It is the purpose of this ministry focus paper to present a pre-evangelistic strategy for the Navy chaplaincy called soul cloaking. The document, Religious Ministry in the U. S. Navy NWP 1-05, lists seven religious ministry tasks for chaplains in the sea services, namely, the U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Specifically, the tasks of Command Training and Education, Outreach, Pastoral Care, and Religious Ministry and Accommodation are identified as pre-evangelistic resources.
The paper will contain three major sections. The first section will address the nature of the Navy chaplaincy and the contextual concerns of the sea services community. Several ministry challenges for chaplains which arise out of the military’s diverse and pluralistic setting will be presented. It will also examine the Martin of Tours story as an allegorical basis for the chaplaincy.
The second section presents the theological foundations for soul cloaking. Ecclesiastes provides the biblical basis for a theology of the diminished soul as an individual’s experience in a fallen world. This phenomenon is manifested through the pluralistic triad of mortality, meaninglessness, and many schemes. A theology of soul cloaking is described as the compassionate response to the crisis of diminishment. Central to its premise is the sufficiency of God’s mercy to confront suffering as Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 10:30-37, and the Martin of Tours story illustrate. The Apostle Paul’s Areopagus speech in Acts 17:16-34 serves as a pre-evangelistic paradigm for addressing the pluralistic dimension of diminishment.
The third section presents the strategy of soul cloaking. Each of the religious ministry tasks will be identified as pre-evangelistic platforms for the chaplaincy. A process of strategy implementation and assessment will be explained followed by a summary and conclusion. It is anticipated that chaplains who are pre-evangelistically oriented will apply the gospel more effectively among their sea services community.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, DMin
Material is subject to copyright.
Mendes, George J., "Soul Cloaking: A Strategy for Navy Chaplaincy Utilizing its Religious Ministry Tasks as Pre-Evangelism" (2010). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 24.