HELPING LOCAL CHURCHES MEET THEIR COMMUNITIES IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE
BY JOHN ELDREDGE AND JASON SKIFSTAD
This handbook is designed to help concerned Christians lead their local church toward a more effective Christian influence in their communities. We hope it will prove helpful both for churches taking a first look at social action and for those fellowships which are already bringing Christian principles to the public square. The suggestions offered herein are meant to assist both clergy and laity to develop a plan of action for their church.
We bear witness that the Holy Spirit is starting to blow a refreshing breeze across our country. For churches interested in social impact, we know that this handbook was not the first step, and we pray it is not the last step! Our modest goals will be met if what follows may serve as the next step.
This information is designed most directly for churches participating in the Community Impact Project, a nationwide network of churches and pro-family organizations working together to restore traditional values in the public square. For more information about this program please contact Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995.
John Eldredge and Jason Skifstad
Independence Day, 1991
Community Impact Committees
Many local churches in America have established impressive track records of effective social involvement. Protestant and Catholic, independent and mainline, these churches share a common conviction: the body of Christ must stand in the gap to provide practical moral influence in the public square. But they often share something else in common. More often than not, churches successfully engaged in social action have a committee devoted to this purpose as an official part of their ministry structure.
They are called by different names – Social Concerns Committees, Current Issues Councils, Church and State or Christian Citizenship Committees – but their function is the same: to provide in-house leadership for congregational response to the social issues of the community. We’ve chosen to call it a Community Impact Committee, and helping you to establish one is the vision of this handbook.
Why a committee?
In contrast simply to exciting individuals, our ambition is to encourage churches to act corporately on social issues in their
community. There are many reasons for this approach, among them biblical obedience, accountability, effectiveness and sheer survival. Christians working together in the local church tend to be more biblical in their approach to social impact, and they are more influential in the long run than those trying to go it alone outside the body of Christ.
The CIC is a lay-run committee whose responsibility it is to keep the church leadership and congregation informed about social issues, provide counsel for involvement in social issues, and orchestrate various forms of action on social issues. Before we turn to the specific functions of the CIC, perhaps an example of a mission statement would help to summarize the vision. What follows may, of course, be adapted to your particular congregation.
Sample C.I.C. Mission Statement
The Community Impact Committee shall serve as an official committee of this church. Its charter is to serve both the church leadership and congregation by providing information about social issues of concern to the body of Christ and education on Christian responsibilities to love and service in the public square. The committee shall also endeavor to equip the church for action when so directed and to coordinate congregational involvement. The committee shall seek at all times to fulfill its responsibilities in a manner consistent with the character of Christ.
The committee shall endeavor to assist the leadership of this church by also acting as liaison to other pro-family organizations and churches. By identifying needs and concerns, together with the resources for addressing them, the committee shall help church leadership to direct the congregation in biblical response to the moral issues of our times. In this regard, the committee functions to disciple church members toward a fuller expression of their Christian faith in the public square.
The Community Impact Committee in the Local Church.
There are numerous roles and responsibilities that a CIC could fulfill in your church. We suggest four fundamental areas on which to concentrate: educating, equipping, alerting, and orchestrating.
And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6
The initial role of the CIC is educator. Clarifying Christian duties toward the community and providing your church with accurate and pertinent information on moral social/political issues should be first on your agenda. “Why should Christians be concerned about social issues?” “What exactly should we be concerned about?” Answering these questions is your top priority.
Busyness is pandemic in our culture; most people just cannot find the time to stay informed. Members of the clergy are notoriously overworked and far too busy to keep up on every social issue. The CIC is first and foremost a friend to the clergy. By supplying your leadership with the information to direct the congregation in matters of public policy, you will provide a desperately needed service. If your information is consistently balanced, thorough, and reliable you will win both gratitude and confidence. This confidence from your clergy is perhaps the single most necessary ingredient for the success of the CIC. Consider the church leadership your primary constituency. You will serve the church best by serving the leadership well.
Lack of time is also a big reason why the laity may be uninvolved in the public square. This factor, along with a lack of reliable
information, prevents the confidence they need to get involved. Under the guidance of the clergy, your second priority should be to educate the congregation both on current moral concerns and on the basic matters of Christian social responsibility.
Your church probably has a committee devoted to evangelism or missions, whose job is partly to remind folks that every believer has a role in fulfilling the Great Commission. Likewise, while administrating church involvement in social issues, the CIC also reminds the congregation that every Christian has a responsibility here as well. Many Christians today are woefully misinformed about the ramifications of their faith in the public square. Your presence helps the pastor to teach the congregation about these things. By informing and modeling the role of the Christian in society, you help to disciple the body of Christ!
The resources listed in the back of this handbook will assist you to accomplish your two primary responsibilities as educator: giving your church reliable information on the moral issues of the day, and discipling them into a fuller expression of their faith in action.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service. Ephesians 4:11-12
Education is the first step in the discipleship of the Christian. But once informed, the question then becomes “What should we do?” “How do we respond?” The second role of the CIC is to equip, to provide the resources necessary for action. Merely knowing that I should do something is not enough to get me out of the pew and into action; you must also provide tools and show me how to get involved. It is not uncommon for the novice to experience an overwhelming sense of frustration when confronting the magnitude of today’s problems. In order to prevent the typical swing from apathy to futility, folks need to have a useful response for information you share.
