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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", and a worksheet guiding you through this process can be downloaded at the end of this article.
A - Assess your church's strengths.
• What would you say are your fellowship’s key strengths and giftings? List a few of them.
• The pastor 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?
B - Benefit from Best Practices.
• Review the short list of best practices from experienced churches, or download the full list at the end of this article. 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 church’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 church 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.
MilitaryMissionsNetwork.org (MMN) is a world-wide network of evangelical churches, chaplains and ministries focused on the needs of military singles and families. Use MMN's extensive data base to locate a church in your area that acknowledges the importance of the military in its community.
One Pastor's Perspective
Read a blog post titled,The Church & Chapel--A Home for the Military on ExcellentOrPraiseworthy.org. This article, adapted from a pastor's sermon will give you further insights into the important role the church plays in the life of our military singles and families.
Flagship Church Conference
Share, learn, network with the best of Missional Military Churches and Ministries from around the world!
The Flagship Church Conference is for individuals connected to military community churches and ministries which are proactively engaged in reaching out, discipling, and ministering to military and which have a desire to provide servant leadership in the domain of military ministry.
This highly interactive conference will focus on peer-to-peer dialogue, exploration of best practices, and building relationships with others who have a similar passion to minister to military as they travel the globe. A primary purpose of the conference is to identify and bring together innovative churches strategically engaged in missional military ministry. Particular attention will be directed toward the benefits of networking and partnering with others to most effectively minister to the military. Conference Leadership will involve a large pool of individuals with extensive military and/or ministry experience.
This conference is for pastors, staff, church ministry leaders, denominational leaders, chaplains, and para-church ministry leaders.
Next Conference: October 2016
For more information, stay tuned to MilitaryMissionsNetwork.org.
MilitaryBeliever.com is the "Facebook" for military believers. Use it to search for fellow believers, events that meet your needs and interest, as well as opportunities for service in your area.
Questions or Comments? Ask the experts by completing the pop-out form at the right.
Mike and Linda Montgomery