a pastor as I go out and visit with people and different things. Early on, when I was still athletic and young, I would go to the area high schools and coach the heavyweight wrestlers. I was a heavyweight and heavyweights wrestle a little differently than lighter weights. I’d go and introduce myself to the coach and introduce myself to the fellows and developed a ministry with the different high schools. Had numerous opportunities where kids came to church and ministering to families. Once had a terrible tragedy of one of the fellows I had worked out with was killed and held his funeral. The parents shocked at the death and they said, “Didn’t he have a pastor that wrestled with him?” I had the opportunity to preach the gospel to several hundred public school kids.

As days went on, as you move forward and you can’t compete in some of those things, I got involved in the fire department and the police departments and just purposely putting myself into a situation where I’m around unsaved people to pattern the Great Commission in my own life personally.

Gary Dull:                     You know, that’s a tremendous thing to take into consideration, Pastor Doug, and so many times I think as Christians we put ourselves into a cocoon somewhere and we never really get the opportunity to lead people to Christ. I know that one of the things I’ve been challenging our church to do is to be involved with evangelism so that we can see somebody saved through our ministry every day just like it was there even in Acts chapter two.

Doug Stein:                   Yes.

Gary Dull:                     Talking about evangelism, and we know that biblical evangelism is about discipleship and mentoring someone after he has come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s very significant, but why do you believe it’s important that we who are older in the Lord spend time training, helping, listening to, and even serving together with our young people who we are really mentoring to a great extent?

Doug Stein:                   Well, it’s been said that the church is one generation away from being nothing in history. We have the wonderful opportunity to mentor young people to the New Testament pattern of discipleship and the Great Commission to go, to teach, to baptize, and to teach them to [inaudible 00:12:34] all things. We have that opportunity. There are enough pulls of the world, direct assault of Satan on these young people and young men that maybe headed towards the ministry that we’ve got to be able to pattern for them what true Christianity’s all about.

Sam Rohrer:                  Brother Doug, when you were working there with the youth and so forth you developed an approach that I think is really very good. You went further than just teaching your youth and the younger about what to do than ministry and you actually developed a way where they could actually do ministry.

Doug Stein:                   Right.

Sam Rohrer:                  Explain to us about what you did and how they responded to that.

Doug Stein:                   Well, we tried in all of our preaching and our philosophy. We weren’t a Christian social club where Christians would come together and compliment each other on how good they were doing. We would come, I would tell the folks, the teenagers, the reason we have youth activities, and we had one every Wednesday night or most every Wednesday night, was not to entertain them, although they would be entertained, was not so they would have fun, although they would have fun, it was to have them have the opportunity to meet unsaved teenagers and to witness to them and to befriend them and to help disciple them. That philosophy of ministry continued forward with our young men teaching them how to teach Sunday school classes and work in children’s ministries, whether God had called them to preach or not being willing and ready to able to teach the word as a layman and to minister, to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, to … Again, pattern our lives and encourage others to participate in the Great Commission ought to be the normal course of the Christian’s life. Unfortunately, that’s missing element in many churches and certainly in many youth groups today.

Issac Crockett:              I can say personally having seen it myself and in so many of my peers that I was in youth group together with that you gave us the opportunity to do the music and to do the preaching and even come up with activity ideas. It just was so ingrained into us that when we went different ways it just was natural to stay involved in church. I see these statistics of how many young people, some are saying as many as 75% of the young people in our Bible-believing churches are leaving and not coming back, for the most part not coming back. I look in my life and I see an opposite effect. I’d say about 75% of the young men and a lot of the young women that I grew up with that were so involved with these things they have stayed more involved in church and have children of their own that are involved.

I remember you had a club for the guys called the Timothy Club and you would teach us and I remember you telling us God’s not necessarily calling all of you to be pastors, but it’s good for all of you to know how to do these things. As we close this segment out, Pastor Doug, I just wonder what advice would your have for maybe parents or grandparents listening to this, maybe youth pastors or just people who are concerned for the young people in their church. I think it’s easy for us, and I even include myself, as the older generation sometimes to look at the younger kids and say what’s wrong with them or why don’t they do this or to even to confront them and say you guys need to do this or you need to do that, kind of preaching to them or at them instead of coming alongside of them. What would you say to us, parents, grandparents, youth pastors, pastors who want to see our young people serving God? What advise could we pray for and work towards with that?

