“During the unholy hours of morning on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army paratroopers jumped from their airplanes into the occupied countryside of northern France, miles inland from the beaches at Normandy. My father was one of those soldiers. As a member of the rough and ready 101st Airborne, my dad had the best combat training available in the free world. He had studied in vivid detail the topographical features of the French countryside. Basic training and AIT had coached him on the deadly perils of anti-aircraft fire, the shock and unique challenges of jumping out of an airplane into the yawning darkness, the proper way to land, roll to avoid injury, gather oneself and set about engaging the enemy, along with hundreds of other battlefield eventualities. Dad had undergone enough drills on weapons and tactics that he could repeat the steps in his sleep for decades to come.
“But this was not a drill; it was war. He was not quite prepared for the relentless ferocity of the German machine guns, the exploding mortar shells, the omnipresence of deadly Bouncing Betty mines. Basic training had given him wonderful training, but they could not have simulated the sights, sounds, smells and overall horrors of war. Only one thing could cause him to grow as comfortable as a loving man can on the battlefield: engagement in war itself.
“Ministry is like that. It is war. Only war can prepare you to man up in the heat of battle. Will you fight or will you run in the face of the menacing realities of ministry? Only the front lines of Christian ministry called the local church will answer that question for you. ”
(Jeff Robinson, “Ministry Means War: Ten Pastoral Lessons Seminary Could Have Never Taught Me”, Founders Ministry)