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!




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!




Bob Vander Plaats talks ‘racist’ Trump tweet on CNN

Once again, CNN couldn’t understand why a person wouldn’t be either sold out for President Trump or dead set against him.

And once again, Bob presented The FAMiLY LEADER’s consistent message of “thinking bigger” than politics – being willing to commend our leaders when they do well and holding them to account when they don’t.

In the latest controversy over Trump’s allegedly “racist” tweets, Bob argues, “I don’t think anybody wins when we go to the lowest common denominator.”

Was Trump’s tweet storm telling four Democrat congresswomen to “go back” to their home countries racially insensitive? Yes. Poorly worded? You betcha. Language, frankly, beneath the office of the president.

But, Bob says, it doesn’t help the divisiveness in America or real racial reconciliation to point fingers and use “racist” in name-calling:




WATCH: Mike Lindell speaks at 2019 Summit

Mike Lindell, CEO and inventor of MyPillow, tells the 2019 Family Leadership Summit in West Des Moines, Iowa, about his redemption story – from cocaine and crack addition, through invention of his revolutionary pillow, to becoming an executive producer of the pro-life film “Unplanned”:

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




Pastor Equipping Webinar: Combating porn in the church

How can pastors and church leaders help the people in their congregation struggling with pornography?

According to a recent study, 87% of people say that no one is helping them in their fight against porn, and 54% of those couldn’t even think of anyone who could help.

Pastor Luke Hukee of Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines shares key insights, strategies, and help for churches who want to help people find freedom from addiction to pornography:

Research Resources:

Josh McDowell: The Porn Epidemic Portfolio
The Porn Phenomenon by the Barna Group
Fight the New Drug.org

Ministry Resources:

“Clean” by Doug Weiss
“The Game Plan” by Joe Dallas
Conquer Series
“Redeemed Sexuality” by Andrew Boa
“Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness” by Ellen Dykas
“Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken” by David Powlison

Accountability Resources:

Covenant Eyes
Accountable2You