CAREER MINISTRY TRANSITIONAL ASSISTANCE MANUAL FOR NAVY CHAPLAINS

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1 CAREER MINISTRY TRANSITIONAL ASSISTANCE MANUAL FOR NAVY CHAPLAINS UPDATED: JUNE 30, 2016

2 Copyright 2016 by Stephen L. Warne No original material may be used without permission of the author. All Rights Reserved 2

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION...6 PURPOSE OF TRANSITIONAL MANUAL...7 THE ROAD TO EFFECTIVE TRANSITION...9 WHAT IS CHAPLAINCY?...11 STUDY SERIES: DEFINING (REINFORCING) GOD S CALL...14 Study #1 A Call to Discipleship (Great Commission)...14 Lesson #1 A Call to Obedience...15 Lesson #2 A Call to Follow...19 Lesson #3 A Call to Eternal Perspective...22 Lesson #4 A Commission to Share...26 Study #2 A Call to Ministry...29 Lesson #5 Providential Calling...30 Lesson #6 Examples of Ministry...32 Lesson #7 A Call to Minister...36 Lesson #8 Fulfilling Your Call...39 Study #3 Specific Ministry Calling...43 Lesson #9 God s Holiness...44 Lesson #10 Motivation to Minister...47 Lesson #11 A Servant s Attitude...49 Lesson #12 A Unique Calling...52 STUDY SERIES: EQUIPPING FOR FUTURE MINISTRY

4 Study #4 Sabbatical & Spiritual Renewal...55 Lesson #13 Solitude...56 Lesson #14 Relationship Results in Prayer...60 Lesson #15 Prayer Results in Action...63 Lesson #16 Fasting...68 Lesson #17 Reading Scripture...71 Study #5 Spiritual Gifts, Talents, and Experiences...75 Lesson #18 The Source...76 Lesson #19 Spiritual Gifts...78 Lesson #20 Experience Talents & Skills...85 BEING MENTORED...87 MINISTRY RESUME...88 MINISTRY POSSIBILITIES...89 TESTIMONIALS: STORIES FROM TRANSITIONED CHAPLAINS...91 MINISTRY RESOURCE HELPS...92 CONCLUSION...93 SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL READINGS...94 BIBLIOGRAPHY...99 APPENDIX A: SAMPLE SPIRITUAL GIFTS SURVEY APPENDIX B: ADJUNCT PROFESSOR Adjunct Professor Request Application for Employment APPENDIX C: SAMPLE MINISTRY RESUME

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6 INTRODUCTION The Naval Services are a dynamic place for ministry and demands on Navy Chaplains remain extraordinary. With increasing professional demands, ministry challenges, personnel reduction trends, and many other unique challenges, chaplains may find transition from active duty service to civilian ministry a reality sooner than anticipated. Scriptural studies and resources contained in this manual are in no way exhaustive. Use of the information is only intended as a beginning point and for examples. The questions, statements, and selected scripture verses used in the studies are reflective of my own study and thought processes. Feel free to rephrase questions and/or make additional notes on how the Lord is speaking to you. The scope of this manual will undoubtedly benefit the greater military, support staff, the retired chaplain community, as well as many others. One of the greatest contributions; however, will be to those who currently serve and to new prospective chaplains. Having viable resources and invaluable career insights will help calm uneasy nerves and provide a realistic picture of life in one of the most rewarding ministries the Navy Chaplain Corps. 6