“Whom should I call?” “Where should we go?” “Are there any experts who can help us?” “Are there any organizations who specialize in this arena?” “Has anyone dealt with this before?” The CIC must expect these types of questions and offer opportunities for involvement whenever a concern is shared. The good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel; most social issues that your church will face have already been dealt with effectively by folks no braver than you! Therefore, your job is not to be a resident expert on everything from soup to nuts, but a resource center for the church, the committee with the connections. The information in the back of this handbook is a good start in knowing where to turn to equip your congregation for effective action.
Again, the clergy is your foremost responsibility here. When it comes to taking action as a congregation, they will be the ones to make the final decision; but you should educate and equip them. Pray regularly and specifically for wisdom and power as a committee. Schedule time to pray with the pastor. And when the opportunity comes to step out as a congregation, be an advisor. Recommending a course of action is yet another way to help the church leadership do their jobs. Knowing that you have already identified helpful resources and timetested ways to be involved will further encourage your clergy’s confidence in you, not to
mention your own self assurance.
Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman…. Ezekiel 33:7
For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 1 Corinthians 14:8
There comes a time for a call to action. Far too many opportunities for Christian influence in the public square have been lost due to someone being asleep at the wheel. The third role of the CIC requires perhaps the most diligence and discernment. This is the role of watchman, sounding the call to arms when the time comes for the church to take action. As the passage in 1st Corinthians puts it, the alarm must be clear enough to be understood. The need to be both timely and accurate is obvious. It is no less important to have a well thought out plan of action. Above these three things there must be adequate prayer.
Submission to church leadership is critical at this point. Your role as watchman is to bring both the alert and your recommendation to the attention of the leadership. But the decision to act lies with the one in authority. The actual call to arms is where most church leaders grow skittish. If you have been responsible in your other duties, all concerns will fare better at this time.
BE FOREWARNED: the call to arms is the most misused function of the CIC. Sounding too many alarms, like the boy who cried wolf, is perhaps even worse than being asleep at the wheel. Unplanned or imprudent battle cries are to be avoided at all costs. Deciding when and what to alert the congregation about is a crucial matter for prayer in the CIC and with the clergy. It is quite common for those who get immersed in social issues to develop a sense of urgency not shared by others less familiar with the subject. This deep sense of urgency can be a liability, intimidating to those who are “outside” the situation. The CIC must exercise restraint in its capacity as watchman, showing prayerful wisdom over when, how often and in what fashion they will sound the alarm. When done correctly, however, the importance of this role is difficult to overestimate.
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly. Romans 12:6
…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2
Once the church leadership has agreed to a course of action, the clergy may return the ball to your court. The task on this occasion is orchestration: to coordinate church involvement through the duration of a project. In some cases this role remains in the hands of the clergy, but they will often delegate to the CIC the responsibility of guiding the congregation through the particular involvement. Publicizing the action or event, coordinating volunteers, arranging for materials – these are types of activities that may require your orchestration.
Knowing that this hat may be yours to wear could help to moderate the frequency and ambition of your “alarms,” but this is also a very rewarding function of the CIC. Seeing the church in action and watching the joy people experience as a result of actually being salt and light in the community is very satisfying indeed. And, of course, the more timely and appropriate* the involvement (i.e. the better you fulfill your role), the more likely your church will be to participate the next time!
*This is not to be confused with merely asking how successful an activity was. There will be times when you will do exactly the right thing and have precious little material evidence to show for it; keep your spiritual focus regardless of wins or losses.
The Role of the CIC in the Community
Educate, equip, alert and orchestrate: these are the basic ways in which the CIC can serve the body of Christ. They might seem
intimidating, but do not despair; there are friends both inside and outside the church ready and willing to help. Another significant role of the CIC is to enlist those friends in fulfilling your “in-house” duties. This is the role of liaison; acting as the link to other churches and organizations.
To assist you in this task, Focus on the Family has a four-point plan for public policy involvement. It includes our Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C. Their role is to monitor Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court, presenting the pro family viewpoint to the leaders of our nation. FRC also works closely with state and local organizations, providing research, consultation, and other resources to grass roots activists. In turn, FRC benefits from the support local groups can offer when it comes to making our views known in Washington.
The second part of our plan is a sixteen-page, action-oriented publication called Citizen magazine. Citizen features articles by and
for activists, with an emphasis on “what you can do.” Stories of successes provide inspiration and know-how, and reviews of current research and resources tell you where to turn for tools to do the job.
Bringing up-to-the-minute reports on pro-family issues is the job of “Family News In Focus.” This public policy broadcast is heard several times daily on radio stations across the United States and Canada.
The fourth point involves the development of Family Policy Councils in states across the country. These councils are an integral part of our CIC plan. Similar to the FRC on a state level, the Family Policy Councils are non-profit organizations with a three-fold purpose: First, they provide vital research and education concerning issues affecting the family (including legislative updates, bill tracking, and voters guides). Second, they help to promote responsible citizenship in the churches through a variety of seminars, workshops, publications and other resources. Third, they strategically coordinate the efforts of pro family groups on the state level.
The goal is to encourage synergy, where the total effect of cooperative action is greater than the sum of individual efforts. A fitting analogy is that of burning charcoal briquettes. When separated on the hearth, they quickly die out; but when stacked together, the intensity and duration of their heat increases.
To date, Focus on the Family has helped to establish Family Policy Councils in thirty states; ten others are in the works. There are many other valuable organizations working on the state and local level as well. Some provide expertise on a particular issue. Together with the Family Policy Councils, these organizations can offer an array of services to your CIC, including monthly bulletin inserts, newsletters, legislative updates, rallies, speakers bureaus, action kits, and monthly forums where you can meet like-minded citizens to coordinate efforts and share resources.
