Mr. Wipf recently began serving as a chaplain to the capitol community this legislative session through a ministry called Capitol Commission. Here is his perspective on the 2018 Legislative session, along with more information on Capitol Commission.
“At the conclusion of this year’s legislative session, I was asked for a recap on the ministry of Capitol Commission. For those who may not be familiar with Capitol Commission, it is a national missions organization with the goal of reaching Capitol communities for Christ. We are non-political, so we do not lobby for legislation. Our goal is to be a pastoral presence and help all legislators, regardless of party affiliation, become disciples of Jesus Christ.
Before session started I spent several weeks traveling around the state meeting legislators to introduce myself and the ministry of Capitol Commission. From three-hour conversations over lunch, invitations to their homes, and multiple meetings at the office were all means of getting to know legislators. These early contacts were key as session started, because they gave me a base that helped introduce me to many other legislators and provided opportunities to minister that otherwise would not have happened.
Since this was my first session, I tried to immerse myself into the culture of the legislative session by attending as many functions as I could. This included sitting in on committee hearings, watching session, eating lunch with as many different legislators as possible, and going to evening social events. At social events in the evening there was time to engage in a longer conversations and this opened the door for more interactions in the Capitol.
During the second week of session I handed out an introductory Bible study to all the legislators with an invitation to an evening Bible Study. A Bible study on the Gospel of John launched during week three with 12 legislators present. This number stayed consistent throughout the rest of the session.
The Gospel of John presents Jesus in a way “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Studies from John included: The Deity of Christ, Responding to the Light, The Humanity of Christ, John’s Testimony to Christ, Come and See the Christ, The Manifested Glory of Christ, and The Authority of Christ Over Worship.
I printed this weekly Bible study and distributed it to all 105 legislators. After a few weeks of reading the Bible studies some then attended the evening study. Many told me that although they were unable to come to the actual study, they really appreciated the written study. One legislator told me that he was passing it on to his spouse, and they were discussing it together. God’s Word will accomplish His purposes, and there is fruit from these Bible studies! One legislator told me on the last day of session that they were “learning a lot” from the studies.
Functioning as a chaplain in the Capitol opened many doors to pray for a wide variety of needs. From situations dealing with health issues of family members, to death, to wisdom in how to pitch a bill in a way that was honoring to God, to being a witness among their peers. I was also honored to open both the House and the Senate in prayer.
This first session has been a great launch of the ministry of Capitol Commission. I made connections with legislators that will continue to grow over time. The Gospel and the greatness of Jesus were presented on a weekly basis. Many spoke of their gratefulness for the presence of a chaplain on a daily basis, and I heard comments like “He is always in a strategic location.” Please continue to pray with me for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4).”
Jarvis Wipf – State Director – Capitol Commission