7 PURPOSE OF TRANSITIONAL MANUAL The purpose of this manual is to provide a resource for chaplains in transition or considering separation from active duty. Additionally, an internet site has been established to assist in the delivery of invaluable transition helps and ministry resources. Although the primary purpose of the website is to assist those facing transition, it also serves as a conduit for obtaining information and other ministry resources not easily obtained through traditional means. These resources offer additional ministry tools to chaplains in a time of great need. The events of September 11, 2001 have dramatically influenced military operations as well as created new challenges. Demands placed on military members and their families are extraordinary. Chaplains, called to serve these men and women in uniform, face many of the same demands. In an era of military spending cutbacks, the demands of increased deployments, and competitive promotion boards, many chaplains find their time on active duty coming to an end. A sad reality is that many active duty chaplains are burned-out or face involuntary separation. Although transitional assistance for active duty service members is available, chaplain specific assistance is virtually nonexistent. The unique ministry of military chaplaincy and the inability, perceived or otherwise, of the government assisting with religious affairs has left many chaplains seeking direction for their ministries once their time on active duty has ended. There is a distinct need for guidance and resources for chaplains transitioning from active duty chaplaincy to civilian ministry. The military continues to be faced with cutbacks in numerous areas, including personnel. The elimination of chaplain billets and negative trends in promotion board advancement in recent years seems to suggest chaplain presence in the uniformed services will continue to decrease. One of the leading concerns for chaplains at every stage of their careers is a concern for transition to civilian ministry. Military chaplaincy requires a unique calling and much of the work performed by military chaplains falls well outside the scope of traditional ministry. Many churches and other more traditional ministries view experience as a primary consideration for hiring a senior pastor or staff minister. Some churches may be hesitant in hiring a chaplain to a staff position, often for the simple reason of being out of touch with civilian ministry for many years. 7

8 The level of support, encouragement, and affirmation needed during these times of consideration is essential to a successful transitional experience and future ministry endeavors. Most official transitional resources available to chaplains assume secular employment. This manual seeks to provide fundamental assistance and basic information before, during, and after the transition from active duty service to civilian ministry. If used in its entirety, it will guide users to understanding transitional issues, reaffirming ministry calling, and strengthening the life and ministry of the chaplain as the transition is made. 8

9 THE ROAD TO EFFECTIVE TRANSITION As you consider the possibility of separating from active duty service, or have been told that active service is no longer a possibility for you, please utilize this manual as a ministry tool. This manual will assist you in transitioning from active duty service to civilian ministry. Each section is designed to reinforce your ministry calling and spiritual health as you transition to the next great ministry God has called you to. TASK #1 - PRAY Prayer is an essential part of the believer s life and it will be crucial as you seek God s will in future ministry opportunities, as well as transition from the ministry of active duty military service. TASK #2 - READ Please read each section of this manual in its entirety. You never know what particular nugget of truth may speak to you. The experiences of others are invaluable, so don t miss the testimonials of those who have gone before you. TASK #3 ACT Complete the biblical study series and interact with the various other resources available in the manual. Knowledge alone is insufficient; practical application will be necessary as you seek to transition. Procrastination is your enemy! 1. Complete the study series 1-3 on God s calling. This will reinforce your personal call to do Kingdom work. 2. Complete the study series 4-5 on equipping for future ministry. You may have developed new talents and spiritual gifts during your time of military service. This will be particularly helpful as you seek ministry opportunities, interview for positions, and meet with church bodies and pastoral search committees. 9

10 3. Find a trusted mentor or ministry coach that will provide spiritual guidance during and after the transitional period. A retired chaplain or other minister familiar with military ministry will be most helpful during this process. God created mankind for community, so don t live it alone. 4. Create a ministry resume that captures your military experience and translates it clearly to the people that will read it. Use the template and chaplain specific language suggested in this manual to create your resume. It should be ready to go at a moment s notice. Be instant in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 2:4) 5. Research your options. Explore the various resources listed in this manual as well as the innumerable ministry opportunities throughout God s Kingdom. TASK #4 CONNECT Connect with a mentor or trusted ministry advisor that knows about your particular situation. It is essential to have prayer support, guidance, and someone to lean on during this process. Remember to stay connected with your denomination and with the Chaplain Corps throughout your transition. TASK #5 TAKE YOUR TIME Don t rush the process; take time to get it right. Be prepared professionally and personally for the next ministry opportunity. If possible, take a year sabbatical before taking a church position. TASK #6 PRAY AGAIN Prayer should be the book ends of everything you do. Prayer for clarity and discernment of God s will and for open doors of opportunity is possibly the single most important prayer topic during your transition. 10

