FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have had the opportunity to speak with a number of pastors across the nation and often they have the same questions. For that reason we created this list to try and answer them for you. However, please contact us and ask any question you may have or for us to elaborate on any point. Check back often for updates as we speak with more of you.
Can you provide ministry references?
What is the cost?
-FREE, presenting the gospel to veterans is the only ask we have. Our only goal is to help you reach veterans in your area. Any assistance we may be, including the curriculum we created and use is completely free for download on this site.
What is the Discipled Veteran Ministry?
-Discipled Veteran began as a ministry of Bible Baptist Church in Beckley, WV in 2017 for the purpose of reaching military veterans in our area for Christ. Most recently we have been led to present the ministry to other like minded churches in hopes of assisting them plant an independent Discipled Veteran ministry in their church.
-Please visit the Bible Baptist Church at www.bbcwv.com
How do I start a ministry at my church?
-I would first recommend you pray and seek the Holy Spirits guidance in if this is a ministry for your church. I would then seek God's guidance on a veteran in your congregation to lead the ministry. Then schedule a first meeting with those veterans in your church and give them the mission of the ministry. Involvement of the veterans already in the church is very helpful, however, the focus is to reach lost veterans and one dedicated ministry leader can do it.
-Depend on the lessons learned in our ministry. As one pastor we spoke with said "why recreate the wheel". We are available to answer any questions you may have or help in any way possible through experience, curriculum, church visits, or any other way we can. That said, what works in WV may not work as well in your area. Also your churches ministry is your church's ministry. We are here to assist you, we believe in the autonomy of each church and your pastor is the man in charge.
How is the Discipled Veteran ministry structured in your church?
-Our ministry is organized much like a youth ministry at any church except on a veteran platform. We have a space set aside that we meet in on a regular meeting night. We use curriculum specifically written to speak to veterans that uses veteran illustrations and terminology. Even more so than other groups with commonality, like the youth, veterans have the ability to reach veterans. Our focus is to reach them with comradery, see them saved, and infiltrated in to their local church.
How do we reach veterans in our area?
-The better question would be how do we not attempt to reach veterans. One of the main ways we reach veterans is with a our "Invitation Card" that is available for downloaded from the ministry resources page. This card allows us to put an invite in the hand of every veteran our church members come into contact with. It is nearly impossible to be in the community and not see a veteran wearing a veteran hat or shirt. When we see one we invite them.
-The VA Hospital will usually let us leave our cards in the waiting rooms of the various clinics. Additionally we have had great success visiting the homeless veteran shelter in our area.
-Look for veteran events in your area. Workshops, veteran day parades, Wounded Warrior events, other veteran organizations events are great ways to find them.
-Often veterans family members will ask us to come visit their veteran family member.
-Everything is about how you use it, for everything bad about social media it has been very useful in our effort to reach veterans. Many churches have created a Discipled Veteran Facebook page specific to their churches group for example "Discipled Veteran Beckley". We use the page to disseminate information to our group. We also use it to add veterans we meet either in person or on social media. It is a great way to allow other veterans in the group to connect with new veterans and give the new veteran some insight to what the group is about, peaking their interest.
What are some events we can sponsor to reach veterans in our area?
-We use the comradery and commonality of veterans to reach other veterans. We plan veteran level outings like gun range days, fishing trips, and the Army v Navy football game day to invite and infiltrate new veterans into the group.
-Competitions create excitement and interest. We recently hosted a shooting competition between our Discipled Veteran ministry and the local police department. Our pastor was the judge allowing him to interact with the police officers and the veterans. One caveat, you may have to let the police department win to keep the event annual. We learned that the hard way.
-Every spring our group sponsors a recruit night. During this night we invite high school seniors who have enlisted in the military and are preparing to go to basic training. The purpose is to give our members the opportunity to thank the recruit for keeping the watch, give them advice, and allow the recruit to ask any questions about being in the military as a saved person.
Are veteran families involved in the ministry?
-A veteran's family is crucial to a veteran. As a veteran leads his family the family tends to take on the attributes of dealing with situations like its leader does, much like in a pastors home. For that reason and the experiences associated with being a military family, veteran families often operate differently and deal with different issues than a normal family. In our work my wife is a crucial part of the ministry as it pertains to counseling military veteran wives and building comradery among the military veteran families. On occasion we have asked the wives what issues do you deal with because you are the wife of a veteran that other wives may not deal with. Then we conduct special weekly sessions wherein my wife and I focus our teaching in separate classes on biblical principles associated with those subjects.
How do new veterans integrate with other church members? .
-Don't be afraid of battle scars. Remember where they have been. When you drag a wounded man off the battle field you shouldn’t expect them to be in their dress uniform. They are victims of war and they have been in battle. They are going to be bloody and have the stench of war until they get cleaned up. The same applies to this war, when you drag a wounded soul off Satan’s battlefield they are going to stink of sin and have some wounds. They won’t look, act, or sound like seasoned Christians.
Should we help veterans with benefits offered to veterans?
-Keep away from the topic of veteran benefits as a group. The world, and quite frankly, worldly churches focus a tremendous amount of time on the needs of veterans and unfortunately they are concentrating on the side effects not the cause. The focus of Discipled Veterans is to introduce veterans to Jesus because we know that He solves the core problem and when it is solved the side effects go away. If a veteran in the group needs individual help, handle it individually to maintain focus on the mission.