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2016 Legislative Session Report

Dear Ministry Friends and Partners:

Over the past few months I served the Kentucky State Capitol community during my first legislative session. This year’s session was a “long session” (60 days as opposed to the 30 day “short sessions” held on alternating years). Every two years a long session is held in part due to a biennial state budget needing to be passed on even numbered years. Although I don’t have anything else to compare it with, I have heard that these sessions are much busier and more stressful than their odd-year counterparts. It was a good way to get initiated with a “baptism of fire” of sorts.

My goal during this session was to build relationships with as many lawmakers and staff as possible. I wanted to introduce myself and the ministry and let them know that I was there to serve them and pray for them. It was important to emphasize that my ministry would be non-partisan. I engage in no lobbying on legislation, no endorsing of candidates, and no obvious support of any political party. My desire is to be able to minister through the Scriptures and prayer to the spiritual needs of legislators and staff regardless of their political affiliation. I also started a weekly Bible study for legislators and staff in one of the small meeting rooms in the Capitol Annex (the office building connected by tunnel to the capitol where all the legislators’ offices are located).

I was very encouraged by the doors the Lord opened during this session for ministry. We opened the session with a free meal provided to legislators as a “Welcome Back” and introduction of the ministry to Kentucky. During the session, I was able to meet personally with 35 senators and representatives in their offices. During this time I would introduce myself and explain the purpose of the ministry. I would also try to learn a little bit about the legislator’s background and family. I would then ask how I could pray specifically for that legislator and would subsequently do so. This was a very profitable time of ministry and opened doors for many conversations later as I followed up on prayer requests or family details they had shared.

In addition to these office meetings, I also met and had substantially conversations with 63 other lawmakers in various contexts. I regularly set in the gallery of the Senate and House chambers observing and praying for the legislators. I was blessed to lead the opening prayer of the Senate on three different occasions. By the end of the session, I was on first-name basis with nearly 100 of the 138 members of the Kentucky General Assembly.

 Our Bible study met on each Tuesday and Thursday during the session. I did the same study both days to allow as many legislators as possible to attend (since they each have varying schedules based on which committees they serve on). We began with a study on “How to Study the Bible” and ended the session with an expositional study of the book of Philippians. Thanks to donations from churches and individuals, we were able to provide a light lunch at each of these studies, as well as the initial lunch for legislators at the beginning of the session. I was also able to purchase a case of ESV Pew Bibles to use for our studies. We averaged approximately 20 each week in attendance at the Bible study (combined) with some from the community attending as well. We had at least 21 different legislators or staff attend at least once, most multiple times.

I was also ministering to the staff at the capitol. I was able to build a number of relationships with staff and had several opportunities to pray for specific needs that they shared with me. The staff as a whole was very receptive to the idea of the Bible study, but they are severely limited during the legislative session due to their busyness (they are often unable to get away from their desks for lunch). My plan is to provide a weekly Bible study for the year-round staff at the capitol during the interim (May – December). I would like to begin, as I did for the legislators, with a welcoming meal. To do this, I will need the Lord to provide the resources as I ended the session slightly in the red in my ministry expense account.

Overall, I was greatly encouraged with how the session went. I was encouraged by the quality of the people who work at the capitol (both legislators and staff). I was also encouraged by the amount of work that they do. Many begin work early in the morning and work late into the evening. What happens when the General Assembly is in session is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amount of work that is being done. In summary, I was very encouraged by what I saw up close and behind the scenes (for the most part). I was also more convinced than ever of the importance of this ministry. The legislators and staff are under a ton of pressure and need the spiritual support of the prayers of God’s people. I was honored to be used by God as an extension of His church during this session to minister to the needs of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Please continue or commit to praying for the legislators and staff, and for me as I seek to minister to them on your behalf! If you would like to partner with our ministry, please let me know. You can give directly through my Capitol Commission ministry page (capitolcom.org/Kentucky).

In Christ Alone,
Weaver Signature


I was honored to receive several endorsements for my work as state minister from both legislators and church leaders whom I respect. To read the endorsements, click here.

Top Ten Favorite Reads in 2015

During 2015 I was blessed to read a number of great books. Here are ten of my favorites. These were not all written in 2015, I just read them this year. I list these books in no particular order, just ten of my favorite reads in 2015.