11 WHAT IS CHAPLAINCY? Chaplains have been an important part of military life since the early days of American history. The US military has enjoyed a rich tradition of loyal, dedicated service to the Nation, and military chaplains have enjoyed an equally rich tradition of service, ministering to those who serve. There are no finer servants of our Lord than these men who went as chaplains in the Army and Navy. There were 1,254 of them, and their records as Christians, ministers, chaplains, and men, is without a blemish. 1 Although this statement is a bit dated and limited by gender and faith group during one of the most important times of American history (World War II), sentiments such as these solidify the importance of military chaplaincy in our nation s history. A Concise History of the Chaplain Corps is summarized at the U.S. Coast Guard website as follows: The history of the Chaplain Corps traces its beginnings to 28 November 1775 when the second article of Navy Regulations was adopted. It stated that "the Commanders of the ships of the thirteen United Colonies are to take care that divine services be performed twice a day on board and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent." Although chaplains were not specifically mentioned in this article, one can imply that Congress intended that an ordained clergyman be part of ship's company. Later documents support that conclusion. Reverend Benjamin Balch was the first chaplain known to have served in the Continental Navy, reporting aboard the frigate BOSTON in October The number of chaplains by the turn of the century only totaled six, and at that, only two were retained. A new edition of Naval Regulations dated 25 January 1802 included reference to the duties of a chaplain. "He is to read prayers at stated periods; perform all funeral ceremonies; perform the duty of schoolmaster instructing the midshipmen and volunteers in writing, arithmetic, navigation and whatever else they might need to make them proficient; and teach the other youths of the ship as the captain orders." Because of their teaching skills, when various "academies" were established aboard the ships in central ports, the chaplains were called on to be the administrators. Their involvement in these early learning institutions prompted Chaplain George Jones to begin his campaign for the Naval Academy in The establishment of the Naval 1 Southern Baptist Home Missions VOL. XVII No. 6, June

12 School at Annapolis (later the United States Naval Academy) in 1845 was due primarily to Chaplain Jones' efforts. By October 1906, the Chaplain Corps began to come into its own. Steering away from the teaching function, a board of chaplains appointed by the Secretary of the Navy established guidelines which would require that all newly commissioned chaplains be graduated of both college and seminary and that such should receive the endorsement of their denominations; and that all candidates appear before a board of Navy chaplains for their endorsement as to health and other qualifications. They also recommended that there should be a Chief of Chaplains. The board's recommendations gave birth to the Chaplain Corps as it is known today. To recount the history of the Chaplain Corps and omit two of its most revered chaplains would be a grave mistake. The bravery of Chaplains Joseph T. O'Callahan and Vincent Capodanno gives credence to the faith by which we stand. Both were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their remarkable willingness to perform their duties in the face of the fiercest adversities. Their spirit is present in the daily contributions the men and women of the Chaplain Corps continue to make to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard today. 2 The Chaplain Corps is as a diverse religious organization with just as diverse ministry opportunities as can exist in the world today. Your experience as a minister has surely been molded in part by your time in the military chaplaincy. Understand that you are a part of a rich tradition that will continue to live on in the lives of all that you come in contact with. 2 United States Coast Guard. A Concise History of the Chaplain Corps. (accessed April 2016). 12

13 ABBREVIATIONS ESV English Standard Version 3 HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible 4 KJV King James Version 5 NASB New American Standard Version 6 NIV New International Version 7 NKJV New King James Version 8 NLT New Living Translation 9 TLB The Living Bible 10 3 English Standard Version (ESV), The Holy Bible (Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, 2001). 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), The Holy Bible (Nashville: Holman Bible, 2009). 5 Public Domain. 6 New American Standard Bible (NASB), The Holy Bible (The Lockman Foundation, 1995). 7 New International Version (NIV), Holy Bible, (Biblica, 2011). 8 New King James Version (NKJV), The Holy Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1982). 9 New Living Translation (NLT), The Holy Bible (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Foundation, 2015). 10 The Living Bible (TLB), The Holy Bible (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Foundation, 1971). 13

