NOTE: Scot Wall is former pastor of Magnolia Bible Church and longtime member of Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Committee.
“The one thing the Democrats and Republicans agree upon” It has been just two and a half months since I took the role of State Minister to the Texas Capitol. I am awed at how quickly God has worked. I figured that it would take session (which runs from January through the end of May) and the interim (where I travel to the Senators’ and Representatives’ districts and homes) until I would be able to develop relationships of trust. But God has opened doors and hearts among quite a few already, and I am so grateful. I know that many of you have prayed for this and God has been answering.
Last Monday I met with a Representative for a bit that I had not had the chance to connect with very much up until that point. His Chief of Staff pulled him out of a committee meeting and we chatted for about 30 minutes. During that time the Representative made the comment that he was glad that I was in the Capitol and appreciated my work and ministry. And then he said, “Everyone that I have talked with, Democrat or Republican, has spoken very highly of you. In fact, the one thing the Democrats and Republicans agree upon is that they all like and appreciate you and your ministry. That is quite an accomplishment.”
He obviously was saying this with a smile and I do not know if I fully deserve those comments. But I do know that I want to live up to them, regardless. Please pray that I can.
Answers to Life’s Questions
I attend reception after reception as part of the ministry strategy. My desire is to be where the Members and their staffs are so that I can at least become a familiar fixture to them and hopefully also develop relationships with them. At one of these receptions, a Representative’s Chief of Staff sat at a table on a balcony with me and we chatted. He told me that he had been an atheist in college until he met his future wife. She was Catholic so he decided to look into her religion because he was “interested in a girl.”
He began to ask questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, philosophy, etc. They were good, truly seeking kinds of questions. Anyone who knows me knows that these kinds of conversations are like eating Almond M&Ms…I can’t get enough. By the time we finished, about an hour and a half later, I realized that as the evening wore on we had accumulated another 8 or 9 other young staffers who had pulled up chairs to listen and to throw in a question or two. The original young man kept apologizing for taking up my valuable time! I am not sure he could ever understand how special the time was for me. We discussed trying to set something up like it again in the future.
Capitol Bible Studies
Please continue to pray for the three main Bible studies that I teach each week. We have a Senate member only Bible study on Tuesday mornings at 7:30am. I also teach a House member only Bible study at lunch on Wednesdays. On Thursdays I teach a Bible study for basically everyone else that we call the Capitol Community Bible study. This is mainly staffers along with House and Senate sergeants, DPS troopers, and anyone else in the capitol that wants to attend. We are currently going through the book of Nehemiah.
Rhythm of Session
Session has been described to me by many people. They all agree that there is a kind of rhythm to how session goes. The first third is pretty laid back with a lot of resolutions being made and everyone getting along. The middle third starts to rev up a bit as the deadline to file bills hits. Then the final third is pedal to the metal which involves late nights and weekends and a lot of conflict. This coming week is Appropriations and the House will be taking up the budget. Once that is done, that is the signal for the furious last third to begin. Please pray for your leaders as they head into this pressure packed time.