Finishing Well: Associate Director shares lessons on ministry longevity
By Andy Meverden, Associate Endorser
Proverbs 20:29 “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.”
Old age has its moments. In addition to its aches and pains, God grants opportunities for continued service to upcoming generations of chaplains.
On April 9th, I had the joy of participating in my “old unit,” the Colorado National Guard (CONG). As retired, former command chaplain, I was asked to speak on the topic: “Finishing the Race Well.” The combined group of Army and Air chaplains, chaplain candidates (seminarians) and enlisted chaplain assistants (now called “Religious Affairs Specialists/Non-commissioned Officers” (NCOs)) gathered in a modern readiness center in Colorado Springs for a day of training, fellowship, encouragement, and inspiration.
I arrived early enough to sit in on a couple training sessions on recently mandated “Extremism in the Ranks” training, as well as “Chaplain’s Confidentiality Update.” The senior Army Attorney (SJA – Staff Judge Advocate), gave a balanced session on this controversial topic, emphasizing servicemember rights and responsibilities. I nodded and smiled as this old friend expertly shared and handled questions. Our Air Guard Rabbi, also a civilian attorney, gave an update on a Department of Defense (DOD) policy conflict that he had identified and was in the process of helping reword the issue. A more erudite legal scholar I have never heard!
As Endorser of two Army Guard chaplains present, (Chaplains Jesse Staunton and Brian Larson) Venture Churches Chaplaincy sponsored a noon lunch taco buffet. In time-honored military tradition, I helped serve the servicemembers their lunch with mask & gloves to ensure compliance with health guidance, and as an opportunity to make eye contact, greet and feed the chaplain team. We had enough food, but the caterer underestimated the plastic ware & plates! More chaplains came than registered – a good problem easily resolved!
After lunch, I shared my session with Chaplain Dan Moen, of nearby Fort Carso. Dan gave several tips to an effective working relationship between Chaplain and Assistant. It has been good having the Moen Family nearby the past few years. They transfer to Fort Hood this summer to complete Chaplain Family Life training. For the balance of the session, I shared “13 Lessons on Finishing Well.” Beginning with Lesson #1: “Smile!” (or stay home, if grumpy), I concluded with Lesson #13: “Know When to Quit!” (or “Better to go, having them wish you would stay; than stay, having them wish you would go!”)
After our session, we took a short break for a group photo outdoors. Leave it to a younger chaplain (Dan Moen in blue mask) to snap a good group selfie with Pike’s Peak in the background! 😊
Pray for the Moen Family as they transfer to Fort Hood, TX where Dan will complete chaplain Family Life training over the next two years. Pray for Chaplains Staunton and Larson as they minister to Soldiers in the Colorado National Guard. They are three of 200 chaplains in our network of military and civilian ministry specialists who face challenging ministry situations. Ask God to guide and sustain them and their Families as they follow their unique call to ministry.
For more stories by and about Venture Churches’ 200 chaplains, military and civilian, visit Chaplaincy – Venture Church Network (venturechurches.org). For information on chaplain endorsement, email Randy Brandt, Director, at email@example.com.