Op-Ed: The most important agency in our state!

Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview (Cullman Tribune file photo)

First, notice my topic is not the most important state agency. My topic is the most important agency in the state.

What agency is the most important in the state?

Which agency can impact reduction in crime the most, reduce and eliminate racism, friction among our people, and even reduce and eliminate hatred?

Which agency can provide the quickest response to a natural disaster?

Which agency can reduce and eliminate domestic violence, bullying, substance abuse, poverty?

Which agency can best promote compassion, the “neighbor helping neighbor” concept, and even improve work ethic in the workplace?

A school classmate of mine, Robert (Bob) Craft became a dedicated Christian at a night youth revival during our high school years. He gained a passion for the ministry and later founded a worldwide ministry called “Reach A Village.”

He and his team took Christianity into villages all over the globe with great success.

I recently had lunch with him while he was back home for a visit and I shared with him some of the tough problems we are dealing with in our state.

I asked him his advice since he had been in some of the toughest places in the world. I thought he may know some helpful secrets.

He gave me the most profound answer that I should have already thought of but couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

He response was, “The most important thing you can do to prevent these problems is change people, not with laws or public policy, but rather change people from within, and that has to occur with a spiritual change.”

He went on to say, “In our ministry in the villages, we’ve found when a person has a true spiritual change of heart, the man no longer gets drunk and beats his wife and children, he no longer steals from his neighbor; that man is at peace, he gets a job or business and goes to work and provides for his family and becomes a good neighbor and a good citizen and he makes his village a better place to live.”

There’s our answer. The most important agency in our state is agents of God….the church!

Changing people’s lives spiritually from the inside will reduce our prison population, our poverty rates, and will provide a safer place for all us to live.

A song by The Oak Ridge Boys, “The Baptism of Jessie Taylor” better describes what I’m trying to say. Listen to the song or read the lyrics.

The church has an awesome opportunity and responsibility. The church is all of us, regardless of denomination, who are believers in the life of Jesus Christ and His followers. There is work to be done.

God doesn’t need us to judge other people, God can handle that; God expects us to “go forth” to reach others on God’s behalf, which will change people from within and ultimately improve our state.

Sure, government has its responsibilities, too. Education, infrastructure, pro-growth economic policies, etc.

But government can’t change people on the inside. God can, and the church is God’s agency to reach them and nurture them.

And, as we go into legislative session Feb. 4, if we can follow Christian teaching, “I come not to be ministered unto, but to minister” we will do good things this session.

But there is no greater opportunity and responsibility than that of the church!

Let’s remind ourselves of His teachings; some examples are:

  • Luke 6:37
  • Matthew 25:34-45
  • John 13:34
  • Ephesians 4:31-32
  • II Chronicles 7:14

Thank y’all for letting me represent you in Montgomery!


Randall Shedd

District 11, Alabama

House of Representatives

1461 Welcome Road

Cullman, AL 35058

Cellular & Text 256.531.6641

Email randallshedd@icloud.com