Being A Voice In Your Community

This is a guest post from a dear friend of ours, John Huffines. John and his beautiful wife Bonnie, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  John has been attending and speaking at the City Council meeting, for 10 years now.  Thank you John for sharing this article and inspiring us that we can all make a difference.

Can you say with me, “My voice counts”?  Around 1991 it occurred to me to begin attending the city council meetings in Tulsa, Oklahoma in order to gain some understanding of how our city government operated.  I read in Romans 5 that we are called to rule and reign in this life and I heard again and again we were to be a voice for Jesus.

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So, after a few years of attending some of these meetings I began opening up to the idea of speaking up.  Well, finally in June of 2007 I heard the Lord speak to me, “it’s time to speak up and solidify Tulsa’s foundation.”

So I did, and am now in my tenth year of speaking lifting up Jesus and declaring his Lordship over our city and promoting what I understand to be spiritual truths at the City Council meetings.  By the grace of God, I have missed only a small number of meetings since June of 2007.

I have a lot to learn but below you will find some of what I have come across.

Honoring, loving, respecting and praying for our Mayor and councilors is beneficial as well lavishing them with kindness knowing their position is a challenging one and our good words bring strength to them.

We can also remind ourselves these leaders love our city and are doing the best they can at their current level of understanding.  Remembering they are ministers of God is also a good idea.

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You can gain the respect of the leaders of the city by speaking kindly and respectfully.  The councilors appreciate people coming to the meeting whether they speak or are just observing.

As you honor and respect these leaders you will have favor and you will notice their kindness extended toward you.   Even with having their favor though, they are required to follow certain guidelines and we are also.

I might suggest you consider visiting at least once before speaking or watching some of the archives that are freely available.

Simply do a search online to find the City Council where you live.  By clicking HERE, you can see an example what Tulsa’s website looks like.   You can also see an example of Tulsa archives HERE

This will give you a general idea of the flow and how to address the issues.  Simply obey God though.  I suppose I attended hundreds of times before I began to speak.

The Tulsa City Council Agenda often becomes available online by 5:00 PM the Tuesday preceding the Thursday 6:00 PM meeting.

For example for the Tulsa City Council, proceed to the meetings and agendas tab, then click on search agendas.  Select the month and the year on the meeting search then click “go.   There you will see a selection of meetings being held, click on the meeting you desire to speak at.  Thursday night at 6 pm is the general council meeting in our city.

When you have pulled up the agenda you can scroll through to find a topic or topics you would like to speak on. Each person has 5 minutes total they can speak.  You are allowed to speak on one topic or as many topics as you like as long as your time does not exceed the 5 minute limit.

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When deciding on your topics it is good to keep in mind that you need to stay on the topic to a large degree so the council chair does not call you on a “point of order” which means you are too far off the agenda topic to continue with that flow.

There are many opportunities on a weekly basis to bring in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many churches and community events on the agenda lend themselves to the spreading of the good news of Christ as well as endorsing Godly principles like sanctity of life.

Meetings have gone over 4 hours in duration, but usually are done though in an hour or so.  Of course, you can stay for as much or as little of the meeting as you like.

The meeting is televised and is replayed several times throughout the following week, plus, it is streamed live on the internet. (Archived as well)

Do you live in Tulsa?  I have a thirty minute meeting in my home before the meetings to worship God and pray for the city, the mayor and the councilors from about 4:30-5:00 pm to prepare my heart and to declare over the atmosphere I will be speaking in.

Attendance at the prayer meeting is open and appreciated even if you can’t attend the council meeting.

For more information you can contact

John Huffines 918-743-5321 or johnhuffines@aol.com

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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