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Frequently Asked Questions
A description of chaplaincy ministry to the marketplace and business world.
I am a pastor (or am otherwise involved in leadership in a local church) and I have an interest in this type of ministry. What can I do?
In the observations I made about models there are various ways a pastor can get involved. A national agency may have company clients in your area and be looking for part-time chaplains. That is how I began with the national company I worked for and found the several hours I worked each week very fulfilling. However the national companies only have a presence in very few geographical areas. There may be a regional effort taking place in your area and the leader may need some backup support. I suggest you begin by offering to serve as a chaplain at the companies that members in your church own or can use your influence in getting you in. I would suggest though that you not introduce yourself as the owner’s pastor or even as a pastor for that matter. The term chaplain is generally recognizable and will be held in respect. I suggest you read over both the description I wrote concerning corporate chaplaincy and the Agora articles.
I am working at a company and would sure like to see a chaplain in my company.
You can suggest that the program be considered by your HR Department or if you have any input with the owner or senior management by all means speak to them. Whatever happens, you can be a “chaplain” in your sphere of influence.
I am a company owner or member of senior management and would like to consider this type of service in my company.
You have an opportunity and responsibility to in one way or another use your position to influence for your faith. There are many ways to let your light shine but I feel implementing a corporate chaplaincy program is a part of an effective approach. There are many different models but if the interest begins with you I suggest you speak to your pastor to begin with.
Can a company provide this service in-house?
Absolutely, a growing trend is that companies are hiring their own chaplains. However to be most effective I feel the chaplain should present himself as being independent of the management structure in the company. He needs to be able to develop confidence in the communications he has with the employees and they need to be assured of confidentiality and impartiality. I feel the best method is the chaplain working as an independent contractor type arrangement in a direct care manner.
I would like to start a ministry like this in my area.
I am developing resources for this and hope to be an equipper in seeing ministries like this develop all over the country. I may not even know my materials have been utilized or to what degree since I will place them on the internet for implementation, ideas and adaptation.
What type of background and training is needed for corporate chaplaincy?
This will vary. My view is that chaplains should be people of mature Christian character, doctrinal solidity and ministry experience with stable families and church relations. In most cases they will have some type of credentialing through a denomination. The expectations regarding amount of education that is expected will vary, although I don’t think this should be a major factor. Some of the materials I have written thus far are at Agora
I am a Human Resource director and this sounds like a great idea as an employee assistance program.
In my experience some HR directors (who generally were our main interface with companies we served) were wholeheartedly receptive to the concept of chaplain care. Some were “won over” when they saw the program at work. A few remained skeptical, but tolerated the program since it was the owner’s desire. If your are an HR director you can suggest to senior management this concept as an EAP. It really will be a blessing to your employees regardless of any spiritual motivation you may have in initiating it. People simply are desirous of being cared about!
What about the issues of politically correctness, diversity, tolerance, and being inoffensive.
I could write a lot about this. Certainly we are in a climate that “ministry in the workplace” raises some flags. This is so unfortunate. Scores of people are unconnected to any church and are in broken families. The chaplain can be a tremendous caregiver. I cannot address strawmen that the secularists create to oppose a program like this.
Here are some points for consideration: