GI Funded Missionary

I used to think of myself as a sort of GI funded missionary, wherein I was paid by the Navy to do Navy work, but in my off time (and honestly sometimes on my "on" time) I would be doing God's work. This philosophy paid huge dividends in my ministry on the USS Mobile Bay and the Kanagawa Bunko Christian Church in Japan. Unfortunately, the strategy broke down while in San Diego and Little Rock. I got side-tracked pretty easily while looking for my next home run and I missed several actual opportunities to serve. My heart wasn't in the right place anyway.

I made a great deal of progress on the USS Antietam, however, during my second stint in San Diego. I relearned the art of relying on God for everything in ministry and while I was still pretty distracted, I figured out how to get the message across to my Sailors without too much trouble. The ministry wasn't as much of a success, but there were bright spots here and there.

In Great Lakes, I've really learned that the spiritual climate of the military, and maybe the United States as a whole, has changed. Like American culture in general, spirituality in the military has become more polarized. Either you're into God or you're not. When I was in Japan, we had several closet Christians who would come to services whereas in San Diego that didn't happen. Having seen this same sort of thing take place in Great Lakes, I'm ready to admit that the revival I had longed for is further away than I would like to admit.

This doesn't mean I'm not still a GI funded missionary. I very much assume I am. I have several lines in the water in which I hope to bring in a new believer or two for the kingdom. I'm also working hard to help a few younger believers grow at work. All this means is that I'm finding the work to be more difficult than I had hoped and that my dreams for a larger and more widespread ministry are lessening.

I'll talk more about a contractor mentality in the next post, but suffice to say that my ministry in the Navy is more difficult than it used to be. It is requiring far more in relationships than it used to, which seems to be mirroring missions work in general, at least as far as I read in blogs and updates from my missionary friends. 

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