By acting in liaison with the Family Policy Council and other organizations in your state, the CIC taps into a nationwide network. As we mentioned before, there is no need to reinvent the wheel; most social issues that your church will face have already been dealt with effectively. A liaison needn’t be an expert on everything, but a resource center for the church, the committee with the connections.
This summarizes the vision of the CIC in the church and in the greater network of pro family groups. Now we turn to the nuts and bolts of creating such a committee in your church.
The most basic prerequisite for any sort of Community Impact Committee is pastoral consent. This is not to say that a pastor must run the committee or even attend every meeting, but to be under pastoral authority is a Biblical necessity (Heb. 13:17, Rom. 13). Of course, it also stands to reason that the church which most exemplifies a respect for moral authority has the best chance of promoting it in the community. Therefore, the pastor must give assent to the establishment of the committee and be consulted on all major undertakings.
There are a variety of ways to start a Community Impact Committee in your church; it may begin as a concern laid upon a member of the clergy. Given the great demands placed upon most pastors, we recommend that a qualified lay-leader be identified to chair the committee. As mentioned above, however, a system of pastoral accountability must guide the committee in fulfilling its responsibilities.
Committee leadership requirements may be different from what characterizes the stereotypical “activist.” While the Lord has blessed some folks with a tremendous amount of energy and tenacity, the most important qualifications of a CIC leader should include depth of spiritual maturity and a gift for consensus building, a servant heart and no stigma of rebellion or fruitless confrontation (1 Tim. 3:2-12, Titus 1:6-9).
If you are a lay person who is feeling the call to deepen the social witness of your church, you might first want to identify other church members who share your concern. Support may be as close as your church’s pro-life group, home-schoolers network, or Bible study. The next step is to approach your clergy; perhaps you would want to broach the topic of social involvement by going through this handbook together. You may also wish to consult the Biblical Case For Involvement found in the Community Impact Curriculum.
Regardless of whether you are clergy or laity, leader or follower, novice or veteran, prayer is the order of the day, both in identifying folks who share the vision and in approaching those who may have less affinity for the social dimensions of Christianity. Unless all these undertakings begin and continue through the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be of little eternal value and may actually do more harm than good!
Structure is first determined by size. In a small church the committee may not be much larger than you; but if there are many interested people, the group may decide to organize either functionally or topically. If folks have general concerns and specific skills, you may divide labor functionally with roles such as chairperson, secretary, researcher, editor, and event coordinator. If you have more people with specific concerns and general skills, you may divide labor topically under categories, such as abortion, homelessness, sex education, religious freedom, etc. Most groups incorporate both function and topic into their organization.
Because three of your four fundamental responsibilities entail gathering and disseminating information, it makes sense that you have people with gifts in those areas. Someone must have the duty of keeping up to date on the issues. There also ought to be someone with writing skills in the group, as you will often need to present your information in written form (bulletin announcements, newsletters, etc.).
Regarding the formal relationship of the committee to the church, a lot depends on your type of church government. In general, these committees tend to fall under the umbrella of Christian Education/Adult Ministries (since education and discipleship are essential) or Missions/Outreach (since social action is so closely related to evangelism). Discussion with the pastor should provide direction on how the committee is to fit in to the organization of the church.
Again, size and structure play a large role in how your meetings will be handled. In general, you may wish to start with a meeting every other week. Some CICs meet as often as once a week, but few meet less than once a month. The Lord’s blessing should be invoked at the beginning of every gathering, and the essence of what takes place should be recorded by someone acting as secretary. These minutes should be kept on file for future reference, and a copy should be sent to the pastoral staff.
Prepare an agenda beforehand in respect for your own time and that of your fellow committee members. It should always allow time for prayer, review of the minutes from the previous meeting, updates on current issues and projects, discussion of pending issues, and prayerful planning of action items for the church. In discussing information brought to the meetings, small groups may wish to proceed informally. However, larger groups may find it helpful to consult a meeting guideline, such as the popular Roberts’ Rules of Order.
If you have been following social issues for a while, you probably have a pretty good idea what issues your CIC will address. If this is your first serious consideration of social involvement, you will want to start by becoming apprised of the shared concerns and relevant issues in your community. Either way, getting and staying informed is a high priority for the CIC. Resources in the bibliography offer both a general overview of the issues and deeper research on particular topics.
You need neither a large budget nor a staff of researchers to stay informed, since there are many organizations with full-time staff to do that job for you. Most of their newsletters are relatively inexpensive or free. Local libraries may also carry books and periodicals helpful to your work (especially if you are on the library review board).
An effective CIC will have a regular flow of information from a variety of sources. While you may entrust the state and national scene to their respective organizations, the local scene is yours to monitor! As you grow, look for someone to follow meetings of the school board and city council (these are often broadcast live over local cable channels).
By way of caution, let it be said that there are probably more issues to be concerned about in the public square today than any one church could possibly handle. As you begin to organize and operate your CIC, you must prioritize the issues that will command your attention. Start small! Educating the congregation about one issue and alerting them to a bill in order to contact their legislators might be enough for one month.
On the other hand, some issues will prioritize themselves. For example, not every state presents an opportunity to enforce anti-obscenity legislation; but where it is a possibility, it should be a consideration. That’s why the role of liaison is so important. You will want to know the opportunities and shared priorities of like-minded citizens in your community and state in order to work in concert as much as possible.
