At the Church Ambassador Network, we hold to the teachings of Scripture that government is an institution of God’s with the purpose of punishing evil and rewarding good, and that those who serve in it are God’s ministers. We believe that government is separate from the Church, and has its own unique responsibility. However, government needs moral guidance and counsel from the Church to fulfill its purpose to punish evil and reward good. It needs the true north that the Church provides through its head, Christ, and the Word of God.
Our mission is to build a relationship between the shepherds of God’s Church and God’s government as portrayed in the Scriptures. It is a relationship between institutions, not just individual local churches. Throughout history the shepherds of God’s institution of the Church have served as a moral compass and guide to the nations. It is our goal to have pastors and congregations engage government in a way that honors God and is effective under all forms of government, regardless of when and where.
Our Core Principles
1. God desires ALL people to be saved. (2 Peter 3:9) (1 Timothy 2:4).
2. God does not fit neatly into political parties or political theories. He is not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. He is God. Neither is He conservative, liberal, or moderate. He is God (1 Corinthians 1:25).
3. America is not a covenant nation, like biblical Israel. It is a nation that has often been blessed because of God’s grace and because it followed the Lord, His principles, and His precepts (Psalm 33:12).
4. Moralism does not equal spiritual transformation (Romans 10:3). (Romans 2).
5. Only the Gospel has the power to properly transform people, who together transform a nation.
6. The Church is not a worldly voice. It is an ambassador of a heavenly kingdom.
7. The power of true cultural renewal lies in the word of God, not in the halls of kings.
8. Both the Church and the government are institutions created by God. They have unique roles that must remain distinct, but must work together under God (Romans 13) (2 Chronicles 19:11).
9. The king has been uniquely called by God to administer justice with the aid of the timeless counsel of the Church (2 Kings 12:2) (Romans 13) (2 Samuel 8:15).
10. As Paul ministered to both the Jew and the Gentile, we will minister to the Republican, Democrat, and Independent in unique ways that never compromise the truths of the eternal Word of God.
11. Our identity is not in a political party. We stand for God’s Word, and ask others to join us there (Joshua 5:13-14).
12. We understand that David ruled with justice and righteousness because he walked with the Lord, his God.
13. We are missionaries who work to build intentional relationships with the ministers of the Lord’s institution of government with a goal to serve all, build up the saints, and win the lost.
We believe that God desires all people to be saved, and come to the knowledge of Him. In the government arena, that means people from all political parties and ideologies. And 1 Corinthians 9 gives us a model for ministering in government: As Paul ministered to both Jew and Gentile, we seek to tear down partisan walls to minister to both Republican and Democrat. Paul may have changed the way he communicated, but nowhere did Paul compromise or change his message. We are committed to doing the same.
We strongly believe that the political/partisan war in this nation can come to an end, but it will only be done though the healing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our governing authorities, like all people, need a transformed heart, and only the gospel has the power to do it.
Both government and the Church are institutions of God. They both have unique roles to play. It is important for them to remain separate, but they must work together. The question must not be, “Whose side is the church on?” rather the question is, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Joshua 5:13-14).
That is why we work to build relationships between the shepherds of God’s Church and the shepherds of God’s government. We bring pastors to elected officials for the sake of the kingdom. The government is an institution of God’s, and when it fulfills the purpose God called it to, it brings Him glory. Government, however, cannot fulfill its God-given purpose without the timeless counsel of the Church.
At The FAMiLY LEADER Foundation, we firmly believe if we engage in government God’s way, we will expand God’s kingdom, bring Him glory, and see souls come to know Christ.
We don’t only want pastors to embrace this vision, but all the Lord’s people. If we are to be a light to all aspects of our culture, including government, the Lord’s people must engage in culture in a biblical way (Matthew 5:16).
The Iowa Capitol Project
The Iowa Capitol Project lies at the heart of the Church Ambassador Network. Our overall goal is to restore the biblical relationship between Church and state, modeled in the Scriptures. We accomplish this by bringing the shepherds of God’s Church (pastors) to the shepherds of government (historically the king; today, legislators, governors, and judges) with the purpose of building an intentional relationship that ministers to them both personally as well as their unique role as “king.”
The Prophet Nathan and King David are excellent examples of this unique relationship in the Scriptures: Nathan was a friend to David, invested in building a relationship with him, and when David stepped out of line, Nathan restored him. We see this relationship modeled with Elijah and Ahab, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, Joseph and Pharaoh, Jonah and the King of Nineveh, and so many more.
Furthermore, though government’s primary purpose is to commend good and punish evil, it cannot determine good and evil on its own. Thus we need pastors engaged as missionaries in the civil arena, because the government needs the Church to serve as its moral compass.
So we have been working with hundreds of pastors across Iowa to develop a ministering relationship with our elected officials. Pastors came to Des Moines – over 1,000 pastor visits since the start of the project in 2016 – to meet with state lawmakers, members of the executive branch, and even the governor and our U.S. senators.
Through the Iowa Capitol Project, pastors have begun to build relationships with our elected officials through prayer, words of encouragement, and speaking biblical truth to various public policy issues. These meetings are non-partisan, and all conversations are kept in confidence in order to protect the relationship between state officials and pastors. We want them to know these relationships will not be used for political gain.
We hope YOU will be able to join us. To schedule your visit to the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines for the 2019 Session, please get in contact with our offices.
In 2015, the Church Ambassador Network worked with churches all across Iowa to present a Founders Bible to every Iowa legislator and member of the executive branch. Since the presentation of the Bibles in 2015, we have been presenting Bibles to all new elected officials, ensuring every member of Iowa’s government has a Founders Bible.