New Ministry Opportunity: State Minister for Kentucky State Capitol Community

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I am happy to announce today that through a partnership between Capitol Commission and the Kentucky Baptist Convention I have begun a new ministry serving the Kentucky State Capitol community as a State Minister. For the past fifteen years I have served as a pastor focusing on the ministry of teaching God’s Word verse-by-verse and shepherding God’s flock. For the last 7 and a half years I have served at Farmdale Baptist Church of Frankfort, Kentucky, where I will continue to serve. The opportunity to serve as State Minister allows me to extend that same pastoral ministry to the capitol community (a community that includes elected officials from all three branches of our commonwealth’s government and an extensive staff).

kbc-color4The belief that undergirds this ministry is that the Word of God alone has the power to change people’s lives. The Scriptures are the means that God uses both to save the lost and sanctify believers. Therefore, this ministry will provide weekly Bible studies at the capitol and offer biblical counsel to those who desire this type of ministry.

Additionally, this ministry will seek to provide prayer support for those involved in government. The Scriptures command all believers to pray for those in leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Therefore, I commit to pray for and with the members of the capitol community and to encourage the Christian community of Kentucky to do the same. Please consider your own act of obedience to pray for our state and nation’s leaders by using the Capitol Commission prayer tool Pray1Tim2.org and subscribing to receive a daily email reminder.

For more information about the ministry I will be doing with Capitol Commission, see here. If you would like to partner with us to provide biblical and evangelistic resources to the capitol community, you can make a tax-exempt donation here. Above all, please be in prayer for me and this ministry opportunity.

13 Key Events of Church History

I noticed yesterday that my friend, Dr. Michael Haykin, posted a list of 18 key events in church history on his blog at the website of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. It is a great list, but it reminded me that I recently compiled a similar list. My list is more weighted toward Baptists. Haykin’s list is more ecumenical and reflective of world events that impacted Christianity. There is some overlap between the two with both lists containing the schism of 1054, the Protestant Reformation, and the beginning of the modern missionary movement. It is an interesting exercise for sure. If you had to list 10-15 key events in the history of Christianity, what would they be?
Here’s my list:
  1. Destruction of Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.
  2. Early Persecution (2nd-3rd centuries)
  3. Early Heresies (2nd-3rd centuries)
  4. Council of Nicaea/Constantinople (325,381)
  5. Council of Chalcedon (451)
  6. Charlemagne becomes first emperor of Holy Roman Empire (800)
  7. Schism of East and West Churches (1054)
  8. Protestant Reformation (1517)
  9. Rise of English Baptists (1609/1641)
  10. Modern Missionary Movement (1792)
  11. Formation of Triennial (1814) and Southern Baptist (1845) Conventions
  12. Charles Spurgeon and Downgrade Controversy (1880s)
  13. Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-2000)

Feel free to give your list in the comment section.

The Day Theology Became Doxology For Me (Or, how God used the music of Steve Green in my life)

In ten days, our church (Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY) will have the opportunity to host a concert with Christian artist Steve Green. This is a dream come true for me because of the way God used the biblical truths in Steve Green’s music to shape the trajectory of my life.

I remember when I was 19 years old traveling on Northshore Rd. just between Martel Rd. and the brand new 140 that connected Oak Ridge and Alcoa, TN. As I drove it was raining and I was listening to a new cassette tape in my car. It was an album by Steve Green titled “The Mission” and I remember the specific song that I was listening to as I drove on Northshore with water falling from the sky in an afternoon shower into the lakes on both sides of the road.  The song was called “The Symphony of Praise.” This was the moment in my life when theology (the study of God) became doxology (the worship of God).

God was working in my life at that time in a number of ways. It was around this time that I was reading The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, Ashamed of the Gospel and Reckless Faith by John MacArthur, and The Pleasures of God by John Piper. And I was listening to God-centered music with lyrics like these:

The composer and conductor of the universe
Steps before the orchestra of God
Creation lifts their finely crafted instruments
As all in heaven wildly applaud

The seasons well rehearsed begin with His downbeat
And on his cue the sun trumpets the dawn
The whirling winds swell in a mighty crescendo
With each commanding sweep of His baton
The oceans pound the shore in march to His cadence
The galaxies all revolve in cosmic rhyme
The fall of raindrops all in wild syncopation
As lightning strikes and thunder claps in time

The symphony of praise
Conducted by the Ancient of Days
May each creation great or small
Lift their voices one and all
In the symphony of praise

Heaven waits in hushed anticipation
The great I AM then turns to mortal men
A massive chorus robed in spotless garments
Offer up their song of praise to Him
The glories of God explode in full orchestration
As all creation joins the thunderous refrain
“Worthy, Worthy
WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN”
Lyrics from http://www.stevegreenministries.org

Finally, here was music that matched the theology that I had been reading. The greatness of God that I was studying in Scripture, I was now hearing sung in praise to God. This was a pivotal moment in my life! The day when theology became doxology.

