A new contemporary worship service, Chapel Next, which targets the younger generation, is now integrated into the KMC religious services.
Chapel Next was initiated by Chaplain (Col.) Marc S. Gauthier, the command chaplain for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, in an effort to reach out to young Soldiers and their families.
The Chapel Next program is held at the Daenner Chapel on Daenner Kaserne. There are less than 10 Army organizations stateside that offer the program.
Chapel Next’s focus is based on the three Cs: connect with God, connect with one another and connect others with God. The mission is to lead service members, families and civilians into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Chaplains who are a part of the program offer the congregation activities such as a worship band that plays contemporary gospel music, a variety of youth ministries, small group gatherings at the homes of several members, potluck dinners after services, podcasts, and breakfast fellowships.
“The goal, as we look at young Soldiers and young families, is to have the type of ministry opportunities that really help them,” Gauthier said. “And so we hope that as they come, that it feels comfortable, that if feels natural and that it feels real. We hope that it’s just a community that they’d like to become a part of.”
Gauthier said that during his time at the chaplain officer basic course, he and a few other instructors started a Chapel Next service at the chaplain school, which allowed the young chaplains to see a more contemporary style of worship. That in turn led to the younger chaplains taking that style of worship on to their units as they graduated.
The Chapel Next program at Daenner Chapel has existed for more than six months and is continually growing with more than 90 members to date.
“What I’d like to see for this congregation in the Kaiserslautern community is just a ministry that blesses people, that equips them, that gives them hope and draws them together,” Gauthier said. “I let God deal with the numbers, and so I hope that as we faithfully try to communicate God’s word and we have a service that connects with people, that they will gradually grow.”
Dominique C. Vance, a military spouse and member of Daenner Chapel, said she loves the program.
“We have been to a couple different church services, but the thing that draws us here are the people,” Vance said. “The people are very warm and very genuine, so we just fell in love with everything about the program and the people.”
The Chapel Next program offers services starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 6 p.m. Fridays.
For more information on the program, visit the Chapel Next Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chapelnextdaenner.