May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. Psalm 138:4,5
Ministry to State featured in ByFaith. Click here to read.
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is committed to seeing the Great Commission carried out and God’s Kingdom extended in ways that go beyond the vital work of planting churches. The worshiping church also has a responsibility to serve her surrounding communities with God’s love and mercy and engage various arenas of the culture at large.
The Scriptures and the history of the Church provide numerous accounts of God’s people engaging those who are in positions of power. While there is some limited ministry to those who serve in government positions from within the PCA, to most this is unfamiliar territory. Reaching influential people who govern domestically and internationally with the Gospel is an area of significant need and opportunity. It is with this vision and hope that MNA Ministry to State was established in early 2005.
MNA Ministry to State seeks to achieve five fundamental objectives:
- Exposing those in government to the transforming truths of the Gospel through healthy relationships.
- Providing encouragement and support in the development of a Biblical world and life view for those in government who make a profession of faith.
- Striving to be instrumental in establishing and maintaining a Biblical conscience among those in the government community who create and implement policy.
- Providing a healthy means to connect the church in a nonpartisan manner with those in government.
- Promoting and facilitating specific, intelligent prayer by the Church for those serving in government.
Using Washington, DC, as the international base of ministry, Ministry to State works in three major theaters:
State Capitols – Ministry to State assists interested churches and presbyteries in ministering to their state governments. For example, in Oklahoma City, 50-70 men and women from a wide cross section of government agencies meet weekly in the Governor’s conference room for Bible study and lunch provided by Heritage Presbyterian Church. A widely diverse group attends, including state senators, judges, clerks, secretaries and occasionally the Lt. Governor and the Governor himself.
Washington DC – In the nation’s capitol, the work focuses on building relationships through luncheons and dinners with those who work on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, the Pentagon, diplomatic community, and many others. Over time these relationships afford opportunities for dialogue that centers upon spiritual concerns. E-Studies engage some of these busy people in the study of Scripture through e-mail. Writing and publishing is another means of bringing the truths of the Scripture to this world community.
International Capitols – Through the Mission to the World (MTW) network and other international missions agencies, interested leaders are encouraged to consider ways in which they can better serve their region’s governmental communities. As relationships with those in the governments of other nations begin to develop, the MTW leader may also find that referrals and introduction to Christian politicians in Washington will be of significant value. These friendships can be critical in opening doors of opportunities for ministry to those who impact millions of lives.
Whether domestic or international, MNA Ministry to State exists within the capitol communities by invitation of those in the various government agencies and offices. Those who engage in the work view themselves as servants and guests. Care is taken to keep a humble profile and avoid an appearance of partisanship or of driving a specific political agenda. Pointing people in government to Christ is the ultimate agenda. It is a ministry of presence, and its success depends upon developing healthy relationships that the Lord provides.
The present format in Oklahoma may not be the only way that ministry develops in government communities. A relationship-oriented ministry can develop in any of a number of ways. In some government centers only encouragement in the Word and in prayer through limited relationships may be possible. In other places, there may be an annual prayer breakfast or small prayer groups that regularly meet during legislative sessions.
Chuck Garriott received his MDiv degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 1979, took a position as Assistant Pastor and Youth Director at Covenant Presbyterian in Cherry Hill NJ in 1979 and was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in America in 1980. In 1983 Chuck answered the call to become pastor of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City, OK, where he served for 21 years.
Beginning in 1990, Chuck was involved in the church planting movement in the Oklahoma City area, where three mission churches and one Reformed University Ministry were established during those years. He has served on the Southwest Church Planting executive committee.
In response to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Chuck was part of a clergy team that ministered to families who lost loved ones in the tragedy. This civic outreach was followed by the development of a ministry to the Oklahoma state government called Capitol Service. Through this ministry, Chuck led a Bible study in the capitol, met weekly with State Senators and House members for prayer and study, and eventually served for a time as Senate Chaplain.
Over the past twelve years, he has also had much experience in international ministry, preaching and teaching in churches and schools in Central Europe, the Middle East, Haiti and extensively in South Africa.
Chuck currently resides in Washington DC with his wife Debby. They are the parents of four adult children.
May we never forget that the success of ministry to government is in the Lord’s hands. Unless He builds the work it will never succeed in fulfilling its mission or goals. It is our hope that the Ministry to State will be used for the building of God’s Kingdom and for His glory.
We Invite Your Participation
Please join with me in praying that many people will find hope in Jesus Christ and that lives will be changed through MNA Ministry to State. Pray that more people in our government will be open to hearing the Good News. I ask you to prayerfully consider participating with us through your financial support. You can make a tax-deductible contribution to this ministry online. You can also mail contributions, made payable to Mission to North America, to:
Mission to North America
PO Box 890233
Charlotte NC 28289-0233
Designate: MNA Ministry to State
Under His care,
MNA Ministry to State Director
Ministry to State
2908 18th St NW
Washington DC 20009