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. 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.
How is the Discipled Veteran ministry structured?
-Much like a youth ministry 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 small group ministries with commonality, 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 and the plan of salvation in the hand of every Veteran that 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 give them one.
-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 Veteran 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.
How do I start a ministry at my church?
When the Holy Spirit is leads you to begin a ministry at your church, we are going to do everything possible to assist you. The following are some steps for you to consider and refer to that will assist you as you begin your ministry.
1. Contact us so we may add you to the map of churches, assist you as you lay the groundwork, and work with your leader as he prepares.
2. Choose a Veteran Man to lead the ministry. Depending on your groups size it may be wise to assign an Events Assistant, and Outreach Assistant also. This is also something you can do as your group grows to free up your leader, giving him more time for making community contacts and leading the group.
3. Meet with the Veterans in your church to spark their interest and strategize where and how best to meet Veterans in your area. This is also a good time to plan an outing that will attract new Veterans.
4. Decide when and where your Discipled Veteran Group will meet. A coffee pot will go along way in setting the tone, attracting them, and keeping them coming. We recommend your group meet in a dedicated area on Wednesday night during the service. This gets them used to coming to church on a church night and it also gives them opportunity to interact with nonveteran church members.
5. Chose a date for your first meeting. It should be as soon as possible so to capitalize on the excitement and interest you created at you Veteran meeting.
6. Create a social media page for your individual group to disseminate information and recruit new Veterans. A good example of a Discipled Veteran social media page may be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1194658243963343
7. Create and get printed your groups invitation cards. Most groups utilize the downloadable template on the resources page. Keep in mind the people we are trying to attract are Veterans, so the language and illustrations on the cards probably won’t seem attractive to the average person, however they have proven effective with Veterans.
8. Most everyone knowns an unchurched Veteran. Print the Veteran referral form from the resources page, put them in the church bulletin one Sunday and ask the church to fill them out. This gives your Veterans an immediate source of Veterans to visit and invite, who already have a connection to the church.
9. Motivate your church members to carry the cards with them. When they see someone wearing a Veteran hat, shirt, bumper sticker, license plate, or any other identifier thank them for their service and give them an invite.
10. As new Veterans come utilize the churches first time visitor cards to gain their information. Ensure a Veteran from the group follows up with them and then continues to do so until they become a regular attender, they get saved, they get discipled, and they become a productive soldier for Jesus.
11. Focus on recreating the military comradery that every Veteran misses but in a church environment. Satan has been doing this for years in organizations like the VFW. Wherein he recruits them through comradery and treats them with alcohol. We want to reach them through the same comradery and treat them with Jesus.
What does a weekly Discipled Veteran Meeting Look like?
1. Open in prayer
2. Discuss any veteran events that are taking place in the area that your group could be a part of to reach other veterans.
3. Discuss any events that your group has planned to attract new veterans and build comradery.
4. Challenge your veterans to invite and report back to the group on 3 veterans that they invited each week.
5. Teach the lessons stopping often to ask if there are questions or thoughts. Make it a discussion. Don't stand and teach set around a table with them. Don't worry about finishing a lesson each week focus on discussion.
6. End in prayer.
7. Stick around after to answer any questions individually that someone may not have been comfortable asking in the group.
8. Follow up with new guys within a couple days of them coming.
9. Encourage everyone to get to know each other and become part of one another's life.
10. Build your guys through comradery into a spiritual spec-ops unit for God.