Is the United States military a legitimate mission field? Does this segment of the world’s population merit special emphasis? Some would say no; after all, they are Americans with all the unique spiritual opportunities that Americans have. In America, the Gospel can even be heard on radio and television. Why do we need to emphasize the American military as a mission field?
1. The Command of Our Lord
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
There are American military “creatures” stationed in over 150 countries of the world. Many of these American military personnel have their families with them at their duty station and this increases the number of Americans living on foreign soil. They are wives, sometimes husbands, teenagers, children and sometimes even parents of the soldiers. They are all souls that the Lord loves and has commanded us to go and reach.
2. The Urgency of the Task
It is urgent because of the open door that could be closed. Most military missionaries have access to the military base, but it is getting more difficult to distribute literature, make visits, openly witness and to generally have access to the base.
It is urgent because of the transient nature of the military. They move often and many times their spiritual needs are not seen soon enough. They can fall through the cracks.
It is urgent because of the dangerous vocation of the military. Military people are dying every week. They are being killed in combat. They are sometimes at risk as a result of dangerous training.
It is urgent because of the tremendous stress that military life puts on the individual soldier and his or her family. A very high divorce rate is a reality in the military as well as a startling number of suicide deaths. Long work hours, long periods of separation, multiple deployments and a generally unsettled life all add to the extreme stress of military life.
3. The Fruit of Military Missions
Souls saved. Military missions is a tremendously fruitful field of souls being saved. Not only do an unusual number of military personnel per capita get saved, but many people in the host country receive the Gospel as a result of the influence of the military and a military church.
Trained workers. Because of the transient nature of military churches on a foreign field there must be consistent training of workers to replace those that will be transferred. Military churches send trained workers to churches all around the world and especially to American independent Baptist churches.
Full-time Christian workers. The U.S. military is perhaps the segment of American society that produces the largest number of full-time Christian workers. As our Christian military personnel are sent to places all over the world, the Gospel is spread all over the world. Many of these places are where the pastor, the missionary, and the civilian church member cannot go. The United States military is a great tool of God for spreading the Gospel.
Yes, the United States military is a true mission field. It certainly falls under the mandate of the Great Commission. The field is white unto harvest and the laborers are few. Will you pray for our military personnel and also pray for more laborers to reach them?