Vineyard Chaplains: Serving Jesus In The Military
Did you know that the Vineyard Movement has military chaplains serving in branches of the armed services around the world?
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
[Vineyard Chaplains at the 2017 National Conference]
In this interview, Chaplain Steven Satterfield talks about the role of Vineyard chaplains and the unique role they have in ministering to men, women, and families in the military. To find out more about Vineyard chaplains, see our Chaplains page here.
VUSA: What do you as military chaplains do?
SS: I will write from the Army perspective. We perform or provide for religious services, and we advise the Commander. We nurture military personnel and their families by leading worship services, Bible studies, teaching classes, and offering counseling. We care for the wounded by visiting Soldiers, their family members, and the staff in hospitals. I did this full-time for eighteen months in the hospital at Fort Carson, CO.
I also visited Soldiers in hospitals in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany. In addition to these ministry opportunities, we also honor the fallen by leading Memorial Ceremonies. I have done at least one of these a year during my eleven years of Active Duty. We offer hope and encouragement in these times of vulnerability and need.
VUSA: What one quality of being a military chaplain makes your work unique?
SS: The quality I chose is our care for Soldiers around the world. I was stationed for six years in the US, three years in Germany, and twenty eight months in the Middle East. In places around the world, we care for our Soldiers by being with them. What other job requires you to pass a physical fitness test every six months, doing two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and running two miles? This helps us bond with other Soldiers as we stay in shape.
VUSA: How do military chaplains carry a Kingdom perspective into their work and ministry – specifically in your branch of the military?
SS: Two senior chaplains and I prayed for a contemporary service to be at Fort Carson in CO, and here is the result: https://www.facebook.com/chapelnextfortcarson. I led services at The Gospel (mainly an African-American congregation, which is open to the Holy Spirit moving) and other Protestant chapels there.
I was able to lead Vineyard-like services in Afghanistan, and led Alpha in Kuwait. I helped with worship in Iraq, too, even at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison AFTER all the bad things surfaced in the media. At a service I co-led in Germany, another chaplain, a social worker and I were able to help a woman who was manifesting a demon. We brought her into a private room and prayed for her.
VUSA: How many Vineyard military chaplains are serving right now around the world?
SS: There are about twenty Vineyard chaplains we know of around the world who are in military, hospital, law enforcement, firefighting, or civilian settings. We are aware of one deployed in Afghanistan, Chaplain (Captain) Scott Noyes, so please keep him in your prayers.
We are thankful for the Vineyard USA recognizing the unique calling we have to care for those in our settings. For more information about what the Lord has done through me, please see http://stevenwsatterfield.blogspot.com. If you are interested in becoming an Army chaplain, get more general information about what that means at www.goarmy.com/chaplain, and see our Chaplains page.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, our Chaplains page is located here.