The importance of spiritual support increases greatly for many military families as they transition from one place to another. It takes an incredible amount of faith in the Lord to serve our country in this capacity. Small and large plans change all of the time, and the only thing that remains constant and true is our God. This is what makes Caleb Bissett’s work as a ministry leader and military person invaluable.
In an opportunity to meet the unique spiritual needs of members in the military, Caleb leads a community group that meets with military families at McGuire Air Force Base. He also leads a new Vital Life class called Biblical Theology at SGC. His desire to spiritually connect with other members of the military started in 2001 when he entered the Air Force. During his training program, he attended college at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and led a Bible study and a worship team while there. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2006 and earned his commission as an officer in the Air Force. He met his wife, Lydia, during that time, and they got married shortly after.
In 2007, he was sent to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas for pilot training. After a year there, Caleb and his family moved to New Jersey arriving at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst where they started attending SGC. He enrolled in seminary at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary via distance learning with a clear call from God to serve in ministry, whether full or part-time. After being in New Jersey from 2008 to 2012, the Bissett family was sent back to Laughlin Air Force Base for Caleb to be a pilot training instructor. It was there that God blessed them with their two older children as well as a handful of ministry opportunities - leading the worship ministry, teaching Sunday school, and leading a Bible study for military couples. However, in 2015 they moved back to New Jersey and returned to SGC, a church they hope to enjoy for many years to come.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Caleb about all that’s happening at community group at McGuire AFB, and here at SGC with the new class Biblical Theology.
EJ: How did community group at McGuire Air Force Base get started? CB: Shortly after returning to the area, we met an awesome couple at SGC, Lindsey and Aaron Vogeler. Providentially, they lived only four houses up the street from us at McGuire, and we developed an instant friendship with them. While we were getting to know them, they expressed a desire to start a community group on base to facilitate people who live too far north to attend SGC community groups. Since we had a history at SGC, I brought the idea to the elders, who were very supportive. So we started meeting with the Vogelers on Thursday nights, along with a couple other people from base, in the spring of 2016.
EJ: How and when did the Biblical Theology class get started? CB: I met with Pastor Warren to see how we could best serve the church. Over the course of several months, one of the things we discussed was the desire for more Vital Life courses, and decided that when the time was right, a Biblical Theology class would serve people in the church well and help them to better read the Bible as one big story.
EJ: This is your first time teaching a Vital Life class. How is it going? Tell us what’s happening. CB: Things are going well, and I am learning much about how to fit an extensive topic into only a six-week period. But the people in the class have been fantastic and engaged, and I look forward to each week with great excitement!
EJ: What have you taught in the past, and how has it helped you with this particular class? CB: I have taught several times in previous churches on various subjects including Matthew, Minor Prophets, and Apologetics. Biblical Theology is a topic a little different than anything else I have taught before, as it generally covers different themes in the Bible as a whole, rather than just working through a book of the Bible one verse at a time. However, because one must understand what individual passages are saying before they can see how an entire theme runs through all of Scripture, teaching through Matthew, the Minor Prophets, and other parts of Scripture has helped prepare me in a significant way to teach this “bigger picture” subject.
EJ: What are you enjoying about this chapter of your life in ministry? CB: We love this church, and we are enjoying the community that we have in our community group. We are grateful for the ways God is growing our family and see parenting as a great privilege and joy of ministry that all parents have in Christ. We are excited to see what God has for us in the future and hope to be with this church for years to come!