This dissertation seeks to provide an evaluation of the ministries of Family Bible Church to its military members. The dissertation describes the process the author undertook to develop an effective tool to evaluate the church. This process included unifying the church leadership behind the validity of military service and producing a list of characteristics or needs of individuals in the military and their families. These needs were used to develop a survey to evaluate the church’s ministries. It is the author’s contention that ministry to the military will also be a model for ministry to any mobile population.
Chapter one is an introduction to the process and goal of the paper. This chapter gives an overview of the church’s community and shows that the church finds itself in a population that is composed largely of military personnel and their dependents. The church’s mission statement is introduced, and the question is asked, ‘Is the church accomplishing this mission by its ministry with individuals in the military and their families?’
Chapter two is a review of some of the literature and resources used to develop this project. The resources are categorized into religious and secular sources.
Chapter three addresses the Biblical and theological issues. The first issue that is addressed is the issue of the righteousness or validity of a military career for a Christian. The chapter then goes on to develop that a military career is a call from God to missions and ministry. The final issue that is addressed deals with the righteousness of family and marriage relationships facing periods of separation caused by the spouse’s involvement in the military.
Chapter four is an overview of the processes that were used to unify the church leadership, develop a ministry brochure, and identify the characteristics or special needs of those in the military. Four phases were identified as characteristics for those in the military. These four phases were used to identify the needs of those in the military and their families. Since Family Bible Church ministers to people in all four phases of military life, these needs were compiled into one list at the end of the chapter. A needs survey was compiled and sent to the church members for their verification that these were characteristics of their life in the military.
Chapter five explains the development and shows the results of a survey which was used to evaluate church ministries. Specific recommendations for improving a future survey and the church ministries are included in this chapter.
Chapter six lists the results of the survey according to the six needs or characteristics of individuals and families involved in the military. Interspersed in the chapter is a discussion of the church’s current ministries in view of their application to those in the military. The chapter ends with a list of action steps for the church to take to improve its ministry to those in the military.
Chapter seven is a conclusion that proposes that a local church can minister effectively to individuals and their families who are involved in the military. The chapter is organized around four characteristics that should characterize a church that seeks to minister to the highly mobile in our society.