Of course, local crises will also emerge and demand your attention (such as an irresponsible sex ed. curriculum in the jr. high); but the tyranny of the urgent is a hard master, and every effort should be made to strike a balance between addressing problems and preventing them. The need for prayer and the role of the Holy Spirit in setting the priorities for your CIC cannot be overstated.
Communicating With the Congregation
It is useful to consider the various ways to communicate with the congregation. Remember that the object is certainly not for the
committee to end up doing everything on its own or even on behalf of the congregation, but to get the whole church involved. This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, all of which involve regular communication with the congregation. The most obvious is an announcement from the pulpit by the pastor. This vehicle carries perhaps the greatest weight, but be careful! Pulpit announcements should be used sparingly, so save this option for times when you really do need the “big guns.” There are better ways of setting up your regular dialogue with the congregation:
*Bulletins – Bulletin inserts arguably provide the broadest coverage of the congregation since almost everyone who comes to church will read one. A frequent drawback is the small amount of space available, but there may also be topical and stylistic limitations (e.g., modesty may prevent mention of certain concerns). Still, this can be an effective line of communication. Bulletin inserts are also available from the Family Policy Councils, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other groups.
*Newsletters – Newsletters are becoming an option for groups of modest means in this age of desk-top and even lap-top publishing. If your church already has an established monthly newsletter, you might consider seeking a regular column in it; or you could start your own. Many of the pro-family publications listed in the bibliography permit churches to reproduce their articles under special arrangements. In this way, a very impressive newsletter can be assembled by a rather small committee.
*Class Contacts – Leaders of adult classes are a natural network within the church. Building a relationship between the CIC and the various groups within your congregation is another way of getting the message out.
Once you have received the support of your church leaders and joined hands with a few other concerned members, you should begin to establish regular dialogue with the congregation. An easy second step would be to lend your help to some of the groups who represent your values in the state capitol and in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of issues your congregation can begin calling and writing their representatives about.
Projects on which the group might teethe itself include informing the congregation (with pastoral approval!) about who their elected officials are and reminding them of the biblical exhortation to pray faithfully for these public servants (1 Tim. 2:1-4). One of the first items of business could be the creation of a list naming all of your elected officials, from local school board all the way up to the White House (include address and phone numbers). This information may be obtained from your local library or registrar of voters (listed in the phone book). You may then provide the list for the congregation and update it appropriately.
Keeping in mind the need to disciple, the CIC could work with the Christian Education department to plan an adult education series on Christian social responsibilities. It could be something as pre-packaged as the Children At Risk video by Dr. James Dobson and Gary Bauer, or Against The Night by Chuck Colson (available from Word, Inc. – see bibliography under Social/Political Involvement). For a more tailored message, you may consult the Family Policy Council in your state for a list of guest speakers and possible topics. See the bibliography for information on these and other resources.
Life Chains have become a very popular way for churches to establish their presence in the community. Relatively non-controversial, organizing or participating in an area Life Chain is a good way to get your feet wet (see bibliography under Abortion).
Another very useful first step would be a voter registration drive. Alert the congregation about upcoming elections and register them to vote. You may remind the church that governing officials are servants of God according to the Bible, and that we are therefore obliged to honor good candidates and fear bad ones (Rom. 13:6-7). You may also explain that the most basic way to show honor in a participatory government is to participate! As the time draws near, you may encourage responsible voting by distributing non-partisan voters guides which provide the candidates’ stance on pertinent issues (see guidelines below).
Political Guidelines for Pastors and Churches
Is all of this permissible? Yes. Will we endanger our church’s non-profit status? No, because clear guidelines have been established by the federal government. Taking a stand on social issues, educating your congregation, calling them to action, and exerting grass-roots pressure on officials are all well within the law for churches as tax-exempt organizations. Pastors may even use the pulpit to take a stand on specific legislation, issues, or acts of government. The only place where limits have been set is with specific regard to campaigns and elections. And even here a great deal can be done, more than most churches realize! Below is a brief outline of “dos and don’ts” for churches and pastors at election time, based on requirements by the Federal Election Campaign Act and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The following are general guidelines. It is always a good idea to seek legal advice as you make specific plans for your church.
What churches MAY DO: Conduct non-partisan voter registration/education drives.
* Host candidate forums where all are invited and treated impartially.
* Distribute voting records and candidate surveys in compliance with the neutrality rules set forth by the IRS.
* Rent a church mailing list (at market value) to a candidate.
* Publish an ad in the church bulletin for all who request, as long as the ad is purchased at the regular rate for such ads.
* Publish news stories on political candidates, campaigns, and third-party endorsements of candidates.
* Invite a political candidate to attend a church service or meeting. Should your church invite a candidate to church service, remember that other candidates for the office, regardless of party, must also be given the same opportunity if they request it.
What churches MAY NOT DO:
* Endorse political candidates or contribute to political candidates or political action committees.
* Participate in fund-raising projects for political candidates.
* Make an outright donation of a mailing list to a political candidate.
* Sell a political ad at a discount rate if no other advertisers are offered discounts.
* Distribute candidate political statements.
* Pay to attend a caucus for a state or national political convention.
* Make in-kind or independent expenditures in favor of or against candidates.
A special note about clergy: As private citizens, pastors have the same rights as all Americans. They may take a stand on a political campaign and even endorse candidates. However, a pastor should always make it clear that any candidate-oriented efforts are those of a private citizen and not made on behalf of the church. Church funds must also be kept separate from such activities. Finally, although pastors may express personal opinions about candidates from the pulpit, it may be wise to avoid this practice lest the Internal Revenue Service argue that some use of church funds is involved.