Doug Stein:                   That’s a very good question. Certainly the opportunity to pray for our children and our grandchildren and the young people that God puts us in contact with to pattern it ourselves, to encourage them to be involved in it, to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone, to participate with them in it, to encourage them when they need some encouragement, and offer them help and teach them how to teach a Sunday school lesson or prepare one. I think now, years and years later, of the core of our Sunday school teachers and our children church workers here at Grace Baptist Church are teenagers that were part of our youth program. They’re not pastors or they’re not Christian schoolteachers necessarily, but they’re layman in our church that are faithfully serving the Lord who learned to do that as a young teenager and they are now serving the Lord in those areas with their own children. Again, I think this aspect of just patterning it in our own lives and showing forth the example.

Issac Crockett:              That’s so important to have these patterns. I know you preached recently at my church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania about raising a memorial, having a Ebenezer, so to speak, of what God has done. It’s so important. I want to encourage all of you out there to remind your young people of what God has done in your life, to show them and to support God’s work and to really make it real so that you’re not just a Sunday morning only Christian or Christian family. It goes back to what Pastor Doug said in the first segment about being real and that’s with our own children or kids at our church. There’s so much that we could talk about on that, but this is just a good reminder for us. If we’re going to be salt and light, we need to be thinking about the next generation.

As we think of what’s going on in the news now, so much going on with these wildfires out West in California. Many of the first responders themselves who are out there trying to help others have lost their own houses and belongings. You know, we’ve talked on this program today about how important it is to show Christlike love and servant helpfulness to our civil leaders, but also a big part of our communities that kind of falls under that kind of authority in our lives is our law enforcement, our firefighters, our EMTs, other first responders.

I want to go back to our special guest, Pastor Doug Stein. You’ve had a lot of experience in these roles dealing with that fact. You were saying that you were afraid you might be late to get on-air today because you were on a call to a first responder. You’ve had a very active role in this. How did you get started reaching out to the first responders in your community?

Doug Stein:                   Well, as my wrestling days came to conclusion, my doctor said after several knee surgeries I needed to find something less impactful on my joints. Well, we had several police officers in our church. I would do ride-alongs with them and fellowship with them and talk to them. They wanted me to join as a reserve officer. Well, I laughed at them and told them I didn’t play dodge ball in junior high school because I was too big of a target, and so across the street was a volunteer fire department from our house and I went over there and talked to them about being a help in whatever way I could. I had no idea. I thought I’d just come in and help clean the trucks and put things away for them and over the course of time then that obviously continued to grow and expand. But that’s how I got involved in the fire department because they shoot at police officers.

Sam Rohrer:                  Doug, let me ask you this question. We were talking. We started with civil authorities in the first segment. We talked reaching out to the youth, the next generation. Here, we’re now on first responders, so we’re back to those who are in civil authority. I want to ask you some of the things that you’ve learned about ministering to first responders and perhaps even broaden that to any of those that you’re talking about in civil authority, but I also want you to answer this question. Now, Isaac has set the program up here as this being salt and light, but I’d like to add a little bit of a personal insight as well from you as you’re talking about civil authorities, why reaching out, salt and light, but give me a little bit more of the driving motivation of why because some could say “Well, yeah, you just want to note the guy down the road as a first responder because you may be calling on him to come help you next week and it’s a personal thing.” What drives you and what should drive every person listening to have that kind of concern for those be it in civil authority or first responders like we’re talking about right now?

Doug Stein:                   We are surrounded by folk who do not know the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must reach out with the gospel to them. We must live the gospel in front of them. We must be there in times of difficulty and trials to show the compassion and love of Christ. That ought to motivate. It motivates me every day. It ought to motivate every believer to give the gospel out.

When it comes to reaching these groups of people, of our first responders, they’re a very close-knit group of people. They’re very self-confident. They’re the ones who when you call 911 they’re the ones who rush in and deal with the problem. They oftentimes will have with that personality they think they don’t need anything and yet they face challenges and difficulties. You spoke of the responders out there in California with these wildfires. Dozens of them are working and putting out fires and yet their own homes have been destroyed. They’re facing those tragedies. We have the opportunity as believers, must make the opportunity as believers to share the love of Christ with them in that situation. We’ve got to be real. We’ve got to be patient. We’ve got to be able to let it happen. They’ll ask. They’ll come along and say you’re different or why are you doing this. We have that wonderful opportunity to live Christ before them.

Gary Dull:                     You know, you talk about the first responders out there, Doug. We are heard in California and for those who are first responders, for those folks who have lost their homes and whatever the case, we just want you all to know that we are praying for you here at Stand in the Gap and the American Pastors Network. For those of you who have been first responders and otherwise have been there to aid others, we thank you for what you’ve done. We pray for you. We’re just praying for your protection and your care and we appreciate what you do. Having said that, Pastor Doug, I am certain that your involvement as a volunteer firefighter and EMT and so forth has opened many doors for ministering and I’m wondering if you can share how that has happened, and then what kind of reactions do you get from people in a community when they find out that you’re a pastor as well?

