FROM GOD’S HOUSE TO THE STATE HOUSE

4/22/2014

By State Representative Tim Dukes

Four years ago, I picked up a  book that had been on my shelf for a couple of years. As I began to read Halftime, I was mesmerized. I had been in pastoral ministry for 25 years but sometimes felt like I wasn’t doing all that I could or should. As I continued to read, I found myself being stirred as I began to see and understand (on paper) the difference between success and significance. This stirring caused me to begin to dream in a new way. As I thought about the ministry that I have been involved with (Youth Pastor, Church Planter, and Senior Pastor), I have been humbled by the things that God had done in and through my life. I was left with a feeling of wonder as if there were new things on the horizon.

I had always had a fascination with politics and thought if the opportunity ever arose that I would like to run for elected office. As I continued to read Halftime, I couldn’t put the book down. I felt as though God was speaking directly to me. This stirring created a greater desire to run for public office. It became a dream tucked away inside my heart. I tried, but I just couldn’t shake it. I really struggled internally with the thought of a Pastor being involved in politics. What would people think or say? Am I forsaking my calling to ministry? In my mind, I battled with these types of questions for a couple of years. During that time I talked with my wife and a few close friends, prayed, sought counsel and visited Legislative Hall frequently in my state. I often reached out to my local State Representative and shared my interest in running for office.

In March of 2012, my local State Representative called me to share that he was going to retire after serving for 22 years. Immediately, I felt sick to my stomach. The very thing that I have been dreaming about was being offered to me. I spent the next weekend doing a lot of soul searching. A week later, I announced that I was running for office as a State Representative. In November 2012, I was elected. On January 8, 2013, I was sworn into office. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life as my wife held the Bible and my children stood there beside me.

I just finished my first session as a State Representative. It has been an exciting and educational year. Not all the issues went the way that I desired. I’ve learned a lot about people and even more about myself.  It is an incredible privilege to represent the constituents of my legislative district. I have given a lot of effort to make sure their needs are taken care of. I am truly grateful for a church that was willing to allow me to dream.  I am still serving as a Senior Pastor.  However, I couldn’t do it without an awesome staff around me. As I walk into Legislative Hall, I am reminded daily that hard work can make you successful but you must be intentional to add significance. Thank you, Halftime, for being an inspiration to me!

Editors Note: The Halftime book has inspired thousands just like Tim.  And many of those same people have been a part of our year-long Halftime Institute program.  It all begins with a 2-day launch event  with like-minded leaders followed by a year rich in coaching, community and connections that leads to getting involved in meaningful work and service.  For more information about our program, please visit us at www.halftimeinstitute.org or call us at (855) 2ND-HALF.

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