If you've read my blog for long, you have heard me "wax an elephant" about how a military Chaplain has a very unique roll - that of a religious Government employee. Each Chaplain has a different take on what exactly that means, but regardless of your personal view, what the job looks like on a day to day basis is different with each unit. And not only does the kind of unit/ mission affect the day-to-day work, but so does the Commander and his/her expectations.
Contrary to what many people think, the main function of a Chaplain is (typically) not pastoral ministry in the "church" sense. There is a large amount of counseling, plus meetings, staff work, training, etc. While there are some Chaplains who fill the pastor role, those jobs are few and far between - and even then, he probably shares the pulpit with all the others stationed there.
All that background is to say that this job is very different than what he's done, in a lot of ways - more on that in the future...
To make a long story not quite as long, Jon has started a contemporary service here! We have only met for two weeks and are about to undergo some changes (moving to a bigger chapel and meeting on Sunday evenings instead of mornings), but it has been refreshing for us to be in this kind of ministry. At this point, he's doing it all - leading worship, preaching, presiding over communion - everything. On top of that, he's doing a Bible study on Wednesday evenings. Though it's very different from his other roles, we are really enjoying this aspect of the Chaplaincy.
On a personal level, I'm loving it! I get to do a lot of those things that pastors' wives do that I never have. Or, things I did as a church secretary and miss! (Seriously, I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure from building Power Points for the service...) I am just beginning to build relationships with a couple female Soldiers and look forward to doing that more.
Jon and I have always made it a point to function as a team - "whatever we do, we do together" - but here, more than ever before, I feel like a part of his ministry and what he's doing. Of course, he still has the Soldier aspect to his job - and he can keep that! As for me, I will continue to lay in bed while he gets up to run every morning! :)