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While we are working toward the day every legislator knows and feels confident confiding in at least one Bible-believing pastor we realize, as a pastor, you already do a lot. If you want to influence the laws of our state but feel maxed out, we’re bridging the gap. The CAN Newsletter will educate you on legislation, encourage you in your faith and share practical tools for helping your congregation engage in the culture for God’s glory. 

All Over Wisconsin
It’s been attributed to Charles Spurgeon saying, “Advice to a thirsty soul. Try coffee.” While it’s possible that Spurgeon made his statement a little “tongue in cheek,” there’s some truth in it.
The Difference a Dad Makes
Have you reflected lately on the difference that it makes for there to be a dad present in the home? In a recent Wisconsin Family Action weekly email, the following was noted: “The Institute for Family Studies issued a report that finds that strong families are associated with less crime in cities across the United States. Specifically, their analyses indicate that the total crime rate in cities with high levels of single parenthood is 48% higher than those with low levels of single parenthood. When it comes to violent crime, cities with high levels of single parenthood have 118% higher rates of violence.”
A Response to Pride Month
If you’ve watched TV or been on social media over the weekend, you probably have seen the culture celebrate the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month. These celebrations won’t just stay on our screens but will be brought to our local communities through picnics, drag queen story hours, parades, and other public events.
Road to Shalom
My (Dave Skahen) friend, Ryan, was asked to meet with an individual who wanted to grow in public speaking. At the time, he lived in Dallas, and this person wanted to meet him at the Dallas Cowboys Club. The only problem was it’s a private club, and Ryan was not a member. The only way to gain access into the club is if a member recommends you. That’s exactly what happened and how he got in. My friend Ryan couldn’t get in unless someone gave him access to the club.
Unity in a Divided Season
A consistent theme I hear from pastors around Wisconsin is the concern over how their church will handle the 2024 Presidential Election. 2020 was a rough season for many pastors and churches. It makes sense why these pastors have concerns with the same candidates on the Presidential ballot this November.
Title IX Explained
Recently, a pastor reached out to me for information on Title IX and how it impacts their church and school. We hope this can be a helpful resource (even if it is longer than our normal emails). What is Title IX? The purpose of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 was to update Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned several forms of discrimination in employment but did not address or mention discrimination in education. Title IX was written to address disparities between how men and women were treated relative to educational opportunities to prevent sex-based discrimination.
Multiplication
The Church Ambassador Network’s mission to inspire the church to engage the government for the advancement of God’s Kingdom isn’t just in Wisconsin. Ten years ago, the Church Ambassador Network model was launched in Iowa at The Family Leader with the heart to connect pastors to elected officials to minister to them as a person, shepherd, and community partner. Five years ago, we were the second state that took the model and launched it in Wisconsin. Today, the Church Ambassador Network initiative has multiplied to reach 19 states!
WFC Sunday
A few years ago, my dad came from out of town for the weekend to help me (Dave Skahen) work on a home improvement project. When Monday came, I went to work with the assumption that my dad would be heading home shortly since our work was done. To my amazement when I returned home in the late afternoon, my dad was still working on the project. My first words were, “Dad, you’re still here?” He found something that wasn’t quite right and didn’t want to leave until the job was finished.
Alarming WI Youth Stats
I serve on my local school district’s Human Growth & Development Committee. At a recent meeting, we went through our high school’s 2023 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey. The pastor and I who serve on the committee were amazed by these results.
Preaching on Something Controversial
As you preach through the scriptures you are required to speak to controversial topics from time to time. You don’t preach on controversial passages or issues for the sake of controversy, but to help your congregation apply the Word of God in their lives. Culturally, the sanctity of human life is a contentious issue that Scripture speaks to.
Enjoy Free Coffee With Us!
I (Dave Skahen) hated coffee for many years. The taste was disgusting, and it seemed to be an unnecessary expense. It wasn’t until a few months after the birth of our third child that I came to my senses and realized my need for it. That extra boost of energy slowly gave way to looking forward to a cup of Joe each morning. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Election Day
Easter Follow-up We hope your church had a blessed week, culminating in a wonderful Resurrection Sunday! Our prayer was that God would work through your church this last week to advance the gospel in your community. We would love to praise God with you if you have a praise report to share with our team.
Youth Days at the Capitol
Field trips have come a long way since I (Dave Skahen) was in school. During my middle school years, I remember touring the Gedney Pickle Factory and thought it was a pretty enjoyable tour. Compare that with the over 70 students we had in Madison for our annual Wisconsin Association of Christian Schools Day at the Capitol last week. Today we will also have 22 families join us for the Academy of Excellence Online Day at the Capitol.
End of Session
The 106th Wisconsin State Legislature held what is expected to be their last Session Day last Tuesday. The Legislature could still come in later to vote on other issues until the end of 2024; however, it is very unlikely that would happen.
It's That Time Again
The calendar is relentless, is it not? It may be Tuesday, but Sunday is coming. So it is with elections. Now, we know having seen the word elections you may be tempted to stop reading. But please bear with us for just a couple of minutes.
Deconstruction
Playing with Legos is something I (Dave Skahen) love doing with my kids. Imagine dis-assembling a fully completed Lego model and re-assembling it. You don’t need any instructions to dis-assemble it. My 3-year-old could do that. Re-assembling is different. Everything needs to go where it’s supposed to go. It requires knowing where pieces fit. It involves thought, knowledge, skill, and instructions. Similarly, this is what is taking place in the deconstruction movement. While someone falling away from the faith is nothing new (Genesis 3; Matthew 13:20-21; 2 Timothy 4:10), the term "deconstruction" is new and has gained steam in the last few years. Deconstruction has become synonymous with re-examining the Christian worldview WITHOUT using Scripture as the authority. The Bible is seen as a tool of oppression to be rejected, not a standard of truth to be affirmed. Instead, the ultimate authority is the self.
It Isn't Easy, but It IS Worth It!
We know that the work of the ministry is not easy. In front of you daily is the fact that Sunday is coming, which means sermon prep for one, or for some, two services. Add to that teaching a SS/ABF lesson. Add to that preparation for a mid-week Bible study/prayer time. Add to that funerals and weddings. My (Dave L’s) pastor shared that he calculates he typically spends about 20 hours dealing with everything surrounding a funeral. (After hearing that, I exhorted the members of my ABF, “Please don’t die. It makes more work for Pastor!") And there is a long list of other things that we don’t have time to mention.
God Uses the Unexpected
One statement that has stuck with me (Daniel) the last couple of weeks is, “God uses names we never would have written down.” We can look to Scripture for examples of this in the Old Testament with King Nebuchadnezzar. In the New Testament, we see this through the conversion of persecutor Saul to the Apostle Paul.
What Can Churches Do for National Marriage
My wife and I (Dave Skahen) will celebrate 14 years of marriage in April. Because of some health issues for my wife, we are very grateful to the Lord for the time we have with each other. Marriage has always been God’s idea and design. While many of you know that biblical marriage is under attack, we also know it should always be honored and highlighted. God's design for marriage is one man and one woman becoming one flesh for one lifetime. Even the secular culture understands that marriage done God's way is best for everyone and therefore they find ways to promote this foundation institution. In fact, February 7-14 will be celebrated as National Marriage Week USA!

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