THE LONG RUN
Christians are people with eternal goals, yet they are unfortunately quite susceptible to becoming temporally “near sighted.” That’s why a correct view of todays problems and opportunities requires nothing less than the eyes of Christ. Mother Theresa once described herself as a contemplative in the world; we must be careful to keep both sides of that paradox intact. As you seek to impact the world for Christ, your own vision will be tested. Try to set a course which maintains uncompromising values and reasonable expectations; any seeming progress or setback you experience should be evaluated on these two criteria.
And even if you do everything correctly (you won’t), there looms the specter of burnout. You were never meant to do everything! Are you indispensable at your church? That’s a problem which should be addressed by training others both to work with you and after you. Is there time in your day for worship, prayer, and study? Are you with your family at least four evenings out of seven? Are you in an accountability group which monitors your time management? Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Mt. 9:38). Keep your priorities!
Never neglect the spiritual dimension of the issues you face, for they are the key to every real step of physical progress as well. Delegate authority as a leader and submit to it as a follower. Be humble enough to compromise with your siblings for the sake of those who don’t know Christ. Above all, be joyful in the Lord and set your mind on every good and beautiful thing. Work and rest in His peace, and keep a gentle sense of humor about yourself.
Panic solves little, and fear less. The problems of the world have been long in the making; solutions take time too. What your hand finds to do, do with all of your might. But remember that every day is the Lord’s; rejoice and be glad in it.
Resources for Social and Political Family Issues
There are numerous resources for becoming and staying informed on the social issues, and no one list could begin to catalogue all of the worthy people, organizations and publications available. We’ve included the following bibliography merely to get you going. Since Focus on the Family has many more resources than this booklet can allow, please feel free to contact us with specific or topical requests for our tapes, films, books and booklets, fact sheets, resource lists, etc. Once you’ve determined to become involved, the best place to start may be to get in touch with the Family Policy Council in your state. This information is also available from Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995. Our phone number is (719) 531-3400, or you may dial (719) 531-5181.
Next, may we recommend several publications that provide a good overview of general pro family concerns:
Citizen. This sixteen-page monthly covers a broad range of issues with an emphasis on simple, what-you-can-do action items. Stories highlight successful efforts by folks like yourself, and in many states a four-page insert by the Family Policy Council provides regular updates on state and local issues. Available for a suggested donation of $20 per year from Focus on the Family, 420 N. Cascade, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, or 1-800-A FAMILY.
Washington Watch. This four-page monthly newsletter provides late-breaking news from our nation’s capitol with practical guidance for making your voice heard. Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court are all covered. Available free from the Family Research Council, 700 13th St., N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005. The phone number is (202) 393-2100.
World. A 22-page glossy magazine covering current events from a “biblical world view.” This magazine provides an excellent alternative to Time or Newsweek. Published weekly by God’s World Publications, Inc. Cost is $27.95 per year. Call 1~800-476-8924 or write Box 2330, Asheville, NC 28802.
National and International Religion Report. Published 26 times a year, this eight-page newsletter keeps Christians apprised of religious freedom issues and concerns of the faith worldwide. Available for $49 from Media Management, P.O. Box 21433, Roanoke, VA 24018.
The Family In America. This publication provides in-depth analysis backed by solid research on a broad array of family policy subjects. A “new research” supplement included with each issue makes an excellent basis for a resource library. Available for $21 per year from The Rockford Institute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103-7061
American Life League Inc. publishes All About Issues ($24.95 yr.).
Write P.O. Box 1350, Stafford, VA 22554. Phone (703) 659-4171.
Christian Action Council publishes a free newsletter. Write 101 W.
Broad St., Suite 500, Falls Church, VA 22046. Phone (703) 237-2100.
Christian Defense Coalition publishes a free newsletter. Write P.O.
Box 48070, Washington, DC 20002. Phone (202) 547-1735.
National Right to Life Committee, Inc. publishes NRLC News twice
monthly ($16 yr.). Write 419 7th St. N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC
20004. P (202) 626-8800.
Operation Rescue, P.O. Box 1180, Binghamton, NY 13902. Phone (607)
PACE (Post-abortion Counseling and Education), P.O. Box 35032, Tucson,
Please Let Me Live has a Life Chain manual. Write 3209 Colusa Hwy.,
Yuba City, CA 95993. Phone (916) 671-5500.
WEBA (Women Exploited by Abortion), 24823 Nogal St., Moreno Valley, CA
92388. Phone (714) 924-4164.
Alliance for Life, B1-90 Garry St., Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1. Phone (204)
Books – General
Abortion: A Rational Look at an Emotional Issue, by R.C. Sproul
Sanctity of Life, by Charles R. Swindoll (Word, 1990).
Books – Fetal Tissue Research
Unholy Sacrifices of the New Age, by Paul de Parrie & Mary Pride
Books – Operation Rescue
Is Rescuing Right?; Breaking the Law to Save the Unborn, by Randy C.
Alcorn (Inter-Varsity, 1990).
Operation Rescue, by Randall Terry (Operation Rescue, 1988).
Books – Overpopulation
Prospects for Growth; A Biblical View of Population, Resources and the
Future, by E. Calvin Beisner (Crossway, 1989).
The War Against Population; The Economics and Ideology of Population
Control, by Jacqueline Kasun (Ignatius, 1988).
