Perform or Provide

My name is Brian S. Kiefat. I am one of your Lutheran Brethren pastors who has answered the call to provide pastoral care to the armed forces. I am currently serving as a military Chaplain. As an Army National Guard Chaplain, the Army and the Church of the Lutheran Brethren have charged me with the responsibility and duty to “perform or provide” for the faith-based needs of America’s soldiers and their family members.

The Army adage to “perform or provide” implies that if you as an individual are unable to “perform” the ministry directly—the service, sacrament, ceremony, etc.—then you have the absolute obligation to “provide” resources for that ministry to take place. In doing so, you assure that many can still come to know the awesome power of the Lord God Almighty.

Matthew 28:19 tells us that we are to make disciples. How does one become a disciple? Put simply, those who are introduced to Christ Jesus and receive him as Savior and Lord become his disciples. These people are bound for eternal glory when they leave this world. Conversely, those who do not receive Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord will not become his disciples. Heartbreakingly, when these people leave this world, they are bound for eternal damnation. Not only is this a big deal, this is THE big deal!

My family and I consider ourselves truly privileged to be part of a disciple-making Church—a Church that raises up competent and qualified pastors ready for the service of ministry, a Church that fervently plants new congregations, and a Church that valiantly delivers the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to the very ends of the earth.

Because of the real and raw passion that the Church of the Lutheran Brethren has for the lost, and the equally audacious passion that it has to strengthen the faith of existing believers, my family and I give financially to the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, and we do so generously because we want to be part of a true and genuine disciple-making movement. We’re proud to say that we’ve made giving to the Lutheran Brethren part of our family DNA. Not only has this become a defining part of who we are, but it’s also become a defining part of how we worship, how we serve, and how we take part in the great commission given in Matthew 28:19-20.

I fully understand that not everyone has been called to an official ministry where they are expected to “perform” as a pastor, missionary, etc. That being said, I believe we all have a part in “providing” for those who have been called to do so.

As your brother in Christ, I ask that you join me and the many others who are financially providing for the numerous ministries of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. The disciple-making ministries that the Lutheran Brethren is engaged in are vital beyond all measure. It literally is a matter of heaven or hell. I ask you to give generously. I ask you to provide, and remember that God is the greatest giver of all. As the Apostle Paul writes, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:11).  

Chaplain (MAJ) Brian Kiefat serves the Army National Guard where he is endorsed by the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.

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