Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend annual training in the Washington, D.C., area. The training, which is required for all ecclesiastical endorsing agents for military chaplains, gave me the necessary tools to perform my responsibilities as an endorser. In addition, I was treated to a tour of the Pentagon by one of our chaplains and met with two of the three services’ chiefs of chaplains; these positions are held by ranking general/flag officers. In both conversations, their expression as to the quality of GARBC-endorsed chaplains was nothing but praise. They both said, “Send us more.” I am proud of all of our chaplains, and I am thankful for the access and time spent discussing challenges and opportunities that exist for the chaplaincy corps.
I heard many informative presentations that included topics on defending religious freedom and trends in chaplaincy care. Of just as much benefit, I met many fellow endorsers, making new friendships and renewing old ones. The topic of religious freedom and protection was widely discussed, particularly among Evangelical chaplains. The role of the military chaplain is to provide for the religious expression by all members of the military—meaning that all military chaplains are there to serve as ministers and counselors. And in cases where chaplains are unable to perform those responsibilities due to theological or doctrinal differences, they facilitate the meeting between individuals seeking help with those who can best provide it.
Our chaplains are at the leading edge of ministry, with amazing opportunities to provide both direct ministry and a ministry of presence. They are excited to be where God has called them, but they need our prayers, for their battle is not merely at the physical battle line, but the spiritual one as well. Please pray for our chaplains, their families, and the men and women in uniform whom they serve.