Doug Stein:                   Sure. Two big open doors. First of all, in the community obviously we’re responding to you. You’re calling 911, you’re having a bad day, and we’re coming in to help and assist you. Certainly as I roll in as a first responder, literally the first person on the scene most of the time, my immediate goal is scene safety and helping the individual who’s hurt along the way, but as soon as other personnel come on scene I then shift right into a chaplain role of being able to help and work with the family, to pray with them, to assist them, to call other family members. I go out on most every fatality or difficult scene and I insert myself into the family role, offering to call a pastor or their religious leaders or family and friends, talking them through the process.

The funeral homes, I’ve gotten to know most of the funeral directors, and oftentimes as we have a fatality on the highway the family doesn’t know anything about what happened. They don’t get the police report for several days or weeks and I will often make my way to the funeral home before the public visitation and introduce myself. There’s a little bit of a standoffish from the family. They go, “You’re a pastor?” “Yes, but I was the first responder. I was the one there with your loved one caring for then.” They’ll often ask did they suffer, did they say anything, and most of the time they didn’t say anything, but I’ve had opportunities where they’ve told me to tell my spouse that I love them or my children that I love them and thinking of them. That’s a very touching role and I often will pray with the families and work with them. We’ve had dozens of times where the family has no faith connection at all and they’ll say, “Well, what about that big fireman that was there that’s a pastor?” I’ll hold the funerals for them at that point.

Then we have the open door to the responders. You know, we’re dealing with neighbors. We’re dealing with friends. We hear a lot about PTSD and the effects of dealing with all those traumatic issues. You know, we try to deal with them as a agency upfront and talking to the individuals about what they’ve seen and what they’re doing. I’ve had countless, countless opportunities with our first responders of talking to them through very difficult circumstances, praying with them, dealing with their families and helping them along the way, so it’s opened doors far beyond what I would have ever imagined.

Most often, my reactions are very positive and respectful. I remember one of our police officers, one day we were making a death notification to a number of families, and the officer looked at me after the first notification he said, “Doug, I love being a cop, but I hate doing death notifications and you’re here and you’re able to pray with them and read them the scripture and help them out.” He said, “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to our police department.”

I remember one day we had a very difficult call where the husband had passed away, the wife was very anxious and upset and rightly so, and they called another ambulance to help care for her. She was walking around with a cane and hitting me with the cane and saying, “All I want to do is pray,” and I smiled and put my arm around her and said, “Ma’am, I can pray with you.” It settled that whole situation down and we dealt with the family and the police officers at that point.

Issac Crockett:              Well, I thank you for listening. As we come to our last segment of this subject of being what God intends for us to be as Christians, as being salt and light in our communities, we’ve looked at so many different practical ways and been talking with Pastor Doug Stein from Grace Baptist Church in Anderson, Indiana and looking at things, everything from just showing support through prayer and just reaching out to local authorities, which you never know how the Lord with lead with that. As Pastor Doug’s case with Grace Baptist in Anderson, they have a very, very close relationship with Mike Pence, who is now the vice president of our nation, but also just the investment of spending time mentoring young people because it’s important that we reach our next generation as well as reaching out those who protect us, whether it be law enforcement or firefighters and EMTs and different ones, but influencing our communities.

It’s so easy as Christians, especially in our churches, to just kind of withdraw from the world because the world, guess what? They don’t like us most of the time. They seem to hate us. They seem to misunderstand us. They often disrespect us. And yet, all of those things were true when the New Testament was written, but that didn’t stop the early followers of Jesus Christ from turning the world upside down.

As we come to the end of this program, Pastor Doug maybe you could just give some ways. I know that you have been involved as a volunteer, as a coach in public schools or as a firefighter, as a chaplain with the police, different things. Maybe you have some suggestions, you’ve also recently become an elected official in your township, but things that Christians, that our listeners could take and tangibly do to be salt and light in their communities to show Christlike love and to show servant leadership to other people whether it be their neighbors or people somewhere in their community.

