Do you believe in the sovereignty of God? If you do, then you will understand He has brought a particular military member or family to your church or chapel for a reason. But they will only be there for a season. So what are you going to do with them for that season in order to send them on to their next assignment more spiritually mature and better equipped?”
Ministry to the military need not be intimidating. This exercise will lead you through four practical steps to create a practical, meaningful military outreach. This method uses the acrostic "ABLE".
A - Assess your chapel's strengths.
• What would you say are your fellowship’s key strengths and giftings? List a few of them.
• The chaplain need not be the leader and instigator of the military ministry. Do you have military retirees or others in the fellowship who might have the heart and leadership skills to lead this effort?
• How about your retirees? They have a wealth of experience that you could ask them to share with those presently serving.
B - Benefit from Best Practices.
• Download and review the short list of best practices from experienced churches. Are there some of these that lend themselves to a “quick start” in your fellowship?
• You don’t need to plan it all at once. You can “grow” your chapel's ministry slowly and intentionally over time. Starting small still gives you a chance to cast the vision and train the fellowship to think in new terms.
L - Love and Lead your team!
• Developing a chapel ministry team for military involves identifying those with a heart to serve. Active duty members and veterans are a natural fit for this team. Then work the taskings based on need, giftings and availability. Get the team together for training and fellowship periodically. Are there people in your church you can think of who might be interested?“
E - Evaluate.
• Periodically evaluate. “How are we doing?” Is what we have done been well received? Are there more opportunities that we have missed—things unique to the strengths and giftings of our fellowship? Are there people we should recruit for this military ministry team? This step closes the loop on your process and leads back to step 1 – Assess.