Launch Point: Starting a Movement
Posted in: Stories
When Kennedy said, ‘Let’s go to the moon,’ we didn’t yet have a vehicle that wouldn’t kill you on launch. He said we’ll land a man on the moon in eight years and bring him back. That was an audacious goal to put forth in front of the American people. – Neil deGrasse Tyson
An audacious goal can make great things happen-–like putting a man on the moon. The goal was identified and the destination determined, but the technology still had to be developed and built. It took years of trial and error, but because of a dedicated group of scientists, leaders, and astronauts, the dream of putting a man on the moon and bringing him home became a reality. Starting a spiritual movement among the military in your area is also an audacious goal—one after God’s own heart.
What is a spiritual movement inside the military?
It is making sure every man and woman (in the military) knows someone who truly knows Jesus. They see the love of Jesus in action towards themselves. Then, as Jesus wins their hearts, we build them up in Christ and send them out to win others to Christ. That is the audacious goal Jesus set before us.
The parts for your rocket are right there–your church or group has many skills, talents, resources, and ideas that can serve the military around you.
Step 1: Gather Your Team
- Develop a team of like-minded people in your church or group who want to reach men and women in the military, and begin praying together.
- Identify veterans or military families already active in your church, group, or area. Interview them. What needs have they seen in the military? What are their needs? What would they recommend you offer as a group? And invite them to help you!
Step 2: Identify Your Destination
Research all military connections in your community:
- Are you near a base, reserve center, or National Guard armory? Is there a chaplain there you can connect with?
- 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 other help. Do the Reservists or Guardsmen need child care during the training weekends?
- 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?
- Are any of the units coming home or redeploying? How can you serve in the reintegration ceremony? Bring refreshments? Recruit local people to line the streets?
- Has anyone in your community lost a military family member? Find out how you can participate in honoring the serviceman or woman and their family. What else could you do for the family?
- 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.
- Contact the Vet Center, VA services, or any other veterans groups in the area. It may be more effective if you go as a group or represent a group.
- Is there a Gospel Mission in your community? Generally, 30% of those they serve are veterans.
- Is there a jail or prison nearby? Contact the facility’s chaplain and see if there is a veteran population there.
- Contact the local police chaplain. They may be encountering veterans in their work. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) bring uniquely critical factors to police situations. How can you support them?
- Google “Partners in Care” and “National Guard” and see if there is a program in your area, or if you can start one.
Step 3: Identify the Parts for Your Rocket and Start Building
How is your church or group already serving the community?
- Do you have ministries such as counseling, small groups, addiction recovery, divorce recovery, legal services, homeless outreach, food pantry, widow support, grief ministry, or other ministries that focus on single parents, marriages, or children? Listing all possibilities. How do you think these options could be used to minister to the military?
- Look at your people—what skills, talents, training, and influence do you have in your group?
What other churches or groups are in your area to partner with?
- Whenever possible, multiple groups/churches in an area can work together to provide even more comprehensive ministry opportunities.
- Build a team, gather all your information, and pray again to see what doors God opens for you to minister to the military in your area.
May God bless you as you launch a movement!
You can always contact Cru Military for prayer, advice, and help. We are with you to reach the military with humility, compassion, and excellence because the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.