Introduction and Overview
What is the Military Pentecostal Resource Leader?
Simply stated it is one soldier, sailor, airmen or marine reaching out to another with the hope and help of Jesus Christ. The Biblical precedent is found in Acts Chapter 10 in the ministry provided through the home fellowship of the Roman army officer Cornelius—a deployed soldier. Through this man’s ministry to his family and friends the Lord brought the gospel to non-Jewish people for the first time. It was a turning point in the New Testament narrative and in human history. The importance of this soldier-to-soldier ministry cannot be overstated.
We are blessed in the US Military to have the service of ordained clergy to serve as chaplains. They are far too few in numbers, however, for us to expect them to carry the entire weight of providing sufficient ministry to all military personnel—especially in a deployed environment. As in a local church, the entire congregation must be trained and mobilized to reach our communities. The MPRL is to stand along side of the gospel ministry provided by the chaplain and in many ways to supplement it. You will sometimes have to go where no one else will go and always will have to preach the gospel through your example as well as your voice.
We are seeking only the best leaders to serve as MPRL’s. For this reason, we have a rather extensive process of training and certifying NCO’s and officers to serve as MPRL’s for the Church of God Ministry to the Military. The first step in this process is that of application and endorsement. If you are not first recognized as a man/woman of character by your peers and your chain of command you will not have the needed influence to help them trust in Christ during their moments of crisis. As part of this endorsement you also must have the confidence and recommendation of your pastor, chaplain and state administrative bishop.
If you are applying for certification we expect that you have already demonstrated considerable maturity as a leader in your local chapel, local church and/or servicemen’s center. We also expect that you have effectively displayed this maturity in your military unit. We want to condense the process so we can get you started on a path that we hope will multiply our ability to bring ministry into the barracks, motor pools, flight lines and on the decks/spaces of ships as quickly as possible.
This first section of the manual should accomplish the following:
- Give you an overview of the entire MPRL purpose and process.
- Help you to prepare your application packet.
- Introduce you to the materials, procedures and forms you will be using in your process of application, training and certification. This section also contains an overview of the curriculum resources used for the training.
- Finally, we will evaluate your basic competency, help you to start a “Qualification Tracking Sheet”, and then review your application for submission to the international offices of the Ministry to the Military for the official MPRL endorsement and the issuing of the certificates and credentials.
In the absence of a Church of God Chaplain, to be the certified active duty representative of the Church of God to the military community where he or she is presently serving. In all cases to assist the chaplain to minister to fellow service members.
Goal and Philosophy
To equip the Christian military member to more effectively nurture their personal faith while assisting their co-workers to explore and deepen their own faith. Special emphasis is given to helping them to perform this ministry in support of the command religious program.
Members of the US Military are being deployed more frequently and often with fewer resources. They often find themselves not only taken away from the support of their local church but also away even from the most basic support of a chaplain and chapel program.
The Christian soldier, airman, sailor or marine needs to be able to keep his/her faith active and growing during these times and to also help others do the same. If they are blessed by having a chapel program in their deployment area then they should be equipped to support and augment that chaplain’s ministry when requested or given opportunity to do so.
The Training Process
Key concepts to remember are competency and equivalency. Ultimately our goal is to have a large cadre of veteran MPRL’s who once having completed all levels of training and successfully serving as a MPRL, will be able to help us train and mentor others. When this begins to happen we will be able to train thousands of our lay leaders all around the world and in many varied locations. Until that time we will use every means possible to supplement MTTM sponsored training programs to help insure that our NCO’s and officers are qualified (competent) to fulfill their special role in ministry. In order to accomplish this we will evaluate the training that many have already received from other similar or equivalent church and leadership training programs.
