We are coming up on the 1 year mark since I wrote this post.
To this day when I read it, tears well up in my eyes and now when I look back, I can't believe how much has changed.
I really wish it had all turned out differently, but I have to trust God's plan for our lives.
I am getting away from my point, but I meant everything I said.
I REALLY TRULY BELIEVE THAT CHURCHES NEED TO START HANDLING MILITARY FAMILIES DIFFERENTLY.
I really truly believe that a military member needs to be treated as a missionary sent out into the world.
I really truly believe that service members, that were raised in their "flocks," or at one point worshiped with the body, need to be treated as if they are still active members in the church.
I really truly believe that prayers need to be going up for these families at all times, (not just a fleeting thought/prayer during deployments.
They appreciate your support on Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day....
But they need more.
There are women/wives battling depression, infidelity, loneliness, alcoholism, abandonment, worthlessness, etc and they have to suck it all up and handle it for a year at a time or more, ALL BY THEMSELVES. It doesn't just magically go away when there are no deployments either...
There are men/husbands dealing with alcoholism, infidelity, superiority, PTSD, and the number one issue: porn;
ALL THE TIME. It just doesn't magically go away when there are no deployments either.
Are you praying about that?
When a member of your church joins/leaves for the military, are they suddenly not in need of discipleship, prayer, and encouragement?
Are they suddenly strong enough to handle everything on their own without the support of a church?
Oh, but certainly they will find a church on their own right away and they will be a "problem" for some other pastor/elder.....
****So what can you do??****
Meet their recruiter before they leave for boot camp. Ask questions about the struggles they will be going through as a single or married military member.
Make them feel like they are still a member of the body.
Set up an area in the main entrance of your church that is dedicated to military families. With photos of the service member and/or family. (Out of sight out of mind)
Keep the service member and their family in your church directory with current address along with deployment addresses. Every time they move, search churches out for them in their new location.
Keep the men/husbands responsible by keeping in touch.
Keep the women/wives responsible by staying in touch.
DON'T expect their relatives to keep you properly informed.
Just like you send out missionary newsletters, send out military family newsletters. Let your church body know what is happening in their lives also. (Out of sight out of mind.)
Sound like too much work? Pray about it. Email me for help or suggestions.
Please just get involved in their lives.
PRAY for them daily.
PLEASE PLEASE SHARE this post as much as you can. Email it to pastors, elders and anyone you know involved in ministry.
I don't want them forgotten anymore......