Welcome back again to our series as we look at who we are as military women and how we can impact the Kingdom. This is part three. You can check out the initial post as well as part 2 if you would like to catch all of it.
In Part 3, we are answering the rest of question 1: What is happening in women’s military ministry with regard to Chaplains, Chapels, and PWOC? Churches? Para-Church organizations? Women’s networks? In this post, we are looking at Para-Church Organizations and Women’s Networks.
Here is what we found out:
C. Women’s military ministry with regard to para-church ministries
Para-church ministries are ministries that work with churches and military chapels but are not under either umbrella. They are usually non-profit ministries that serve specific populations and have a specific focus. Some of the bigger para-church ministries in the military world are CruMilitary, Officers Christian Fellowship, Navigators, and Cadence.
Para-church organizations, with their specific focus and experienced folks, have the advantage of resources which they offer at a free or low cost to those who need them. They also easily adapt since they operate independently from the DoD and do not have limitations of brick and mortar buildings. They also seem to do a great job of discipleship and one-on-one ministry and mentoring.
They do struggle with consistency because they must constantly raise funds to continue their ministry. Additionally, their staff are stretched thin, including those who are in locations or areas to build ministries as a couple or individual with a constantly changing population.
D. Women’s military ministry with regard to women’s networks
Multiple military women’s ministries exist. These ministries tend to be through websites and social media, but have found ways to connect to ladies in various ways like online Bible studies and prayer ministries. Some of these groups include Wives of Faith, Christian Military Wives Fellowship, and Faith Deployed. Run by volunteers, these ministries operate with minimal dollars, basically paying for their online presence. Many of these ministries started through authors who are/were military wives. They saw needs in the area of women’s ministry and felt God’s leading to meet that need through their ministry. The biggest challenge with these ministries is their ability to reach the women in uniform. This has been a demographic that is difficult for most ministries to reach.
These groups have done well with virtual connections and have attempted to do small conferences at points in time. They all desire larger gatherings to connect with ladies individually and allow them to connect with each other. Understanding relationships which are important to women because they are women, they all desire to do better at discipleship, mentoring, and accountability. Online ministries are a great component because of the remote locations of some military women and their nomadic lifestyle.
I know what you are saying…way too much information! It is a lot of information, but good stuff. I am a nerd at heart. Before we can see how to impact the world as military women, we need to see who we are and what is already there. Starting to understand what the needs are and how they are currently being met gives us a place to start in prayer to see how God would have us to be a part of what He is already doing.
So, your turn!! What do you think? Have we missed anything? Are you seeing or experiencing something different? What is going on in the world where you live?
Next: How is the military changing with regard to women and what adjustments need to be made in women’s ministry?