Books – Helping Women Exploited By Abortion
Ministering to Abortion’s Aftermath, by Bill Banks & Sue Banks (Impact,
Abortion’s Second Victim, by Pam Koerbel 1986).
Aborted Women: Silent No More, by David C. Reardon (Crossway, 1987).
Bethany Christian Services, 901 Eastern Ave., N.E., Grand Rapids, MI
49503. Phone (616) 459-6273.
National Committee for Adoption, 1930 17th St., N.W., Washington, DC
20009. Phone (202) 328-1200.
Christian Adoption and Family Services, 2121 W. Crescent Ave., Suite E,
Anaheim, CA 92801. Phone (213) 860-3766 or (714) 533-4302.
Attorney Douglas R. Donnelly, 926 Garden St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
Phone (805) 962-0988.
Chosen Families: Is Adoption for You?, by Kay Marshall Strom
Adoption Beginning to End; A Guide for Christian Parents, by Donald W.
Felker & Evelyn H. Felker (Baker, 1987).
Open Adoption: A Caring Option, by Jeanne Warren Lindsay (Morning
Americans for a Sound AIDS Policy, P.O. Box 17433, Washington, DC
20041. Phone (703) 471-7350.
The Bridge: Living With AIDS, 1759 Oak St., San Francisco, CA 94117.
Phone (415) 552-AIDS.
Information about AIDS may also be obtained from your family physician,
Red Cross chapter, local or state health department.
AIDS and Young People, by Robert Redfield & Wanda Kay Franz (Regnery
Gays, AIDS, and You, by Enrique T. Reuda & Michael Schwartz (Devin
The AIDS Epidemic; Balancing Compassion & Justice, by Glenn G. Wood &
John E. Dietrich (Multnomah, 1990).
CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
American Association of Retired Persons, 1909 K St. N.W., Washington,
DC 20049. Phone (202) 8724700.
American Bar Association Commission on the Legal Problems of the
Elderly, 1800 M St. N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. Phone (202)
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, 600 Maryland Ave. S.W.,
Suite 208, Washington, DC 20024. Phone (202) 484-7520.
National Association for Home Care, 519 C St. N.E., Stanton Park,
Washington, DC 20002. Phone (202) 547-7424.
Caring for Your Parents: A Sourcebook of Options and Solutions for Both
Generations, by Helene MacLean (Dolphin Doubleday, 1987).
Day Care: Child Psychology and Adult Economics, edited by Bryce
Christensen (Rockford Institute, 1990).
Who Will Rock the Cradle?, by Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum, 1989).
Can Motherhood Survive?, by Connie Marshner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1990)
CREATION vs. EVOLUTION
Bible-Science Association, P.O. Box 32457, Minneapolis, MN 55432. Phone
Institute for Creation Research, P.O. Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021.
Phone (619) 448-0900.
Reasons to Believe, P.O. Box 5978, Pasadena, CA 91175. Phone (818) 355-
6058 for Apologetics Hotline M-F, 5-7 p.m.
Darwin On Trial, by Phillip E. Johnson (Regnery Gateway, 1991).
Christian Action Council, 101 W. Broad St., Suite 500, Falls Church, VA
22046. Phone (703) 237-2100.
More Than Kindness; A Compassionate Approach to Crisis Childbearing, by
Susan Olasky & Marvin Olasky (Crossway, 1990).
Handbook for Pregnant Teenagers, by Linda Roggow & Carolyn Owens
Should I Keep My Baby?, by Martha Zimmerman (Bethany House, 1983).
CUTTING THE DIVORCE RATE
Pastors concerned about the growing divorce rate and its damaging
effects on families can now do something more to help reverse this
trend. Dr. Jim A. Talley along with Mike McManus has developed a
“Community Marriage Policy” which, if implemented, can radically reduce
the number of divorces among the couples they marry. For details,
contact Dr. Jim A. Talley, Relationship Resources, 4216 N. Portland
Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112-6363. Phone (405) 949-2227.
Christian Marriage Enrichment, 17821 17th Street, Suite 290, Tustin, CA
92680. Phone (714) 544-7560.
The Case Against Divorce, by Diane Medved (Donald I. Fine, 1989).
Second Chances; Men, Women & Children A Decade After Divorce, by Judith
S. Wallerstein & Sandra Blakeslee (Ticknor & Fields, 1989).
Eagle Forum (Phyllis Schlafly) publishes a monthly Education Reporter.
Write P.O. Box 618, Alton, IL 62002. Phone (618) 462-5415.
Home School Legal Defense Fund publishes a bi-monthly newsletter ($15
yr.). Write P.O. Box 159, Paeonian Springs, VA 22129. Phone (703) 882-
Books – Home Schooling
The Christian Home School, by Gregg Harris (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1989).
Home School Burnout, by Raymond S. Moore & Dorothy N. Moore (Wolgemuth
& Hyatt, 1981).
Books – Public Schools
Is Public Education Necessary?, by Samuel L Blumenfeld (Paradigm,
1985). The New Age Masquerade, by Eric Buehrer (Wolgemuth & Hyatt,
Yes, Virginia, There is a Right and Wrong (What Values are Our Children
Taught in the Public Schools?), by Kathleen M. Gow (Tyndale House,
A Parent’s Guide to the Public Schools, by Sally D. Reed (National
Council for Better Education, 1991).
The Rights of Religious Persons in Public Education, by John W.
Whitehead (Crossway, 1991).
Books – Educational Choice
Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, by John E. Chubb & M. Moe
(Brookings Institution, 1990).
