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My Vision for Military Missions
by Dr. Jeff Alverson
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no
vision, the people perish. Every Christian should have a vision
of missions and see his responsibility to reach the world
for Christ. Someone once defined a missionary vision as “A
blending of correct INFORMATION and Spirit-begotten
INSPIRATION that leads to definite INVOLVEMENT in
fulfilling our responsibility to world evangelization.”
When it comes to Military Missions, we also should have this
information, inspiration, and involvement as we take the Gospel
message to our military personnel around the world. My vision
of military missions involves several goals.
First, the vision involves the PURPOSE or our goal. Simply
stated, the goal is to reach our military personnel and their
families for Christ wherever they are stationed around the world
and to train them to serve the Lord through the ministry of the
local church. Presently, we have 2.16 million men and women
who wear our nation's uniform. Most are without Christ,
needing the Gospel.
Second, the vision involves our PHILOSOPHY or how to
reach that goal. The goal of something is the aim or the end
towards which an effort is directed. The philosophy is the
methods we employ as to how we reach that end. Many
organizations working with the military employ the means of
Servicemen's Centers, which is mainly a ministry to singles and
the unaccompanied. They have recreational facilities and hot
meals at times that are a drawing card for the service personnel
and have a Bible study or a soul winning time included in their
program. We are grateful for any method to reach our military.
Our philosophy for BIMI is to reach the military personnel
through the emphasis of the local church. Therefore, we go into
areas near military bases primarily overseas (stateside there
is usually a good church near the base we can recommend)
and start a Bible-believing Baptist church and minister to that
military community through that local church. A missionary
pastors the church and the military folks and their families
have an alternative to the government methods or the chapel
programs. We understand that a chapel is not a local church
and a chaplain is not a pastor, although we encourage our
missionaries to work as closely as possible with the base
chaplains. They will have the opportunity to touch the lives of
folks we cannot and we will reach many for Christ they will
When a BIMI missionary operates a Servicemen's Center, we
recommend it to be done through a good Bible-believing local
church. One of our missionaries is having great success reaching
many for Christ even during their Boot Camp training.
Third, our vision is a PROGRAM that is involved. How do we
go about ministering to our military personnel?
We c an m i n iste r t h rou g h
GI with the method
and doing door-
Often it is difficult
to get into housing
areas for that
indeed, open the
door if we are
fervent and willing.
We can minister through ESTABLISHING local Bible-believing
churches near military bases. BIMI missionaries have planted
more than 50 churches near bases worldwide and God has given
great success with it. Thousands of young men, women, and
children have been saved through these efforts and hundreds
have been called to the ministry. They have finished their tenure
of military service, gone on to Bible school or Christian colleges
and entered into the ministry. One church in Japan has reported
more than 400 preachers to come from that work in its 45-year
history. Another in Germany has had more than 100 during its 27
years; while another in Spain has seen scores surrender their lives
to the ministry from its congregations.
We can minister through EQUIPPING the troops by local
church training, thus preparing them to serve the Lord in
other ministries after they transfer to their next duty station.
Our missionaries know that they are only going to have them
for a short time since military people are constantly rotating.
Therefore, we do our best to teach them the simple and practical
truths of how to live for God and grow in His grace and
knowledge. We can minister through ENRICHING the lives of our military
personnel with Bible-centered programs such as children and
youth ministries, singles ministries, family seminars, ladies
fellowships and Bible studies, just to name a few. Then our
churches have revival meetings, Bible conferences, missions
conferences as well as other meetings throughout the church
year. In addition to this, some churches have Christian schools
and Bible institutes to further studies in the Scriptures.
We can minister through ENCOURAGING lonely GI hearts
by Christian fellowship and activities. So often many of these
young men and women are shipped overseas, having never