We have laready determined that several existing Church of God training programs provide equivalent information that can be utilized to meet some, but not all, MPRL competency requirements. The Ministerial Affirmation Program (MAP), the Ministerial Internship Program (MIP); and Local Church Lay Leadership Development course; the School of Ministry Certificate in Ministerial Studies (CIMS) program and the Community Service Chaplains Training course all have elements that can be utilized towards your MPRL training requirements. A MPRL candidate should have his/ her training experiences evaluated by their mentoring pastor or chaplain to verify they have already met these requirements. They should submit this informatin on othe form “Qualification Tracking Sheet” that is supplied with their MPRL application packet.
Jesus seemed to use four basic elements in His training of the disciples. We are using this model in our training of the Pentecostal Resource Leader.
- Formal Training: The student reads, studies, attends lectures/workshops and completes assignments to familiarize him/her with the core curriculum.
- Informal Training: The student is assigned a mentor. He/she works with a more mature and experienced leader, minister or chaplain while continuing their studies.
- On the Job Training: The student is given “hands-on” ministry assignments while still under the supervision and tutelage of a mentoring pastor/leader/chaplain.
- Commissioned and sent forth: But remaining under the watch care and support of a coach.
We seek not to just teach the Pentecostal Resource Leader (MPRL) facts and principles but we endeavor to train them to be competent to perform key ministry objectives. Our effectiveness in this training program will be measured by the ability of the MPRL to reflect and/or perform the following list of key competencies:
- Basic Knowledge of the Bible
- Must know Distinctives of Church of God doctrine, government and polity
- Must demonstrate knowledge of MTTM mission/values & loyalty to those issues
- Understanding of key issues related to working in a pluralistic setting.
- An understanding of leadership principles & issues.
- A basic knowledge of teaching &/or communication skills
- Ability to share their faith; A developing theology of worship and some ability to lead a worship service
- Applicant must be at least an E-4, WO1 or O-2 in military rank unless special conditions prevail (i.e. prior military service, special leadership training & experience in a military setting)
- Formal Application must be made while enrolled in the First phase of the discipleship training.
- Application must be obtained via pastor, chaplain, center director, from the MTTM offices in Cleveland, TN. or from the MTTM website.
- Letters of reference required from the applicants’ pastor/center director, chaplain and military first line supervisor.
- Formal application must be made while enrolling in Level I of the discipleship training.
- Application must be obtained via pastor, chaplain, center director, from the MTTM office in Cleveland, TN. or from the MTTM website.
- Letters of reference are required from the applicant’s pastor/ center director, chaplain, and military first line supervisor.
- Monthly Reports to International Offices and to Regional Directors
- Regular review by supervising chaplain, pastor &/or center director.
- Biennial certificate renewal.
- Participation in ongoing enrichment Courses & Seminars to enhance skills and to keep knowledge current.
The Core Curriculum Includes
The Military Pentecostal Resource Leader (MPRL) training program occurs in three phases and for three levels of certification. Each level leads to certification for a potentially more complex role as a resource leader.
Level 1 Basic Course (Bible Study Leader
- Jesus Walk Discipleship studies (Personal)
- MTTM Mission and Values
- Church of God Distinctives
- Faith Walk (Doctrine)
- Seminar on Communication
- Seminar: Sharpening Your People Skills
- Working in a Pluralistic Environment
- Workshop: Military Ministry Methods
Level II Advanced Course (Outreach Leader)
- Biblical Theology *
- Music in Pentecostal Worship *
- Biblical Discipleship *
- Prayer in the Public Forum
- Survey of the New Testament *
- Servant Leadership
- Seminar: Personal Leadership Development
- Seminar & Readings in Verbal Communication
- Ministering Cross Culturally
Level III Senior Course (Denominational Service Leader – DSL)
- Biblical Interpretation *
- Doctrine of the Holy Spirit *
- The Ministry of Worship, Ceremonies and Observances *
- Christian Ethics and Practical Theology *
- Contemporary Preaching *
- Group Process and Group Dynamics
- Cross-cultural and diversity awareness
- Worship: crisis intervention, death notificatio