EDITOR’S NOTE: The Baptist Messenger recently sat down with Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, an Oklahoma Baptist, to talk about his new role in state government, his family and his faith.
Messenger: In November 2010, a majority of Oklahoma voters elected you to serve as Lt. Gov. of the state. What has the pace of life been like since that election night?
Lamb: It’s been busy. But it has been a good busy. We are trying to run a very efficient office and be efficient with our resources. We don’t go somewhere just to go somewhere. I have been in 45 counties to date (many of those multiple times). I have delivered nearly 200 speeches or presentations since being sworn into office.
A multitude of opportunities present a challenge for my schedule, but I try to keep a balance. I am a husband and father first. Then I am Lieutenant Governor. While I have been elected to fulfill a role in public office, my first duty is to be a good husband and father. Everyone has time demands, as I do. I think there is a balance in fulfilling your role and finding time for family.
Messenger: What are some of your main duties in this role?
Lamb: One thing that attracted me to the office of Lt. Gov., when (my wife) Monica and I were praying about it, was the latitude that the office is given. You really can do what you want with it, though there are some key responsibilities.
I can break up my duties into three main categories. The first third are my constitutional and legal responsibilities. I serve as president of the state senate. I chair the tourism and recreation commission, and I am on several boards, such as the compsource board.
The second third of my portfolio is my partnership with the Governor. Not every Governor and Lt. Governor work well together. Gov. (Mary) Fallin and I do. I am a little bit the envy of Lt. Governors around the country, as she has also served in this capacity and has an appreciation for the role and what can be done.
The last third relates to my agenda, my platform for the office of Lt. Gov., which is economic development. This idea is really all-encompassing. It means quality education and quality of life. I am extremely pro-family, which ties into economic development. Take, for example, divorce. So many of the issues surrounding it relate to money, not to mention the cost of family breakdown.
Messenger: Many of our readers know about your professional role. Could you talk about your family and background?
Lamb: I look at how God brought together Monica and me. If Todd or Monica had tried, we would have messed it up. The way He brought us together was amazing. We were introduced by a mutual friend. A while later, I literally bumped into her again at the State Capitol when I was working for Gov. Frank Keating. Six weeks later, we were engaged, six months later, we were married. This month, we will celebrate 16 years of marriage.
Messenger: Happy anniversary! That’s a great story.
Lamb: We Baptists talk a lot about stewardship. We give back the mere tenth of everything God gives. But the stewardship of having children is of great importance. Griffin is 11 and Lauren is 8, and you only get one shot at raising them. I want to be a good dad. Monica and I pray for our children every day. We pray with our children every day, and I think that is truly important. It’s not always easy being a parent, but it is very rewarding.
Messenger: How did you become a Christian? Could you share your testimony?
Lamb: I was raised in the church. I was raised a Southern Baptist. For the longest time, I thought that meant I was automatically a Christian. When I was 8 years old, I walked the aisle. The very next Sunday, I was in the baptistery, and I got wet. It was years later, in July 1983, my dad took me to a special event where Bailey Smith was preaching. He was preaching out of Matthew, on the wheat and the tares. How they look similar, but only the wheat has the substance. That really resonated with me, and I realized I was only a tare.
I had been to every church activity, VBS, morning church, Sunday School (and) night church. I had my ticket punched as a Southern Baptist kid. But I realized I was not born again. I said earlier I got wet, but it wasn’t until that night that I really nailed down my faith in Christ. I was baptized later. It has been such a joy to see how God has orchestrated my steps. I believe your testimony should be ongoing. If your testimony ends with that first step, something is not right.
Messenger: Do you have any advice to people contemplating a future in public office?
Lamb: One of the most special stories in the Bible to me is of Nehemiah. He was quite a guy. The first chapter of Nehemiah is chock full of great things. We see how he was obedient. Nehemiah was a man of prayer and was bold in his actions. He had a heart for his home and the people. It is chock full of truths that all public officials should know and live.
The walls are crumbling in our country. That affects our state. I spoke about the economic issues, and that has large effects on our family. I was a pro-life leader when I was in the state senate, and I am just as pro-life today. I hope that my testimony is one that shows I listen to God’s leading.
Messenger: You’re an Oklahoma Baptist. Could you discuss what strengths you see in our denomination and people?
Lamb: I admire and respect the Cooperative Program (CP). As a member of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, I am a glad participant. The CP is very unique in the Christian world. It shows how seriously we take the Great Commission. After all, it is the Great Commission, not the “Great Suggestion.” The CP is a great way to support our missionaries overseas and in North America.
Now, I think we could always do more with our servants’ hearts. There is a call to address homelessness and hunger. The idea that a child could go to bed hungry at night is unconscionable. Quite frankly, people too often look to the government to step in. While the government is not known for compassion, the church is. This is a challenge that remains for the church.
One thing more is the involvement on Rose Day by Oklahoma Baptists. As a state legislator, I was always so encouraged by people coming by my office, being a Barnabas to Paul, so to speak.
Messenger: Could you talk about the importance of the Scriptures and prayer amid our busy lives?
Lamb: We are supposed to hide the Word in our heart. In addition to that, there are many times as a Dad I have spoken Scripture to our children to encourage them where they are in life. We have had discussion how God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and discipline. Our family takes time to pray together. Of course at meals, because we are Baptist. But at other times of the day, we try to take time to pray. Every night, we pray with and over our children. We serve a God that is not just way up in the universe that we will only see at the time of rapture. He is a personal God Who we can speak to in prayer.
Messenger: How can we pray for you?
Lamb: I get a smile on my face when people from my church write me notes from our prayer room. Please pray I would use my time wisely. I do not want our children to grow up having a distaste for public service because I was too busy. Pray I would be a good steward of the time God gives me, so I could be a good husband and father as I try to serve the people of Oklahoma as Lt. Governor. I would so greatly appreciate everyone’s prayers.
Brian Hobbs is director of communications for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.