14 DEFINING (REINFORCING) GOD S CALL Study #1 A Call to Discipleship (Great Commission) This study is designed to reinforce a central idea of Christianity each are called of God in order to facilitate the calling of others. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is probably the most common passage when referring to a call to discipleship, but there are many other related parables and stories that remind us of this responsibility. This study is composed of four lessons that will reinforce God s calling to be His disciples. By following a call to discipleship, one should always be led to share with others the way to discipleship. The basic premise of ministry fits within this life calling to salvation. A life of discipleship will lead to evangelism. The following four lessons with reinforce your calling to discipleship: Lesson 1 A Call to Obedience This lesson will take a look at the life of Abraham, the calling of some of the disciples, and the resolution of Joshua. Obedience has always been an essential part of following Christ. Lesson 2 A Call to Follow This lesson continues with the calling of the disciples by Jesus and with Paul s epistles. The message is very simple. Obedience leading to action becomes the real question. Lesson 3 A Call to Eternal Perspective Understanding God s expectations for this life will most certainly involve understanding His expectations about eternity. Being overly focused on this life will lead to frustration in life, as well as in ministry. Lesson 4 A Commission to Share The Great Commission is a non-negotiable mandate of the Christian faith. Begin this study with prayer and ask God to renew your sense of the Great Commission. 14

15 LESSON 1 A CALL TO OBEDIENCE A call to discipleship begins with obedience. Genesis 12:1-9 (ESV) Now the Lord said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventyfive years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. Can you be assured success in following God s call? What part does obedience play in God s call? 15

16 Jesus Begins His Ministry Mark 1:14-20 (ESV) Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Following Jesus will lead to a life of helping others follow Jesus. Think of your own call by Jesus to follow me. Did you understand it as just salvation, or a call to become fishers of men? Was Jesus calling of the disciples limited to salvation or did it include a life of ministering to others? Did one lead to the other or are they one in the same? 16

17 Consider the following verse: God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7b (NKJV). Is it possible to be obedient and still not please God? Do you think that this passage implies that obedience could be accomplished, but done in the wrong spirit? Can you think of other examples from Scripture when people technically obeyed God, but did not meet His intent? Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV) Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Have you ever made a declaration of your faith similar to Joshua s declaration? 17

18 What other declarations and decisions have you made lately in following God? Scripture leaves us with a choice. It gives us the right answer, but still allows us the choice. When Christ is at the center of your life, then He will also be at the center of your decisions. Record any additional thoughts of how God may be speaking to you. 18

19 LESSON 2 A CALL TO FOLLOW Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 9:9 (NIV) As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector s booth. Follow Me, he told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him. Luke 18:28 (NIV) Peter said to him, We have left all we had to follow you! In the above passages, were the disciples called to salvation or to ministry or both simultaneously? Have you ever considered your call to salvation as a call to make disciples? 19

20 A decision to follow Christ is a deep-felt personal decision. It is a life decision. It is a serious commitment. 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; How well do you trust God s sovereignty in His calling you to become a disciple? Vocational ministry? Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 20

21 Ephesians 4:1-10 (ESV) I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men. (In saying, He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) How does your calling as a disciple/minister support Christ s finished work on the cross? According to the above Scripture, what gifts does He give to mankind? What gifts has He given you? 21

22 LESSON 3 A CALL TO ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE Developing the proper perspective toward ministry is essential. Kingdom work is about developing eternal perspective. Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV) Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Acts 2:40-47 (NIV) With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Would you be willing to share everything you have worked hard for if God asked you to? What if it led to the salvation of other people? 22

23 Eternal perspective is discovering you are on a team. The church in Acts had a common purpose. Everything revolved around pleasing God to the extent of bringing others into the church. As already discussed, obedience often begins with having the correct attitude Take a moment now and pray that God gives you the proper attitude toward ministry as you begin your transition from active duty to a new area in ministry Have you ever planted a garden? Think of discipleship and evangelism like planting and caring for a garden. Raising a great garden involves much more than just planting the seeds (evangelism), it takes constant care (i.e. watering, pulling weeds, de-bugging, etc.) before you can harvest. Growing a garden (discipleship) is a commitment that takes time. Read the following Parable of the Sower. Luke 8:4-15 (ESV) And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. As he said these things, he called out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 23

24 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. What was the sower s responsibility? Applying this parable to your ministry, who is the sower? 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 (ESV) For when one says, I follow Paul, and another, I follow Apollos, are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God s fellow workers. You are God s field, God s building. 24

25 Think of discipleship as gardening. Evangelism is sowing the seeds. Both are part of the discipleship process. Evangelism can be accomplished by many different means, but it is fundamental/basic to Christian belief and practice. Evaluate your own evangelism efforts in your current ministry context. How would you rate your performance? How well do you work with other believers to fulfill the Great Commission? 25

