By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
ANNAPOLIS, Md.—When the political scandals hit the newspapers, its easy to shake one’s head and move on without a further thought. But Brent Alderman believes there’s a better response… to pray.
Alderman is Maryland’s state director for Capitol Ministries, an organization that seeks to deliver the Gospel to every state legislator, in every state capitol, every year. Its primary focus is reaching elected officials and leading them toward maturity in Christ.
“I believe it is okay to pray for wisdom for unbelieving leaders, but we really need to pray for their souls and for their taste-buds to be hungry for God’s Word. That’s what brings glory to God,” Alderman said in an interview with BaptistLIFE.
“Capitol Ministries is not there to lobby on issues. We are there to point people to Jesus,” Alderman said, explaining that it is a disciple-making ministry for the leaders.
“I want to be the guy that comes to their offices, and they are glad to see me because I don’t want anything from them. I want to serve them. I think that is more of what the Church is called to do.”
Rather than use the world’s power system to control the world, Alderman believes it more powerful to change the person. “Real change comes from inside out, and it’s the power of the Gospel that does that.”
Alderman admits that he hopes believers are concerned about the political process, but that they stay away from putting up walls that prevent people from understanding the Gospel.
To explain, he pointed to the posture that Christians should take, as noted in 1 Tim. 2:1-2, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Why are these prayers important? The answer is that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
In short, Capitol Ministries urges churches and individual believers to embrace the biblical mandate to pray for the salvation of the lost, especially those in the political arena.
To that end, Capitol Ministries has established the Pillar of Truth Prayer Ministry to mobilize individual Christians, as well as entire churches, to pray consistently (and biblically) on behalf of America’s leaders.
In addition to a monthly prayer list with the names of the state’s elected officials, Christians may build a weekly personal prayer profile online at www.capmin.org/MD.
Capitol Ministries founder Ralph Drollinger sees prayer as vital.
In 1997, the former executive director of Sports Outreach America saw a need to begin to reach a different people group with the Gospel. Drollinger recently served as the state director for the California State Capitol and is currently expanding the work throughout the United States.
Capitol Ministries seeks to place 50 men in 50 state capitols to make disciples among the elected and appointed leaders in all three branches of state government every year—executive, legislative and judicial.
That translates to approximately 18,585 individuals, not including staff and lobbyists!
Presently, Capitol Ministries is nearly 40 percent on the way toward their goal, with its latest launched being in Texas, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana. In addition, the first international presence has been established in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Capitol Ministries plans to move its World Headquarters offices from Sacramento, Calif., to Washington, D.C., adjacent the U.S. Capitol, from which the ministry can expand into foreign nations.
Though non-denominational, the organization includes a number of well-known Southern Baptist Convention names as advisors, including: Daniel Akin, President, Southeastern Theological Seminary; R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president, The Southern Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Paige Patterson, president, Southwestern Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas; Philip Roberts, President, Midwestern Theological Seminary; and Charles Stanley, pastor, First Church, Atlanta.
Now in his first year, Alderman is looking forward to this year’s Maryland’s General Assembly, which meets in Annapolis each year for 90 days to act on more than 2,300 bills including the State’s annual budget. The 426th Session begins Jan. 14 and adjourns April 13. Maryland’s General Assembly has 47 Senators and 141 Delegates elected from 47 districts.
Like the other state directors, Alderman seeks to make disciples in Maryland’s political arena through four phases:
Phase 1: The State Capitol Community
Establish a Christ-centered discipleship ministry among the leaders serving in the three branches of state government in Maryland: The Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches.
“In all, when key staff and lobbyists are added, we are seeking to deliver the gospel to 1,214 people each year,” he said.
Phase 2: The U.S. Congress Members & Federal Judges
Develop a ministry among those who are representing Maryland as United States Senators, House members, and federal judges, by ministering to them in Maryland, and also in Washington D.C.
“In phase two we seek to reach 199 federal leaders,” Alderman noted.
Phase 3: The Local Government Community
“The vast local government community of Maryland is a training ground for future state and federal leaders. Making disciples among these people is critical,” Alderman continued, explaining, “We have a long-term, detailed strategy for reaching the 1,158 men and women who lead on the local level.”
Phase 4: The International Political Community
“We intend to bring Maryland’s Christian leaders with us on short-term missions trips to foreign capitals in order to launch full-time ministry works abroad—making disciples of foreign leaders,” he added.
To accomplish their goals, each state director writes and teaches weekly Bible studies in the capitol for the elected leaders of his state. All studies written by the state directors are available on Capitol Ministries’ website at www.capmin.org. This year, Alderman will teach a Bible study from the book of Colossians, entitled “Becoming a Complete Leader.” The Bible studies will address issues specific to the pressures that legislators face, such has how to be a peacemaker, fight temptations, maintain humility, or handle power.
“The Bible studies will make specific, targeted application to their lives,” Alderman said.
Alderman will spend most of his first year sharing the vision and mission of Capitol Ministries with many in Maryland who are hearing about the organization for the first time. Please pray as he starts the process of partnering with key churches and individuals to pray for their leaders and lay a strong foundation for a long-term proclamation of God’s truth.