“Raise your Right Hand”: One Pastor’s Journey to Commissioning
By Pastor Ryan Faust, Chaplain, US Navy Reserve
Here is my journey:
When I was a kid, I always wanted to join the military. For various reasons, my parents convinced me not to join. So, I went to college instead, got married, and felt called into ministry. While in Seminary, a chaplain recruiter came to the campus. Excitedly, I told my wife and asked her if I should join? We decided it wasn’t my calling. Over the years (while in Spokane as a College Career Pastor for 6 years or in Seattle as Senior Pastor of Grace Church for 12 years), I have always had a special connection with service members. Whether it was a funeral for a Pearl Harbor Survivor or including a 19-year-old Airman in our small group ministries, or encouraging a wounded warrior, I have felt the connection and calling. And thus, I have investigated military reserve chaplaincy for the past 15 years. But the timing has not felt right as a husband and father of four young children.
This past March, I had a Holy-Spirit-moment in the closet when I was changing. I felt the call and investigated the options. Previously the cut-off age was 39 1/2 and then 42 1/2, so, I thought there was no chance, but sure enough, the Navy upped the age to 46. I was 45 and thought, “It is now or never.” I spoke with my wife and family and moved forward with the process. As of Sunday the 12th of December, I am a commissioned chaplain – a Lieutenant – in the US Navy Reserve. Praise the Lord, I get to shepherd Grace Church Seattle full-time and serve our sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard part-time in the Seattle area. God is good.
Grace Church | Seattle, Washington
We ENVISION a place to Belong, Believe, Become, Be More like Jesus. Our MISSION is to Worship, to Proclaim, to Make Disciples, and do this Together as Grace Church.
Join us in welcoming Pastor Ryan Faust and his family into the VCN chaplaincy. Occasionally, pastors near military installations write to ask the best way to gain access to personnel on base. Outside of being invited by the base command or chaplain, I’ve encouraged pastors to consider commissioning in the