Cliff Sims, ‘Team of Vipers,’ and Faith inside the White House – Part 1

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An interview with the former White House staffer about his new book and the role faith has played in his political career.

Ed: Give me a brief picture of your spiritual journey.

Cliff: My dad’s a Baptist minister. I grew up in a Christian home and came to Christ when I was very, very young. Our whole life centered around church, every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I mean, I remember when they had Sunday night church. I don’t even know if we do that anymore. I was there every time the doors were open and then pretty much every day in between because my dad worked there. One of my earliest childhood memories is on Sunday afternoons setting up a makeshift podium in our living room and mimicking my dad leading worship and preaching.

So, I had a pretty typical preacher’s kid life growing up—including the teenage rebellion years.

My younger brother and his friend ended up actually starting a band at church to lead worship for kids on Wednesday nights. Because I had sung in youth choir growing up, they asked if I would be willing to sing. So I did. We started doing that and then we got this bright idea thinking to ourselves: “Well, you know what we really ought to do is just drop out of school and do this for a living.” And so we did.

The next five years we toured all over the country playing in churches and Christian festivals and a lot of mainstream venues as well. That was kind of a crazy five- or six-year ride there.

In terms of my faith journey, I think going to Birmingham and getting to the church in Brook Hills and listening to David Platt preach every week just really gave me a real picture of what it’s supposed to look like when you live out the Great Commission in your day-to-day life. That included, for the first time, the decision to devote a lot of our time, money, and focus on missions including …

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