E-Kit: Ministry Suggestions
Posted in: Chaplains, Churches, Combat Trauma/PTSD, Community, International, Movements
Ministries Launch Point
Your church or group has many skills, talents, resources and ideas which you can utilize in serving the military around you. These suggestions are just a launch point for your discussions and brainstorming!
1. Develop a team of like-minded people in your church or group and begin praying together.
2. Identify the veterans or actively serving military people in your church. Interview them. What are their needs? What would they recommend you offer as a church?
3, Research all military connections in your community:
a) Are you near a base, reserve center, National Guard armory? Is there a chaplain there you can connect with?
b) For Reserves and National Guard, do the units meet in or near your community for the monthly training commitments? Meet with the commanders to see how you might provide food, refreshments or…? Do the Reservists or Guardsmen need child care during the training weekends?
c) Are any of the units currently deployed? Could you provide “compassion care” services to the families, coordinated through the FRG (Family Readiness Group)? What else might you be able to offer?
d) Are any of the units coming home (redeploying)? How can you serve in the reintegration ceremony? Bring refreshments? Recruit local people to line the streets?
e) Has anyone in your community lost a military member? Find out how you can participate in honoring the serviceman or woman and their family. What else could you do for the family?
f) Is there a VA Hospital nearby? Contact the chaplain or support services to learn how you can volunteer there. Connect with the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in your area to see if you can help provide rides to the VA Hospital, especially if it is outside the area.
g) Contact the Vet Center, VA services or any other veterans groups in the area. It may be more effective if you can go as a group or representing a group than as an individual.
h) Is there a Gospel Mission in your community? 30% of those they serve are likely to be veterans.
i) Is there a jail or prison nearby? Contact the facility’s chaplain and see if there is a veteran population there.
j) Contact the local police chaplain. They may be encountering veterans in their work. Those with PTSD or TBI bring uniquely critical factors to police situations. How can you support them?
How is your church or group already serving the community?
4. What unique ministries do you offer. Personally, what skills, talents, gifts, influence do you uniquely have.
5. Whenever possible, multiple churches in an area can work together to provide comprehensive ministry opportunities.
6. Do you have ministries such as: counseling, small group, addiction recovery, divorce recovery, single parent, marriage, children and youth services, legal services, homeless outreach, food pantry, widow support, grief ministry? Keep listing the many possibilities. How do you think these ministries, services, outreaches can be used to minister uniquely to the military? We have a list of possible “Elemental Ministry Teams” to further spur your creativity.
7. Google “Partners in Care” and “National Guard” and see if there is a program in your area, or if you can start one.