Ministering to the military community can be challenging because of the difficult schedules of military personnel and the fact they are moved every two years, on average. Many in the military have been hurt or neglected because some churches have simply tolerated them. Military families sometimes become skeptical of churches because of past hurts.
But Pillar Church of Woodlawn in Alexandria, Virginia, recognizes all of these challenges and believes that ministering well to our nation’s service members and their families is a God-given and God-sized task. Pillar Woodlawn wants to utilize the well-worn paths of the military to spread the gospel wherever the next move takes them — back to their home of record, to their next duty assignment or even into deployment.
Church leaders note that while military members are willing to die for their country, many of them have never been shown how to live for something. Through biblical community, transformational teaching and missional living, Pillar’s military members consider, not just the gospel’s impact on them, but the sphere of influence God has entrusted to them, church leaders explain.
Building His kingdom
Each year, Pillar Woodlawn experiences a great turnover in its church membership (30–40%), but they know that God doesn’t want Pillar to measure success by its seating capacity. God’s measure is their sending capacity. Pillar wants to see service members and their families saved, sanctified and sent to be used by God to build His kingdom.
To that end, the church recently held a “sending out” service, where four families were sent out to their next military assignments. These new assignments stretch from Texas to Guam. These four families go, not just to serve the country, but to take the gospel to the military community. They understand what it means to live for something — for Someone.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was originally published in the Proclaimer, magazine of the SBC of Virginia.