STEVE GREEN CONCERT

Steve Green

Steve Green will be in concert at Farmdale Baptist Church on Friday, August 28th, at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available and can be reserved here for only $5.00 each. A love offering will be taken during the concert.

Let’s Stop Talking about the “Good Ole Days”!

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I call for a moratorium on white evangelicals talking about the “good ole days” when the United States was a godly nation. Why? Because it never was. Sure, there were times when on particular issues our nation has reflected certain biblical values better than at other times, but our nation has always been a nation of sinners who have been guilty of grievous sins. Let me be candid, it is easy for white evangelicals to romanticize the past because by and large the previous eras in American history were not marked by injustices to our ancestors. Of course, during every era we have had faithful men of God standing up and preaching the truth, and that’s exactly what we need today. However, when we idealize a particular era while glossing over its sins, we lose our credibility to proclaim the Word of God. Our authority must always be Scripture and not culture, not even 1950s culture.

If you’re looking for the godly era in American history, where will you find it? Not in the 1600s, when those who came for their own religious liberty refused that liberty to others by persecuting any who dared to dissent. Not in 1776, when those who declared all men to be created equal refused to treat blacks equally. Not in 1861-1865, when we fought a Civil War over whether states had a right to secede from the Union to preserve racial slavery as an institution. Not in the 1950s when racism was prevalent and institutionalized and many who sang “Jesus loves all the little children…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight” verbally and physically assaulted those who had a different color of skin. Not in 1973, when in the name of privacy and personal freedom mothers were given the right to murder their unborn children. Not in 2015, when evidence abounds that deep-seated racism still flourishes in certain quarters of American life. There is no golden age in American history. There are only eras where certain sins are tolerated, endorsed, and institutionalized. The golden age of American history is a myth.

In what I’m proposing, I don’t want in any way to denigrate an entire group of people. Certainly, not all white Christians engaged in or supported the societal sins cited above. In fact, there are heroic examples of white Christians standing beside their black brothers and sisters to speak the truth to power. I also don’t want to discount the tremendous strides in human flourishing brought about by white evangelicals, particularly here in America. There is much to celebrate and remember fondly in our history, but we have to acknowledge the darker side of our past as well. Our past and present is a mixed-bag of both good and evil. We cannot accept one while ignoring the other. To put it more forcefully, we cannot praise the good, without condemning the evil.

We need to realize that whenever we talk about those bygone eras nostalgically, eras in which the ancestors of our black brothers and sisters were enslaved, beaten, hanged, and otherwise mistreated, we are communicating that we would rather go back to the days when white Christians were more respected and coddled, even if that means our black brothers and sisters would be subjugated and mistreated. I trust that most who use this language don’t mean this, but multiple conversations with my black friends indicate that this is exactly what they hear when such language is used.

If the above is not what we are trying to communicate, let’s find a better way to say what we mean that doesn’t communicate such an offensive message. Instead of talking about “Taking Back America” or “Reclaiming Our Culture,” let’s talk about calling all people in all cultures to repentance for their sins. If we do this honestly, we will not only renounce the sins of our day, we will also forthrightly acknowledge and condemn the sins of our white Christian ancestors.

Same-Sex Marriage and the Gospel

Today in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. That’s new. It’s impossible to overestimate the historic nature of this decision and the sweeping ramifications that this decision will have on American life.

What isn’t new is our responsibility to love our gay and lesbian neighbors, to share the gospel with them, and to call upon them to repent of their lifestyle. We are to do this not out of hatred or fear, but out of love. We should love all of our neighbors, friends, and relatives enough to call upon them to trust in Christ and turn from their sin. By doing this for our gay and lesbian friends, we are not singling them out, but are simply delivering the same message to them that has delivered us and will deliver all kinds of sinners.

Marriage as defined by God is still the same–one man, one woman for one lifetime. No court decision will ever change that. I will continue to preach and teach this and will only perform ceremonies for biblical marriages, not because I want to deny happiness to others, but because I believe that the only way for people to be truly happy is to function as their Creator designed them.

What is legal isn’t always moral and what is moral isn’t always legal. In this case, as in all others, let us commit to recognize God’s authority rather than man’s. Let us uphold the biblical teaching on marriage. Let us even more steadfastly proclaim the biblical gospel that declares that unrepentant sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers will not go to heaven, but “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).