As you probably know by now, my son recently became a member of the United States Air Force (See Raw Worship, Father and Son, and Basic Training). During his military basic training, he learned so many things that are applicable to the Christian life. Most Christians and most churches can benefit greatly by practicing the following:
- Manners. “Yes sir…..no sir…..thank you maam…..have a nice afternoon maam.” Although my son had fairly good manners, he improved them greatly during basic training. During my recent visit, I watched him open doors for ladies, stand to the side as people passed, look people in the eye when he talked to them, and listen as others spoke without interrupting. Christians should be the most polite and nicest people on the planet, but that has not been my experience.
- Discipline. Without going into too many details, let’s just say the military taught him discipline. He knows how to consistently complete tasks with excellence and on time. Far too often, those who serve in the church serve with a half-hearted effort and with a real lack of consistency.
- Teamwork. The flights and squadrons win or lose as a group. They work together, live together, and stick together. They help individuals improve, so the group will improve. The Bible clearly teaches the importance of Christians sticking together and working as a group.
- Loyalty. The airmen are loyal to their group, their training instructor, and to their country. As believers, we need to be marked by loyalty as well.
- Toughness. To make it through basic training, you have to get tough–physically, emotionally, and spiritually tough. As believers, we should be tough when temptation wears us down and tough on the sin in our lives.
Can you see how a little basic training can benefit churches and Christians? Let’s continue to learn and continue to improve!