Doug Stein:                   Sure. The first thing I would say would be contact these agencies. Contact the local fire departments and the police departments. Ask about chaplains programs. Ask about their public events and how you can help serve then. Most every volunteer fire department will have a chili supper or a fish fry or a pancake breakfast and just provide workers for them, come and serve at them. Become involved yourself in those different areas. People will say, “Well, I don’t have a whole lot of time to do that.” Well, it certainly does take some time. You know, I’d spent, most every Tuesday night is involved in some sort of public service opportunities. You may not have that much time. You may be able to just do one Saturday a month or one Saturday ever six months, but contact the agencies, provide water and cookies. You see a police officer or first responder out in public buy him a meal. I’ve had that happen to me personally several times and it just means a great deal when people recognize what you’re doing.

We had a ministry that would have, they called it a steakout. They contacted the local police department and they had provided a steak dinner for all the three different shifts that were there. They came, they provided a steak dinner, and sat and talked to the folks along the way. As churches, talked about special Sundays, civil leader Sunday, civil servant Sundays, 911 memorials, and the list could go on and on of just looking for ways to put yourself into the community. Watching the local newspaper and when you see a civil official or a civil servant they’re article written about them write then a note and tell them thanks for doing the great job that their doing and recognize what they’ve done. Just making relationships with these people.

Issac Crockett:              Wow. Sometimes it just seems so simple and really that’s it is looking for simple ways to show that you care for people in your community. A lot of times people are surprised at how many people will come to church with you or will come to something if you just show them some compassion but then also invite them to something.

Real quickly before we close our program, Pastor Doug you’ve spent so much of your time investing in young people and as a pastor two young people and also a father of four children who are now all grown. What would say to a young person today wondering what he or she could do to be a witness maybe in their school or college or workplace?

Doug Stein:                   Do it. Find out what you’re interested in and find out what area you can be involved in and just be real and be patient and live out Christ before a lost and dying world.

Issac Crockett:              So helpful. Pastor Gary, could you maybe give us your final thoughts on the subject as well? I know that you and your church have been very active in the community as well and you’ve had a lot of neat opportunities. In fact, yesterday some folks had bought a puppy through my brother and they were picking it up at my house and I was giving them a Bible along with the puppy and somehow we said something about I had a friend, a pastor friend in Altoona. They said, “Well, who is it?” I said you’re name and they immediately recognized you. They knew your church name. They knew about your church. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but they said it was a good thing. I know that you’re very involved in your community and that your church and you are known, but maybe you could give us some final thoughts and then we’ll have Sam close us in prayer.

Gary Dull:                     Well, that’s almost scary isn’t it, Isaac? But, you know, I really appreciated having you on with us today Pastor Doug because this is something that’s been on my heart for many, many years. We’ve done the same thing here at the church. We’ve reached out to our elected officials and our police and our firemen and the first responders. We have special services for them as well. You know, I’ve always felt that this is one of the best ways to build a relationship with those in the community who are standing for us in many, many ways, particularly the elected officials. I’ve often felt that my responsibility as a leader in the church really motivates me to reach out to leaders in our community, whether they be political leaders or leaders in the fire department or the police department, and I want to tell you it’s opened a lot of doors of opportunity to the point that many times civic leaders have come to me to ask my opinion and thoughts about various situations and issues going on in the community, and so it’s a real ministry to reach out. I would encourage any pastor under the sound of our voices today to consider reaching out to the civic leaders in your community. It’s a tremendous ministry and gives you a great opportunity to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

Issac Crockett:              Well, thank you so much, Gary, for that information. Sam, you’ve been a civil leader as well as a preacher and you’ve kind of seen both sides of these things, and so before we close maybe you could give us closing comments as well as pray for us today and remember those in our country, especially those with the wildfires but even a lot of other tragedies because of the great snowfall that happened in the Northeast and just so many different things going on in our country and those first responders helping us along the way.

Sam Rohrer:                  Yeah, absolutely, Isaac. Gary, I will follow up on that in that I have been a part of one of your gatherings in your church where over 25 or 30 local officials were there.

Gary Dull:                     Right.

Sam Rohrer:                  I was able to speak to them at one point as both someone who had been in office and being a part of it, but I saw the response of those people to do you. Doug, I know they responded the same way to you. When a pastor reaches out, when a leader reaches out to those in positions of authority, most of the time they will very quickly gravitate to it because they are people themselves. They have wives. They have husbands. They have children. They have needs. It should be a reminder to all of us, ladies and gentlemen, that not just do we pray for those in authority, let’s reach out and get to know them because then we can prayer even better for them.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we’re thankful for the day and the emphasis here on this program. We thank you for Brother Doug and for his example and for all the lives that he’s touched, and Gary and Isaac and many who are listening. Lord, may all of us not just be faithful in our praying for those in positions of authority, those who help locally get to know them so that we can help them better and point them to Christ, encourage then where we can. We pray in Jesus name.