26 LESSON 4 A COMMISSION TO SHARE Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. The Great Commission tells us simply to go, or literally as we are going to make disciples. It is not a question of the location or length of time. God expects us to share the Gospel wherever we are. It is a matter of obedience. How do you practice the sharing of your faith? Is there a limit to when and how you share your faith? Matthew 28:16-17 (ESV) Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 26

27 The disciples on the mountain that day had a choice to believe or not believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead. How did they respond? Do you genuinely believe (and worship)? What doubts might you have about your faith? If you are a believer, then you are called to carry out the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 Worship is best displayed in our obedience to follow Christ s mandate. 27

28 1 Peter 3:14-16 (ESV) But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. God enables us to do His work for His glory. Acts 1:4-8 (ESV) And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. So when they had come together, they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Sharing your faith is more of an art than a science. If you doubt your own ability to share your faith in every circumstance, ask God to renew your perspective on being empowered to do so. Don t limit yourself to a narrow view of the Great Commission. You never know when and how God will use you to fulfill His calling. 28

29 Study #2 A Call to Ministry In addition to every believer being called to participate in the disciple-making process of others, God calls some individuals to a specific task or ministry profession. These unique callings may be comprised of a short-term mission trip or may constitute a life-long calling to vocational ministry as a pastor, missionary, or other vocational ministry. Unlike qualifications for church offices, such as Overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-7), Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13), and Elders (Titus 1:5-9), Scriptural qualification for military chaplain does not exist. In determining the call for military chaplaincy, one must first confirm/re-confirm the call to ministry. The following lessons will help in understanding God s character and motives in calling people to ministry opportunities: Lesson 5 Providential Calling Your calling to ministry is not by accident or by some random chance. God has chosen you to fulfill His work in specific ways. Lesson 6 Examples of Ministry Numerous examples of ministry performed throughout God s Word give insight into God s character, serve as examples for ministry, and provide inspiration. Lesson 7 A Call to Minister God uniquely prepares and equips ministers for the next ministry. Even the most seemingly insignificant parts of life prepare one for the greater ministry to come. Lesson 8 Fulfilling Your Call Although obedience to God is foundational to the ministry calling, one s motivation to minister should always be rooted in God s expectation instead of man s ambition. Begin this study with prayer and ask God to renew your sense of ministry calling. 29

30 LESSON 5 PROVIDENTIAL CALLING Do you believe that God divinely engineered your calling to ministry? If so, do you think that you are destined to succeed in your calling? Failure is inevitable if one focuses on circumstances; failure is impossible if one focuses on God. Read the following Old Testament scriptures: Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) I knew you before I formed you in your mother s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations. Isaiah 49:1 (NIV) Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother s womb he has spoken my name. Isaiah 49:5 (NIV) And now the LORD says he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength Psalm 139:14-16 (ESV) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 30

31 Isaiah 43:10 (NLT) But you are my witnesses, O Israel! says the Lord. You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God there never has been, and there never will be. Jeremiah 1:10 (NIV) See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant. Isaiah 43:1-2 (NKJV) But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. Do you believe God s plan from the beginning included your call to ministry? Do you see your current ministry paradigm as a failure, success, or something else? 31

32 LESSON 6 EXAMPLES OF MINISTRY Luke 7:11-16 (HCSB) Soon afterward He was on His way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with Him. Just as He neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was also with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, Don t cry. Then He came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And He said, Young man, I tell you, get up! The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Then fear came over everyone, and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited His people. What were the results of the ministry (miracle) performed by Jesus? [HINT: Verse 16.they God, saying..] In the end, what should be the result of all ministry performed? The ministry performed by you serves as a testimony of God s greatness, not our own goodness. 32

33 Ministry revolves around human need and obedience to God. Read the following story of Naaman being healed of leprosy, 2 Kings 5:1-14 (ESV). Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy. So Naaman went in and told his lord, Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy. And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me. But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean. But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, Wash, and be clean? So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 33

34 Naaman had a need - he knew it and everyone else knew it, but he resisted doing it God s way at first. Have you ever resisted doing ministry God s way? What was the result? What do you think about the idea of God asking you to perform ministry as a way of testing your obedience or trust in Him? Mark 1:40-42 (ESV) And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, If you will, you can make me clean. Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, I will; be clean. And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. Jesus healed the leper from this passage in a very different manner. Do you believe that it is God s prerogative to empower ministry in different ways? 34

