If 7:14 launches 99 weeks of prayer for 99 counties

You are invited to join The FAMiLY Leader’s Church Ambassador Network and If 7:14’s 99 for 99 initiative!

Starting January 2020, we invite you to join with us and Iowans all across our state to pray for 99 weeks, covering each of Iowa’s 99 counties, one county per week. You can find the schedule for county-by-county prayer for each week here, and join us in praying for the local communities, their churches, and the pastors.

The opportunity to pray is a God-given honor, privilege, and sacred duty. We are called to pray always, to make intercession for leaders, and to keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Paul, as an apostle of Christ, makes a special request for prayer at the end of Ephesians, and we apply this Scripture to all the spiritual leaders and to our faithful pastors of Iowa.

“And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” – Ephesians 6:19.

We believe God answers the prayer of the righteous. We believe the Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. So let us stand firm on God’s promises to hear our prayers for blessings upon our shepherds of Iowa!

And find out how YOU can join over 60,000 people around the world in a global rhythm of prayer for revival, through If 7:14’s completely FREE prayer app!




Why Iowa needs the #ProtectLife Amendment

Can any commonsense abortion restriction survive Iowa’s radical courts?

That’s the question facing every Iowan following the State Supreme Court’s shocking Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds ruling.

By declaring abortion a “fundamental right” that can only be restricted under “strict scrutiny,” five, unelected judges effectively amended the Iowa Constitution to insert a standard so tough, it threatens every abortion law in Iowa.

The decision paves the way for partial-birth abortion, late-term abortion (all the way to the day of a baby’s birth!), abortion for minors without parental knowledge, removing medical safeguards for women seeking abortion, and even compelling taxpayers to fund elective abortion.

The overwhelming majority of Iowans, if given the chance, would protect women and children from gruesome, late-term and partial-birth procedures. We would insist abortion clinics maintain basic safety standards. We can’t imagine being compelled to pay for abortions.

But unelected judges have effectively refused Iowans that chance and reserved for themselves the “right” to overturn virtually any abortion protection.

That’s why ALL Iowans, regardless of their position on abortion, can support the Protect Life Amendment. 

Though the bill’s final language has yet to be voted on, the Protect Life Amendment being recommended to the Iowa Legislature:

  • Does not change any current Iowa law
  • Does not ban any abortion
  • DOES ensure that unelected judges cannot invent a carte blanche right to abortion or the tax-funding of abortion in the Iowa Constitution

Get the facts on the Iowa Supreme Court ruling and why an amendment is needed by clicking here!

Iowans need to understand: The Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds decision goes way beyond Roe v. Wade.

The ruling was so extreme that Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mansfield – who supported allowing “telemed” abortions without even a doctor present – wrote a scathing dissent of the Court’s “fundamental right” decision.

“With its decision today, the Court has elevated one extreme of this debate to a constitutional level and has made any meaningful compromise on this issue all but impossible,” Mansfield warned. “The majority cites no other court that has accepted this line of thinking.”

Put simply, the Protect Life Amendment is needed to correct a court decision so radical, it shocked lawyers and scholars alike.

“Without this amendment, unelected judges will have the power to throw away common sense, ignore We the People, and practically dictate dangerous abortion policies that harm both women and their babies,” explained Chuck Hurley, vice president and chief legal counsel for The FAMiLY Leader. “No matter how you view abortion, that’s wrong. We the People of Iowa, and not unelected judges, should decide how Iowa regulates abortion.”

“That the Court would undermine protections for fully-formed, full-term babies in the womb is just appalling to the vast majority of Iowans,” said Drew Zahn, director of communications for The FAMiLY Leader. “By now, we’ve heard all the arguments about abortion. But there’s one truth we can’t argue away. That little girl in her mother’s womb – she’s a baby, and she deserves protection.”

We need you! Your donation of even $3 tells Iowa’s legislators we can count YOU as someone who is willing to support the Protect Life Amendment. Let’s show lawmakers that We the People mean business. Let us COUNT ON YOU with just $3 today!

What’s next: The Iowa House and Senate need to pass the Protect Life Amendment in 2020, and then pass it again in 2021 or 2022. Only then would it be brought before Iowa voters for ratification. The amendment does not require the signature of Iowa’s governor.

In recent years, the people of Tennessee, West Virginia, and Alabama have added similar amendments to their state constitutions, and Louisiana is expected to pass their Love Life Amendment next year. Rhode Island ratified a similar amendment in 1986.




Pastor Equipping Webinar: Criminal justice reform

“Church and Government: How can my church advocate for justice reform and why does it matter?”

Do you have questions about what the Christian response to crime and over-incarceration in America should be? Would you be interested in tools to equip your church to pursue justice that restores? Please watch this webinar to understand why and how Christians should care for prisoners and advocate for justice reform.

