Since leaving politics in 2012, I have been asked numerous times when I am coming back. There is no doubt that I have a passion for public policy, and for mixing it up in the political arena. Regardless of party affiliation, I have the highest respect for those who put their name and reputation out there for the public to judge.
Each time I am asked if I am coming back into politics I have mixed feelings. While I deeply cherished my time representing the people of Utah, I am not overwhelmingly in love with all aspects of the person I became when doing so. I was brash at times, and I was puffed up with the image of my own importance; I loved being in the spotlight. While I am not too eager to revisit that person, I do indeed have a desire to serve, and I still have a heart for those in political office.
Anyone who knows me, knows that in the past couple of years I have changed dramatically as a person. While I used to think the most important fight was within the political arena, I have since had a change of heart. I am now fighting for a different kingdom...The kingdom of God.
In 2013 my life was forever changed as I came to an understanding of who Jesus Christ was in my life. The change was so dramatic, that today my daily focus centers around how I can best serve and honor God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 seems to describe this change quite well when it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I love talking about Jesus, the Bible, theology, and the change that can come to a surrendered life in Christ; it is my consuming passion. I also enjoy politics, an arena that may be viewed as anathema to a deeply held spiritual worldview, but I would disagree.
I was recently in Washington D.C. where I heard a man refer to elected officials as “precious politicians.” This was not in a comedy night club, and the speaker was not engaged in raillery. He was a religious leader, one to whom I have tremendous respect, and he was serious. I was in D.C. at the request of a Christian ministry called Capitol Ministries. Capitol Ministries was founded in 1996 by former professional basketball player Ralph Drollinger who has a passion for politicians and the Lord.
Ralph and his wife Danielle hold a weekly Bible study in Washington D.C. for members of Congress. They pass out copies of Bible studies to those who cannot attend. The ministry has grown exponentially; currently there are ministries set up in over 40 state capitols, as well as several different national capitols throughout the world.
Ralph had contacted me about the possibility of starting a chapter of Capitol Ministries here in Utah, and for a variety of reasons I thought he was nutty for asking. But as I have learned over the past few years, God gets what God wants. As much as I tried to avoid the idea, I could not deny the call from God to minister to the elected officials in Utah’s Capitol, so I am now the State Director for Utah Capitol Ministries. What does this all mean and what does it look like? I do not really know at this point, but I am stepping out in faith, and hope to be a blessing to the elected senators and representatives of Utah.
Like Paul who was a tent maker and a minister, I will continue my work as a police officer in order to support my ministry. I have been praying for all 104 members of the state legislature, and I will continue to do so every single day. I have talked to some members of leadership from both houses, and so far the reception has been very warm and inviting. I plan to meet with the rest of the leaders from both parties to discuss my ministry and vision.
Will I be running Bible studies for the legislature this year? Not likely. There is simply too much to do, and a very short amount of time in which to do it. I will however have a small presence at the capitol, as I plan to be there at least once per week this session. I will hand out prayer request forms for any legislator who has a specific need, and I will be passing out short Bible studies that are applicable to elected officials. Mostly, I will just be there for fellowship and prayer, and to offer love and support as law makers do the public's business.