Yesterday, a pastor called who serves a church near Fort Campbell. He shared that over the last month, the church has lost 36 members who serve in the Military, due to reassignments or deployments. These members were active leaders in the church and the church is now scrambling for teachers and in a rebuilding mode.
Having served Hilldale Baptist Church in Clarksville near Fort Campbell, I could relate to this pastor. While serving at Hilldale, I recall Operation Desert Storm during president George H.W. Bush’s term. When the 101st was deployed, signs were posted on businesses and in yards asking for prayer for the troops. The clergy were invited to the base for training so that we would be ready to assist the chaplains if called upon. With the temporary but immediate loss of ten of thousands of soldiers and many of their families, businesses were hurting. As this pastor is experiencing, the churches were forced to adjust due to loss of leaders, attendance, and with additional ministries for the military spouses and their children who remained.
As I think about the pastor call, I praised God for the impact of this church and the other churches near Fort Campbell and the other military installations in or near Tennessee. I praised God that these churches effectively reached and ministered to these soldiers and their families. While this church has lost some valuable members and is in a rebuilding phase, the Kingdom has been impacted. These former members are now scattered around the world. Who knows the impact of this church.
Do you live near a military base? Are you praying that while these soldiers are stationed near you that you or some other Christian will impact their life and their families? Are you willing to allow these to serve in your church and to grow in their relationship with Christ? Are you getting them connected to a Sunday School Class where relationships can be formed and growth can be nurtured? Do you intentionally reach out to minister to their unique needs?
God has placed all of close to some great fields that are white unto harvest. Let’s pray to the Lord of the Harvest, that he will send forth laborers.