If you have been following along, you know we have been looking at women’s ministry in the military world and are answering a few questions as we go. If you missed the first parts, you can catch up here: part 1, part 2, part 3.
Today we head into the second question: How is the military changing with regard to women and what adjustments need to be made in women’s ministry?
This is a big question and one that was difficult to answer. In all of the responses we got, our answers boiled down to four things.
1. Within our military culture, there is a continuing hunger for hope, peace, and comfort. Troop numbers are decreasing and the mission remains the same or increases. These three pieces (hope, peace, and comfort) become vital, and as Christians we know the source of such things. Only God can bring these things, but He can use us to do it.
2. As Christians and as ministries, we will need to find new avenues of reaching people with the love of Christ. The standard avenues of Chaplains and Chapels is not going to be the “go to” avenue any longer. With their crazy schedules and priorities of the Chapels, we as Christians need to be Jesus where we are. I believe this is what God intended to begin with, and I have seen many do this well. But for us to reach our neighbors and co-workers with the Gospel, we are going to have to do it.
3. The needs of military service women (those in uniform) are changing and we need to adapt. These women are strong and capable. Their roles in the military are increasingly diverse and there are certainly more of them than there were twenty years ago. They are a huge asset to our country, but as ministries we have not done as well in ministering with and to them. With long hours and limited family time along with heavy job responsibilities, these women can’t do weekday morning meetings and they rarely desire to do evening meetings because it simply means more time away from their families or precious time lost to accomplish all of the other needs of life. We need to learn to meet them where they are and listen to them, adapting to their unique circumstances and pouring into them.
4. Our culture in America is changing. I know you are completely surprised by that statement. That change, though, is reflected in our military world. We must learn to love people without compromising our faith. Many times our military friends are much like our family, which is awesome, but we also need not be so comfortable that we do away with our beliefs. God has planted us where we are, in a culture that is changing, for us to be His hands and feet in that place.
So many changes are happening in our military culture. Ideally, we continue to adapt to the needs around us, but keeping up can be a difficult thing! So, I am asking you – how do you see the military changing and what adjustments do you think need to be made in women’s ministry? I would LOVE to hear your answers! Also, feel free to share with your friends. I would love the input!
Only one more question to go. Next we will look at how we can work together and the big take-aways from the conversation. Remember, we will be choosing someone randomly from those who have commented to receive a prize. Might be you!