Our featured speakers include Vice President of Government Affairs and Church Mobilization at Prison Fellowship Heather Rice-Minus, Pastor Quovadis Marshall of Hope City Church in Waterloo, Iowa, and Pastor Jon Kelly of Chicago West Bible Church in Chicago, Illinois:




Pastor Equipping Webinar: Mental health

When roughly one out of every five adults in America is struggling with mental health issues, it has become clear that churches need to understand how mental health impacts their community and what they can do to help.

To that end, TEAM Restoration Ministries has a God-driven commitment and passion for facilitating the healing and strengthening of marriages, families, and individuals through the blood of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Joel Fry, president of TEAM Restoration Ministries, shares how TEAM is working with the Church to address mental health and meet mental health needs in communities:




Pastor Equipping Webinar: Human Trafficking Solutions

Joy Fopma with Wings of Refuge in Iowa Falls presents the startling reality of human trafficking and how churches can both combat this wickedness and bring help and hope to those who have been trafficked.

There are over 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in human history, and 80 percent of them are sexually exploited. Fopma reveals real-life evidence and stories that show this isn’t just a third-world problem, but a shocking reality, especially in Iowa.

But Fopma’s experience with Wings of Refuge shows there’s something local churches can do to make a real difference in real lives:




WATCH: Sen. Joni Ernst stands up for life

Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst spoke to the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines, sharing her heart for unborn children.

One of the highlights: Sen. Ernst’s inspiring story of her own daughter, who stood for life among a generation that may be more pro-life than we realize:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




WATCH: Sen. Tom Cotton defends religious liberty

At the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) reached back into American history, built upon his own military service, and spoke to today’s headlines to deliver a powerful and inspiring defense of what he called our “first freedom,” our religious liberty.

Issuing a call for all Christians to stand together in unity, Sen. Cotton’s speech was one of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




2nd annual “Do Good Fair”: The pornography crisis

The FAMiLY Leader Foundation’s Church Ambassador Network held its second annual “Do Food Fair” at the New Life Center in downtown Des Moines on Friday, June 7, 2019. This year’s speaker, Pastor Luke Hukee, came from Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines to address pornography use in America and how to help people break the addiction.

The Do Good Fair started in 2018 after pastors met with members of the executive branch and needs were expressed within the state’s foster care system. After praying for the governing authority, pastors and the Church Ambassador Network team felt that they needed to do more.

The Church Ambassador Network came up with the idea to start a conference – or “fair,” as it’s called – to equip churches to address crucial topics facing Iowa’s communities. The fair specifically highlights ministries and churches that are effectively meeting community needs and encourages others to learn from them and do likewise.

Thus, Iowa’s foster care system became the topic of the first annual Do Good Fair last year, and pastors and churches were given the opportunity to learn about preventative foster care from the Safe Families ministry and hear a presentation on “The Theology of the Poor” from Pastor Philip Herman of Highland Park Community Church in Des Moines.

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” – Galatians 6:10 (emphasis added).

The community naturally looks to the Church in a crisis, which is why churches need to be educated and equipped to help in the community’s time of need. The Do Good Fair prepares churches to be ready.

This year’s topic at the Do Good Fair is a perfect example of a crisis: the rampant pornography addiction in America. It is a problem not just in the wider society, but in the Church as well. It is a difficult subject to address, but Pastor Luke Hukee of Walnut Creek Church spoke boldly, giving churches ways to teach, ask, listen, and “kill” pornography addiction in the Church.

Hukee takes into consideration the magnitude of the problem, but does not let it be an excuse not to act. To make a change, he argues, we need to begin with the Church.

Denise Bubeck, deputy director of the Church Ambassador Network, said, “This year’s Do Good Fair was truly a blessing. It was great to see pastors and leaders come together to focus on an issue that is so difficult to address. Pastor Luke Hukee gave the startling statistics of pornography and how it is affecting people in and outside the Church. But what I found to be most encouraging in Pastor Luke’s presentation was the need for the Church to come alongside those struggling with pornography with community and accountability.”

Hukee, along with Christina White and David Langley, also from Walnut Creek Church, discussed at the Do Good Fair the “Set Free” groups their church has implemented for men and women struggling with pornography or similar lustful desires.

Charles Daugherty from Serve the City in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, attended the Do Good Fair. He’s using the information he learned when meeting with denominational leaders throughout Iowa to address the pornography addiction epidemic.

“If we try to individually [do this], we will do nothing,” Daugherty says, “but if we can work together, we can solve this situation.”

Pastor Hukee told TFL, “It’s important to uncover pornography use, but I think our response needs to go deeper. We need to figure out why or where pornography addiction stems from and then do something about it.

