MBC to host prayer service for government leaders Jan. 9
JEFFERSON CITY—It is hoped that words of dignity, integrity, humility and civility will characterize the fourth annual Legislative Prayer Service Jan. 9 at Concord Baptist Church, according to the host pastor and featured speaker.
Monte Shinkle, who has served 16 years as Concord’s pastor and one year as president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), is excited to be a part of the event, which has been sponsored all four years by The Pathway, the Christian Life Commission of the MBC, and Concord.
“This year is important in that it is an election year,” Shinkle said. “We’re praying, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.’ That’s certainly what we’re seeking. We want our legislators to live godly lives, and we ask God’s blessing upon them. Certainly we want to live quiet and peaceful lives, and one of the things God’s Word tells us to do is to pray for those who are in authority over us.”
Gov. Matt Blunt is continuing his custom of extending his personal invitation to attend the event to the members of the Missouri General Assembly, and both the executive and the judicial branches of government. Heads of state government departments have also traditionally attended. Blunt has helped the event grow by attending it every year, beginning when he was governor-elect in 2005.
Breakfast will be served in the Fellowship Hall at 8 a.m., with the special dedication service to follow at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary. Lawmakers will be on a tight schedule as the beginning of the of five-month legislative session is scheduled for noon.
The pattern of the service is music, prayer and a message, all designed to be wrapped up in an hour or less. The general public is invited.
As pastor of the largest Baptist church in the capital city, Shinkle said he has both an obligation and an opportunity to minister to every public servant in Missouri state government.
“We certainly have a lot of government employees as part of Concord Baptist Church, so they see firsthand how legislation affects people,” he said. “We want our people to be salt and light here in Jefferson City, and we just kind of feel like if we do what we ought to do here as a church body, then it will have a good impact all across the state.”
Civility is a word that Shinkle is pondering as he goes about preparing his message for Jan. 9. How might a politician rise above the turbulence? Part of the answer to that question can be traced to remembering where one came from and why one is in his or her place of public service.
“I’m kind of thinking about our Christian conduct—how we treat one another,” he said. “I think in an election year, that’s really important.”
It is an opportunity for Concord’s staff and leaders from the MBC’s Baptist Building to mingle with those from other faith traditions.
“Certainly the vast majority of the people who will be at this prayer breakfast are not Baptist, so this is not about conversion to being Baptist, or anything of the kind,” Shinkle said. “This is praying that they will make wise decisions and that they will conduct themselves in a biblical manner.”
Gov. Blunt, who is Baptist, looks forward to the service every year in that it provides a Christ-centered launch to the new lawmaking season.
“Pray for the prayer meeting,” Shinkle said. “It’s important, and I feel good about the fact that we can get together to do this.”