Privatization and Educational Choice, by Myron Lieberman (St. Martin’s
The International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force publishes a newsletter 5
times a year ($25).
Write the Human Life Center, University of Steubenville, Steubenville,
OH 46395. Phone (612) 542-3120.
Euthanasia, by Beth Spring & Ed Larson (Multnomah, 1988).
The Right to Live; The Right to Die, by C. Everett Koop (Tyndale,
Between Life and Death, by Kenneth E. Schemmer, with Dave and Neta
Jackson (Victor, 1988).
Desert Stream, 1415 Santa Monica Mall, Suite 201, Santa Monica, CA
90401. Phone (213) 395-9137.
Exodus International, P.O. Box 2121, San Rafael, CA 94912. Phone (415)
Love in Action, P.O. Box 265, San Rafael, CA 94912. Phone (415) 454-
New Life Treatment Center Inc., 570 Glenneyre Ave., Suite 10, Laguna
Beach, CA 92651. Phone 1-800-227-LIFE.
Spatula Ministries (for parents of homosexuals), Box 444, La Habra, CA
90631. Phone (213) 691-7369.
What You Should Know About Homosexuality, edited by Charles W. Keysor
The Homosexual Person (New Thinking in Pastoral Care), by John F.
Harvey (Ignatius, 1987).
How Will I Tell My Mother?, by Jerry Arterburn (Thomas Nelson, 1988).
Are Gay Rights Right?, by Roger J. Magnuson (Multnomah, 1990).
Focus on the Family publishes The Homosexual Agenda notebook. Suggested
HELPING THE BEREAVED
Compassionate Friends Inc., P.O. Box 3696, Oak Brook, IL 60522-3696.
Door of Hope, 669 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone (818) 304-
Habitat for Humanity, Habitat and Church Streets, Americus, GA 31709.
HELP Services, P.O. Box 1141, Humble, TX 77347. Phone (713) 446-626.
Golden Gate Compassionate Ministries, 1759 Oak St., San Francisco, CA
94117. Phone (415) 552-1700.
Uptown Baptist Church, 1011 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640. Phone
The Dispossessed, by George Grant (Crossway, 1986).
The Excluded Americans, by Tucker (Regnery Gateway, 1990).
HELPING THE POOR
Beyond Hunger: A Biblical Mandate for Social Responsibility, by Art
Beals (Multnomah, 1985).
Out of the Poverty Trap, by Stuart Butler and Anna Kondratas (Free
Bringing in the Sheaves, by George Grant (American Vision, 1985).
The Urban Alternative, P.O. Box 4000, Dallas, TX 75208. Phone (214)
John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development, 1581
Narvarro Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103. Phone (818) 791-7439.
The General Next to God: The Story of William Booth and the Salvation
Army, by Richard Collier (Harper & Row, 1965).
Help is Just Around the Corner, by Virgil Gulker (Creation House,
Seeing the City with the Eyes of God, by Floyd McClung (Zondervan,
Federal Communications Commission, Mass Media Bureau, 1919 M. St.,
N.W., Washington, DC 20544. Phone (202) 632-7048.
American Family Association publishes AFA Journal ($15 yr., 6 mot free
trial). Write P.O. Drawer 2440, Tupelo, MS 38803. Phone (601) 844-5036.
Morality in Media publishes a bi-monthly newsletter ($20 yr.).
Write 475 Riverside Dr., New York NY 10115. Phone (212) 870-3222.
Prodigal Press, by Marvin Olasky (Crossway, 1988).
Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman (Penguin, 1985).
Book Burning, by Cal Thomas (Crossway, 1983).
American Family Association publishes AFA Journal ($15 yr., 6 mot free
trial). Write P.O. Drawer 2440, Tupelo, MS 38803. Phone (601) 844-5036.
Concerned Women for America publishes a monthly newsletter ($15 yr.).
Write 370 L’Enfant Promenade, S.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20024.
Phone (202) 488-7000.
Eagle Forum publishes Phyllis Schlafly Report ($20 yr.). Write P.O. Box
618, Alton, IL 62002. Phone (618) 462-5415.
Family Research Council (a division of Focus on the Family) publishes
Washington Watch monthly (free). Write 700 13th St. N.W., Suite 500,
Washington, DC 20005. Phone (202) 393-2100.
National Association of Evangelicals publishes a monthly newsletter
($15 yr.), also avail. in a bulletin size ($5 per 100). Write NAE, Box
28, Wheaton, IL 60189.
Rockford Institute publishes The Family in America monthly ($21 yr.).
Write 934 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103. Phone (815) 964-5053.
Organizations in Canada
Association for Reformed Political Action, 7886-115 St., Delta, B.C.
V4C SN3. Phone (604) 596-5149.
Christian Legal Fellowship, P.O. Box 160, Etobicoke, ON M9C 4V2. Phone
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Box 8800, Station B. Willodale, ON
M2K 2R6. Phone (416) 479-5885.
The Coalition for Family Values, 10 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON M4H lA5.
Phone (416) 425-1010.
Books – Liberal Political Groups
American Civil Liberties Union
The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union, by William A.
Donohue (Transaction Books, 1985).
Trial and Error; The American Civil Liberties Union and Its Impact on
Your Family, by George Grant (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1989).
National Education Association
NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, by Samuel L Blumenfeld
(Paradigm Company, 1984).
NEA: Propaganda Front of the Radical Left, by Sally D. Reed (National
Council for Better Education, 1984).
