How Chaplains Evangelize and Disciple Military Members and Their Families

Topics: Learning, Education, Christian theology Pages: 7 (1985 words) Published: July 12, 2012

How Chaplains Evangelize and Disciple Military Members and Their Families

Submitted to Dr. Michael Whittington, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the course,

CHPL 600
Theological Perspectives in Military Chaplaincy


Avis N. White
July 10, 2012

How Chaplains Evangelize and Disciple Military Members and Their Families


Some 60% of military chaplains are evangelical, while only 40% of active duty personnel are evangelical.  Many of the evangelical chaplains see their mission not as meeting the diverse religious needs of those in the service, but rather converting those not yet “born again.”[1] Chaplains would use biblical models for discipleship to evangelize and disciple military members and their families. Discipleship has been a key element of Christianity throughout the history of creation. However, there are two prominent figures being Jesus Christ himself, and the apostle Paul, that display and model what has been termed the biblical model for discipleship. As research has shown, processes for learning are extremely multifaceted and involved. Humans in themselves are the reason for this complexity as they are innately complex beings. Not for naught does the Bible tell us we were created in the image of God. Research thus only confirms what Scripture already conveyed: every aspect of God’s creation in man needs to be addressed to successfully convey learning.

Processes Utilized by Paul

In Ephesians, Paul writes, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9, KJV) Paul takes discipleship very serious. He exhorts, encourages, stimulates, promotes and triggers his disciples by teaching them to look at both Jesus’ and his example. Paul points them to both the past (their experience) and the future (their hope in Jesus). When Mitchell summarizes this to “1) Motivating, 2) Communicating, 3) Inspiring, 4) Elevating, and 5) Activating”[2], he is simply creating a formula for learning from the example of Paul. Or as Solomon might have said, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). Paul had integrity affirmed by God and the other apostles and he lived a transparent life without hypocrisy and or duplicity. Therefore, there is no doubt that Paul would share himself and model the life of a Christian servant through acts of service, evangelism, and teaching.

Processes for Learning

Yount’s work “Created to Learn” discusses the “Disciple’s Model” of learning and describes it as having two foundational layers, the left foundation representing the Bible, “with its call to personal commitment to Christ and His Church”, and thus demanding that any learning must be built “upon the sure foundation of God’s Word.”[3] The right foundation represents the need of the people (or learners). Yount gives the example of Jesus inviting Zacchaeus to dinner when it was apparent he was lonely. Only when Zacchaeus relational need was met was he able to listen to Jesus.[4] Yount continues to describe the “Christian Teacher’s Triad”, resting on these foundational layers. The reasoning behind or baseline for this triad becomes apparent by observing what it is made up of: what a person thinks (thinking), how a person feels (feeling), and what a person does (doing). With humans often being prone to intellectualism (the negative of thinking), emotionalism (feeling), and burnout (doing), the teacher faces a dilemma. What the “Christian Teacher’s Triad” then represents are the counteracting forces that Jesus modeled: that of Prophet, Priest and King.[5] In the teacher, this then expresses itself by offering concepts rather than words, questions rather than answers and problems...
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