A missionary congressman in Washington, D.C.

By Alex Sibley

Read the entire story at https://issuu.com/swnews/docs/snsp18_web/12

James Lankford worked in student ministry for 22 years, eventually serving as director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp in Oklahoma, the largest youth camp in the United States. Working with the 51,000 students who attended each summer and seeing many of them come to Christ, he could not envision a better way to impact the Kingdom. But by the end of this period, he and his wife Cindy began to hear one clear messaged from God: “Get ready.”

Each time they sat down for Bible study or attended church, the Lankfords heard this same charge from the Lord. Initially, such a message was exciting, but before long, it simply became nerve-racking. They asked, “God, what are we getting ready for?”

In the summer of 2008, they finally received their answer: God was calling Lankford to run for Congress. With zero political experience (he did not even run for student council in school), Lankford interpreted this as something of a non sequitur. Running for Congress was not a life goal for him, he explains; it was a life interruption.

After prayerfully struggling with this decision for several months, the Lankfords realized that obedience to God meant following His call. So, Lankford ran for political office and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2015), then to the U.S. Senate (2015-present).

Though being a congressman differs significantly from serving in youth ministry, Lankford says transitioning from Falls Creek to Congress did not signify leaving ministry, but rather following God’s calling to a different one. “I have always said to students, ‘God doesn’t call you to a vocation; He calls you to Himself,”‘ Lankford says. “So if your passion is your vocation, you’re missing it. He says, ‘Come follow me.’ He then directs us to the vocation.

Read the rest of the article at https://issuu.com/swnews/docs/snsp18_web/12