“Christ has given His body, the Church, to actually help those who are enslaved to their sexual sin,” he said.

“The Church has to wake up,” said Do Good Fair attendee Matt Moeckel. “If people care about sexual slavery or human trafficking, you have to care about this.”

Pornography addiction has become an epidemic in America, but is often accepted, even embraced, by the wider culture. Change, therefore, must begin in the Church, and it begins when pastors and church leaders are informed, equipped, and teamed together in mutual encouragement – the very purpose of the Do Good Fair.




VIDEO: Teens recap amazing LEAD week!

Forty-six teenagers from Iowa and beyond attended The FAMiLY LEADER’s 2nd annual LEAD week, a program that disciples students through biblical worldview training and practical leadership experiences.

LEAD is a big part of extending to the next generation TFL’s mission of inspiring Christ-like leadership, as we seek a revived America that honors God and blesses people.

And in this second year of the LEAD program, the TFL staff added a “media” track, training students in news journalism with integrity and giving them the opportunity to try their hand at reporting the week’s top news. The media students researched, interviewed, and wrote stories for a daily newspaper as well as produced a pair of news broadcasts to cover the week’s events.

The video below is the second of those broadcasts, a light-hearted but earnest look at many of the week’s activities:

LEAD is not a typical summer camp. LEAD runs authentic leadership simulations where high school students have the opportunity to experience the roles of community leaders (like state legislators or news media) first-hand, making decisions that would affect millions of people in the state. Mix that in with engaging biblical worldview discussions, faith-building worship and chapel, a hearty dose of games and recreational activities (and awesome relationships built throughout the week), and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what LEAD looks like.

But the real heart of LEAD is equipping a new generation of leaders to be ambassadors for Christ in whatever field God calls them to. Whether the students become legislators, reporters, businesspeople, pastors, parents – wherever God takes them – the LEAD experience inspires the confidence and biblical thinking skills needed to be salt and light to our culture.

Next year’s keynote LEAD worldview speaker is Sean McDowell! Make sure you’re on TFL’s mailing list, so you can get YOUR teen signed up as soon as registration opens for 2020 LEAD!




Chuck Hurley talks ‘religious tolerance’ on KCRG-TV

The FAMiLY LEADER’s Chuck Hurley appeared on KCRG’s Ethical Principles on The News episode “What Does Religious Tolerance Mean Today?” with moderator Leon Tabak on July 23. Joining Hurley on the show, representing the Muslim community, was Imam Hassan M. Selim from the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids and from the Jewish community, Rabbi Todd Thalblum of temple Judah also in Cedar Rapids.

During the episode, the representatives discussed topics like division in America and how we can tolerate or respect people with views and religious beliefs that differ from our own.

When discussing whether store owners have the right to refuse custom services that violate their conscience, like in the Masterpiece Cakeshop of Colorado incident where the owner refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, views around the table differed.

Rabbi Thalblum argued Masterpiece Cakeshop’s refusal amounted to illegal discrimination, claiming store owners are obligated to serve the public. Chuck Hurley countered that the State of Colorado’s punishment of the cakeshop infringed upon on the store owner’s right of conscience and religious liberty.

“My view is all Americans should be able to live and work according to the dictates of their conscience without fear of unjust government punishment,” Hurley said.

At the conclusion of the half-hour discussion, the differing views came together to agree on one thing: respect. Although they, and the rest of the nation, may disagree with one another, it’s important that we still respect each other.

“We’re supposed to love our neighbor even if we disagree with them,” said Hurley, vice president and chief counsel of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Is it difficult? Yes. Vital? Absolutely.”

“Its OK to have differences,” said Selim, “as long we know how to express them and listen to each other.”

Watch the full episode and hear what Hurley and the other guests said below:




WATCH: Sen. Ben Sasse talks ‘tribalism’ at Summit

One of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines was an analysis of division in America, presented by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).

In a fast, but deep and content-packed address, Sasse discussed the cultural and historical factors that have led to a breakdown in community and a rise of “tribalism,” both in politics and in the American culture.

Put on your thinking cap, buckle your seatbelt, and see for yourself why so many of the 2019 Summit attendees were buzzing about Sasse’s speech:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!




WATCH: Senators talk racial reconciliation at the Summit

One of the highlights of the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines was an interview with U.S. Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Tim Scott (R-SC) on their grassroots work to encourage racial reconciliation in America.

The FAMiLY LEADER President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats spoke with the senators in a conversation that was more humorous, uplifting, and genuinely Scripture-packed than anyone at the 8th annual Summit was expecting.

See for yourself why the discussion about #SolutionSundays is quickly becoming one of the most talked about moments from the 2019 Summit:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!