Margaret Sanger: Father of Modern Society, by Elasah Drogin (CUL
Grand Illusions; The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, by George Grant
(Woleemuth & Hyatt, 1988).
National Coalition Against Pornography publishes a free bi-monthly
newsletter. Write P.O. Box 7777, Cincinnati, OH 45231. Phone (513) 521-
American Family Association, P.O. Drawer 2440, Tupelo, MS 38803. Phone
Children’s Legal Foundation, P.O. Box 10050, Phoenix, AZ 85064. Phone
Summary of the Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on
Pornography (National Coalition Against Pornography, 1986).
The Mind Polluters, by Jerry R. Kirk (Thomas Nelson, 1985).
Pornography: A Human Tragedy, edited by Tom Minnery (Thomas Nelson,
International Prison Ministry, P.O. Box 63, Dallas, TX 75221.
Prison Fellowship publishes monthly newsletter (free). Write P.O.
Box 17500, Washington, DC 20041. Phone (703) 478-0100.
Beyond the Barriers, by Harold Morris (Focus on the Family/Word, 1987).
Twice Pardoned, by Harold Morris (Focus on the Family, 1986).
Rutherford Institute publishes a free monthly newsletter. Write
P.O. Box 7482,Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482. Phone (804) 978-3888.
Christian Legal Society publishes a quarterly magazine ($20 yr.).
Write 4208 Evergreen Lane, Suite 222, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone (703)
The Battle for Religious Liberty, by Lynn R. Buzzard & Samuel Ericsson
Real Threat and Mere Shadow: Religious Liberty and the First Amendment,
by Daniel L Dreisbach (Crossway, 1987).
The Second American Revolution, by John W. Whitehead (Cook, 1982).
Parents’ Music Resource Center, 1500 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA
22209. Phone (703) 527-9466.
Focus on the Family publishes Parental Guidance, a four-page monthly
newsletter on youth culture for parents and teens. Suggested donation
$20 per year.
Menconi Ministries, P.O. Box 969, Cardiff, CA 92007.
Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society, by Tipper Gore (Abingdon, 1987).
Today’s Music: A Window to Your Child’s Soul, by Al Menconi with Dave
Hart (David C. Cook, 1990).
RUNAWAY AND MISSING CHILDREN
National Network of Runaway and Youth Services, 1400 I St., N.W., Suite
300, Washington, DC 20024. Phone (202) 682-4114.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department
of Justice, Attn. Director of Missing Children’s Programs, 633 Indiana
Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 200053. Phone (202) 7247655.
Covenant House, 460 W. 41st St., New York, NY 10036. Phone (212)
3300441. Hotline: 1-800-999-9999.
Teen Canteen, 6260 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. Phone (213)
Organizations – see under Abortion
School-Based Clinics, edited by Barrett Mosbacker (Crossway, 1987).
School-Based Clinics, The Abortion Connection, by Richard D. Glasow
(National Right to Life, 1988).
Josh McDowell Ministry, P.O. Box 1000, Dallas, TX 75221. Phone (214)
Living Parables, PO. 187, Loomis, CA 95650.
Teen-Aid, West 22 Mission, Spokane, WA 99201-2320. Phone (509) 466-
Respect Inc., P.O. Box 349, 345 W. Broadway, Bradley, IL 60915-0349.
Phone (815) 932-8389.
The Myths of Sex Education, by Josh McDowell (Here’s Life, 1990).
School-Based Clinics, and other critical issues in public education,
edited by Barrett L. Mosbacker (Crossway, 1987).
Kinsey, Sex and Fraud, by Judith A. Reisman & Edward W. Eichel
(Huntington House, 1990).
Sex Education: The Final Plague, by Randy Engel (Human Life
The following resources represent a good step in discipleship for folks
wondering whether and how Christians are to live within the general
culture. These materials are help developing lesson series and sermon
Against The Night, by Charles Colson (1989, Vine).
The Christian and Politics, by Robert L. Thoburn (Thoburn, 1984).
The Christian Manifesto, by Francis A. Schaeffer (Crossway, 1976).
Clear and Present Danger, by William A. Stanmeyer (Servant, 1983).
Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today, by John Stott (Revel!, 1984,
God and Caesar, by John Eidsmoe (Crossway, 1984).
The High Cost of Indifference, by Richard Cizik (Regal, 1984).
Lifeviews, by R.C. Sproul (Revel!, 1986).
The Naked Public Square, by Richard John Neuhaus (Eerdmans, 1984).
Piety and Politics, edited by Richard John Neuhaus & Michael Cromartie
(Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1987).
The Samaritan Strategy, by Colonel V. Donor (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1987).
Against The Night, by Charles Colson (Word, Inc., PO Box 2518, Waco, TX
Children At Risk by Dr. James Dobson and Gary Bauer (Word, Inc., PO Box
2518, Waco, TX 76702-2518).
The Christian World View, R.C. Sproul (Ligonier Ministries, PO Box
7500, Orlando, FL 32854).
How Should We Then Live?, Francis A. Schaeffer (Gospel Films, Box 455,
Muskegon, MI 49443-0455).
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, PO Box 541688, Dallas, TX 75354-1688.
Phone (214) 744-MADD. National Referral Hotline, (800) COCAINE. PRIDE
(Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education), (800) 241-7946.
Drugs and Drinking, by Jay Strack (Thomas Nelson, 1985). Dying for a
Drink by Dr. Anderson Spickard, M.D., and Barbara R. Thompson (Word,
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, 1991, PAGES 1-13.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.