I don't want to do the wrong thing. The truth is that I've messed up opportunities in the past with ministry, mostly because of prideful decisions and desires. Boy, that was a fun way to start a post, huh? Anyway, it is my sincere hope that I have moved past that life. Great Lakes represents an opportunity to serve God in ways I've never been capable of before. For one, I'm going to have the opportunity to help set Sailors on a good path for their careers. Secondly, I'm going to get a chance to minister to Sailors who, like myself, have been in for quite awhile and have valuable experience to lend to the Kingdom if they would go to Christ.
Yet, in the same way it represents a stellar opportunity, it also represents a serious challenge. As an instructor, I must be very, very careful how I interact with the students. The local Campus Crusade for Christ missionary has already told me that I should probably not attend the Friday evening fellowship for students, as it might compromise my position. Until I meet with the base Chaplain about all of this (hopefully today) and figure out exactly where I stand, I'm treading lightly. Still, I'm figuring on the following:
1. Reach out and minister where I can with the local Campus Crusade for Christ missionary. He's the boss. If he says I can work in this area or that, then I will. If he says I should hold off, then I will.One area that he hopes Alicia and I will become involved is in the Thursday night study. While the kids are all in AWANA, he holds a study for parents. Alicia and I look forward to being a part of this. This is not, however, a ministry for me to take part in (as I see it), but rather a place for me to be fed spiritually and to learn from John.
2. Invest heavily in my fellow staff members at the schoolhouse. One of the keys for ministry in a modern context is to build relationships. It might very well be true that America no longer lends itself to major revivals, tent meetings, and door-to-door outreach.Therefore, one of my main areas of work will be with relationships with my neighbors and the staff.
3. Be prepared to work inside and with the church we end up in. Our church-hunting is in full swing now, and finding a place to fit in is a priority. Naturally, along with focusing on learning from other ministers and building relationship with those I work with and live near, I also want to be part of a local congregation, both to be fed and to feed.
God has been so good to me during this move to Great Lakes. I'm looking forward to a new ministry and learning as much as I can from those more experienced than I. Stay tuned for more updates!