Over 550 people packed the Hall of Cities Ballroom at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown Saturday night for the 2017 Celebrate the Family banquet.
The event drew a diverse crowd of young and old, faith and government leaders and everyday Americans who came to hear about The FAMiLY LEADER’s vision for cultural transformation and to hear from keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Norman Rozendaal of Monroe, Iowa, told Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson he felt “honored” to be in the room.
Speaking of keynote speaker Ben Sasse, Rozendaal said, “I have never heard anybody as articulate as that man, off the cuff, saying exactly what has to be said in our American culture. … I would give him A+++.”
The evening also included three inaugural awards The FAMiLY LEADER bestowed upon a pastor, legislator, and citizen champion, respectively, for steadfast commitment to Christ-like leadership in engaging government and culture.
- The Timeless Voice Award was given to Pastor Brad Cranston of Heritage Baptist Church in Burlington, Iowa:
- The Dwayne Alons Award was given to State Sen. Dennis Guth of Klemme, Iowa:
- The President’s Wilberforce Award was given to TFL founding board members Dean and Judy Lauterbach:
In addition, TFL President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats presented “The Daniel Initiative,” The FAMiLY LEADER’s bold, new vision for equipping other states to adopt TFL’s proven model of cultural transformation.
The unique aim and success of TFL’s model has been to flip the old paradigm of the Church being hijacked for political “kingdoms” on its head – to instead inspire the Church to engage government for the advance of God’s kingdom.
The ultimate goal of “The Daniel Initiative” is to energize Christians through a state-by-state, contagious vision of seeking a revived America that honors God and blesses people.
Sen. Sasse, meanwhile, echoed the themes and heartbeat of a Church engaged with government, but not for the sake of politics.
“Friends, there is no politician that is going to save America,” Sasse said in his speech. “Friends, there is no election that is going to transform your life to become so much better than it is right now, and into all that you want it to be. There are definitely reasons to walk precincts and to sign people up to register them to vote … but let us be sure we live among our neighbors as people who know that we actually believe, that we put not our hope in princes, except we believe there is a Prince who is yet to come.”
Watch Sen. Sasse’s speech in full below:
(Video courtesy of Shane Vander Hart and Caffeinated Thoughts)