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The purpose of this paper is to present a strategy for connecting the military families of Camp Pendleton to the local church, New Song Community Church, through the evangelical work of the military chaplain. New Song Community Church began to implement strategies contained in this paper in 2006, which has led other churches to implement similar programs to reach families on the base for the cause of Christ.
The mission field of the military evangelist is a complex culture, made more so by the constant debate over the definition of the establishment clause in the First Amendment. It is further complicated by diverging religious and political views on the subject of war, which unfortunately the warfighter gets caught in the middle of. It is also a dangerous ministry that takes the chaplain into combat right alongside the very men and women he ministers to. To this work the military evangelist must possess a deliberate sense of calling, for this is a unique field of ministry unlike any other the Christian may embark upon. He or she must also possess a firm biblical warrior ethos to undergird this ministry, balancing the extreme views of war-mongering and pacifism. Without a firm understanding of the theological issues, the chaplain will find himself or herself unprepared to deal with the questions that American warfighters will no doubt have in response to these issues.
This paper will consider a model for ministry found in the lives of three men in the Bible, two of whom served God through secular offices. It will also consider the model of Christ himself who balanced his role here on earth and his membership in heaven perfectly. These insights will provide a foundation for implementing a strategy for reaching Camp Pendleton through the unique office of the military evangelist—the chaplain.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD
New Song Community Church (Oceanside, Calif.); Military chaplains; Camp Pendleton; War; Protestant churches
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Cook, Thomas T., "A Strategy for Connecting Military Families to the Local Church through the Military Evangelist" (2012). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 88.