An important function of a Culture Impact Ministry is to monitor legislation and to provide the pastor and congregation with information on legislation. Every ministry will determine their own issues of interest, but here are a few suggestions: life at every stage, traditional marriage and family, parental rights, religious liberty, and civil government.
At the beginning of each legislative year, it will be important to begin monitoring the types of legislation in which you have an interest. As proposed laws proceed through your state’s legislature, various hearings and votes will be held. At some point, your State Senator and/or Assembly Member will be asked to vote on the proposed law and the Governor will decide whether or not to sign the legislation. The culture impact ministry can influence the outcome of a proposed law by contacting elected officials and voicing support of, or opposition to, proposed legislation.
One method for sharing information about legislative concerns with the congregation is through an Action Alert flier. This simple tool consists of a brief description of the proposed legislation, suggests the action step(s) to take, and lists the necessary contact information for the legislators. The requested action is usually a phone call, a letter, or an in-person visit to the legislator’s office.
Action Alert fliers can legally be distributed at church. Some ministries prefer to place them on an information table for people to pick up on their own while other ministries choose to pass out the fliers as church members enter or leave the service.
The Culture Impact leader should familiarize him/herself with the legislative process at both the state and federal level. The life cycle of a proposed law varies from state to state as well as at the federal level. Your state’s official legislative website contains information about the process followed in your state. A link to the website for each state is available on the Faith and Public Policy website.
Knowing when to create an Action Alert requires much time, research, and experience. Most Culture Impact Ministry leaders find it wise to follow the advice of pro-family organizations to determine the best time to call the congregation to action. As a leader gains more experience and thoroughly understands the legislative process, he or she may wish to write the ministry’s Action Alerts him/herself using information gleaned from multiple trusted pro-family sources.