35 When we connect with others and meet human needs, we open doors of opportunity to build trust, and share in God s greater design for our lives. Consider the following as you seek to minister to others. 1. Practice compassion. Recognize the needs of those around you. 2. Practice obedience. Take action when God reveals the need. 3. Give God the glory! Give due recognition where it belong. In which of these areas do you need to focus attention? 35

36 LESSON 7 A CALL TO MINISTRY Isaiah 52:7-10 (NIV) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns! Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. In the Old Testament context of this Scripture, messengers brought good news of Israel s deliverance to the inhabitants of the land. Prophetically, Jesus is the Messenger that brought news of redemption and salvation to the world. In the context of Romans 10, when Isaiah 52 is quoted, who are the called messengers of salvation? Can you envision yourself as the prophetic messenger called by God to accomplish His message of salvation? 36

37 2 Kings 2:1-11 (NIV) When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel. But Elisha said, As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today? Yes, I know, Elisha replied, so be quiet. Then Elijah said to him, Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho. And he replied, As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you. So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today? Yes, I know, he replied, so be quiet. Then Elijah said to him, Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan. And he replied, As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you. So the two of them walked on. Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you? Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit, Elisha replied. You have asked a difficult thing, Elijah said, yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours otherwise, it will not. As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. What great ministries and/or ministers have you worked under? How did it prepare you for future ministry? 37

38 Do you think the chaplaincy has prepared you for future ministry? If so, list specific ways you believe it has prepared you for the next stage of ministry. Romans 12:1-3 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 38

39 LESSON 8 FULFILLING YOUR CALL Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV) For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. How is your calling driven by a desire to love others? Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Have you ever thought of the fact that God s call to ministry is driven by His love for mankind? 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV) I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 39

40 What is your primary motivation for ministry? Fulfilling the ministry call should always be rooted in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NLT) And do everything with love. John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 15:13 (NKJV) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one s life for his friends. 1 Corinthians 13 (ESV) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up 40

41 childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. What is the main take-away from 1 Corinthians 13? The greatest testimony we have as believers is the ability to love the unlovable. Galatians 6:10 (NKJV) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 5:13-14 (NKJV) For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Why is it so important to minister to fellow Christians? 41

42 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 4:7-11 (NIV) Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. CHALLENGE: Try ministering to people that you do not normally encounter. Examples include working in an orphanage, assisting the elderly, working in a soup kitchen or shelter, etc. You never know what new found ministry God may be preparing you for. 42

43 Study #3 Specific Ministry Calling Have you ever considered why God calls a person to a specific ministry? To understand why ministry is important, one must first grasp the holy nature of God. When you understand His holiness, you will be compelled to serve Him. Your life and your actions will reflect His worthiness. Ministry will be accomplished through your life for His glory. This study will cover the following topics: Lesson 9 God s Holiness Every area in life is affected by a proper understanding of God s holiness. Reverence, respect, and awe of God will determine one s outlook of life, often affecting obedience toward ministry. Lesson 10 Motivation to Minister Ministry should be performed from an attitude of love, not personal ambition or other self-seeking agenda. Lesson 11 A Servant s Attitude Proper attitude determines effectiveness over the long run. Developing a proper attitude toward ministry will make ministry more fulfilling. Lesson 12 A Unique Calling Military ministry is a demanding, yet rewarding ministry unlike any other ministry calling. What specific preparation and experiences did God use to prepare you for military ministry? For the next ministry? 43

44 LESSON 9 GOD S HOLINESS A ministry calling begins with reverence of God s holiness. Exodus 3:1-6 (ESV) Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned. When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here I am. Then he said, Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. And he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. God first got Moses attention with the burning bush and then engaged him with the details. Have you had a burning bush experience in your life that led to a ministry opportunity? Do you think God might be using something/someone now as a burning bush to get your attention? 44

45 Read the following passages and try to imagine yourself in the throne room of heaven. Isaiah 6:1-8 (ESV) In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory! And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here I am! Send me. Revelation 4:8-11 (ESV) And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Can you get a sense for what it must be like to witness God s glory? 45

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