A Spiritual Drill Sergeant

Jason* met The Navigators as a single soldier at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, his first duty station. Over his career, he and now his wife, Haley*, have been mentored by and served alongside faithful leaders in Navigators Military ministry.

Now a drill sergeant, Jason trains civilians into U.S. Army soldiers—but he exclaims, “Ministry is my job!” What he means is that as a soldier, he is bringing the gospel and discipleship into everyday places. From the moment he hit the ground at Fort Benning with his trainees, he applied his Navigator training: praying for and seizing opportunities to model and share Christ with them.

A Spiritual Drill Sergeant | The Navigators Military | A person being baptized

One day he overheard some trainees talking among themselves about Jesus. Here was his opportunity! He asked, “What are you guys talking about?”

This exchange opened the door for Jason to talk about his faith, and he took the opportunity to share a Scripture verse he’d memorized and what it meant to him. To Jason’s surprise, his trainees began asking him for the “word of the day,” so day after day he would share another verse with them.

Several weeks later, the chaplain announced there would be a baptism event down at the river. God allowed the seeds of the gospel to grow through faithful steps of sharing the Good News. Jason, the trainees, and the chaplain partnered together—resulting in 180 trainees in the battalion wanting to be baptized and start following Jesus! Since so many needed to be baptized, the chaplain asked for volunteers to help. Jason jumped into the river to help with the baptisms that day. He got to take off his drill sergeant hat and rank and baptize many. Twenty-seven trainees who were in his direct care (half of his platoon) became his brothers in Christ that day!

Directly afterward, Jason was able to invite those soldiers to join him in an on-the-spot “spiritual instruction” class in the company area. Now, whenever it’s his turn to stay overnight in the company area with the trainees, he offers a voluntary discipleship class in which he presents a Navigator illustration such as The Wheel or The Word Hand and opens up the time for questions. He has the opportunity to share with soldiers how to be a Christ-follower in the Army.

When Jason is back at home, he spends time with his wife and children, teaming up with Haley to lead a gathering of believers on Sunday nights for fellowship and training. They dig into the Scriptures, worship, and pray together. They also discuss how to share Christ and disciple others!

God is igniting the next generation of disciplemakers to reach and equip those serving our country. This is only one example of many! Rejoice with us and be encouraged to keep praying for, looking for, investing in, and sending more “spiritual drill sergeants” like Jason.

Praise God for those who reach out to and disciple active-duty military personnel and their families. Pray that generations of disciplemakers will have an eternal impact on those serving our country.

*Names changed.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) visual or content does not imply or constitute DOD endorsement.

Comments:

  1. About 1975 or 76 I was in a Bible study at a military base in Wiesbaden Germany with other military wife’s. We used the Navigator booklet studies. Are these studies still available to order I hard copy?

  2. My grandson was one of those who “went down to the river”! Thanking God for men and women who share their faith and disciple others! Praying for continued spiritual growth for our troops as they put their lives on the line for their country.

  3. When I was in High School in Topeka Kansas, I remember my father L/Col Tom Stout, holding Fri. night bible classes in our home using the Navigator materials. My father had been a B-29 Navigator during WWII.

    1. Prayers and blessings from one Stout to another! 🙏🏼💕🙏🏼 Originally from Toledo Ohio

  4. When I was in a Christian high school, I was introduced to the Navigator System of memorization and Bible study methods. When I was in Korea (“54-55) I was thankful for what I had learned and shared with others while there andwas able to be a Chaplin’s assistant.. Thanks for this great story. Sam Bergen

  5. When I returned from Vietnam, I finished my two year obligation at Ft Carson. Paul Drake was there making disciples among the troops. He made a lasting impression on me and helped me recover from the PTSD that I brought back from combat. The support of that Navigator group of men was special.

  6. I was introduced to the Navigators in 1973 in Lebanon by my son. It was a time when I was at the end of my strength and wisdom. I just walked to the Nav’s office and said “I need help ! “. My son became a new person during a revival at the American university in Lebanon. For many years I hosted different Navigator stuff in our house in another middle eastern Country. In a few months ,Lord willing, I’ll be celebrating my 90th birthday. I appreciate the different

  7. Praise the Lord!!
    And congratulations in advance! The Lord renews your youth like the eagles and satisfies you with more good things!!!!

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