Matt Barnes was recently introduced as “the most powerful man in the Indiana statehouse.” But, he is not a politician. Rather, he is an informal pastor to the public servants in Indiana. His impact is drawing major attention, including this article by the Indy Star. In this episode, we discuss Matt’s unique ministry and what he is doing to proclaim the Gospel and promote civility around the country.
#1 Public Servant’s Prayer
Matt leads a national ministry called Public Servant’s Prayer (PSP), which encourages and equips Christians to pray for their elected officials (as commanded in I Tim. 2:1-4). PSP sends out daily reminders to pray for three legislators/lawmakers in your state. This approach has given PSP bipartisan influence and established Matt as an informal chaplain to lawmakers. He has even led several to Christ. Some of the stories he shares in the interview are paradigm-shattering.
#2 The Right First Question
For over twelve years, Matt has led off his relationship with public servants with simple questions like “How can I pray for you?” and “How can I help you?” You can imagine the shock on legislator’s faces when asked this question. Matt states that we need to start our relationships in the public square with the right first question. He reminds us that “Access is Granted. Influence is Earned.”
#3 The Key to Civility
We often talk about the lack of civility in public life. It is very difficult to hold a Republic together if we can’t even have a civil conversation. PSP is helping change this. As Matt states in the interview, “It’s impossible to hate someone you are praying for.” PSP holds bipartisan prayer meetings on a regular basis, and this effort has changed politics as usual. Brian Bosma, the Indiana Speaker of the House, recently stated the following about Matt: “Your team [has] changed the discourse in the Indiana House.”
#4 Matt’s Offer/Challenge
Matt ended the interview by making an offer. If you want to begin a ministry relationship with your lawmakers, Matt offered to walk with you into the first meeting! I encourage you to take him up on this!
You can follow PSP on twitter by typing in @Praying4_(followed by the two-letter abbreviation of your state). For example @Praying4_IN. You can follow them on Facebook by typing PSP and then the name of your state.