The following is a guest post by a blogging friend of mine.
By: S. Daniel Smith
(Author Website) www.sdanielsmith.com
The Military Christian…A Separate Demographic?
The thing I like about Phillip’s blog is that he talks from his demographic while not using it as a crutch. He pointed out a pretty important fact about his background (and mine) on the 25th of October. As I read posts like his regarding our different backgrounds, I realize a certain amount of commonality. Unlike Phillip, I write about being a Christian in the US Navy, which brings up the issue of demographics.
When people talk about the military, they don’t talk about blacks in the military, Asian-Americans, or white. They talk about the military. When church leaders and parachurch groups talk about reaching out to the military, they don’t split us up into our groups. We are one mass, apparently. On one hand, it might be the most even-keeled approach to missions and a lesson to the church as a whole as she deals with the massive ethnic rifts within her. On the other hand, very little is done to match our individual worship styles, preaching desires, and the like. I could go on for some time about this, but it’s not relevant to the main point.
The fact is that we are treated as a mass bloc of potential believers and people to be served. Thus, in the most general of ways, we are our own demographic. That is why I have hosted the annual Military Prayer Week on my blog. This year, because of where Veterans Day falls, I’m condensing it to a one day event. For one day, we pray for the entire demographic of the military. We pray for sexual purity, boldness in the faith, that more would come to the faith, for families, for those who minister to the military, etc.
Should you become involved? Well, of course I say yes, but it’s more than that. Because the military is ministered to as one large group, it has the potential to affect the church as a whole. As military folks leave active duty and go back to their communities, they take with them a sense of unity that can serve the church as a whole. If you’re against praying for the military for ethical reasons, then the possible impact on the American church as a whole might be the thing to pray for.
Being a Sailor in the military is not easy, but neither is your life. If we break all of that down, what we have are demographics that need to be ministered to. Just as Phillip has written about the Asian-American church demographic, I write about the military demographic. What we do together is raise up the next generation of the church.