|CHAPLAIN RESOURCE INDEX|
|— WELCOME CHAPLAIN|
|— THE ROLE OF CHAPLAIN|
|— THE MINISTRY OF CHAPLAINCY|
|— GRIEF: CARING FOR THOSE THAT HURT|
|— MINISTERING TO THE SICK|
|— PRAYING WITH A PATIENT|
|— BASIC LISTENING SKILLS|
|— WHEN GOD SHOWS UP|
|— COMMON SENSE EVANGELISM|
|— CONVERSION BY CONCUSSION|
|— STANDARDS FOR BIKER CHAPLAINS|
The Ministry of Chaplaincy
By JW “Bear” Gardner
The chaplain ministers not to a congregation, but to the public at-large. The people who make up this community may wear motorcycle leathers and cuts with club patches on their backs, hospital gowns, hard hats, badges, or inmate orange-glow jumpsuits.
Like the Apostle Paul, chaplains are generally “tent-makers”; they usually have jobs in addition to their ministries. But that is acceptable to chaplains, for serving in such “non-ministry” roles puts them in places where people — people with needs who ordinarily would never darken the doors of a church (much less talk to a minister) — come to talk and interact with the chaplain. The chaplain is there to listen, care, and respond appropriately to the agenda of the client. Chaplaincy is a ministry of presence and availability. Such is the ministry of chaplaincy.
There are issues of confidentiality in your role as chaplain, both in terms of pastoral support, passing along prayer requests and in keeping records.
• Whatever is told to a chaplain, in the course of pastoral support, must be treated with respect and kept confidential. The chaplain must seek specific consent of the person, if it might seem appropriate, to pass on any personal information to anyone else. This includes prayer requests from the person you are ministering to if you intend to pass them on to anyone else. Personal information given in pastoral support is given in trust; that trust must not be abused, even accidentally. For example, even to pray for someone by name, in the presence of even one other person, breaks confidentiality rules unless they have asked or given their consent to others being aware of their needs and praying for them. Prayer requests sent to the National Chaplain are assumed to have been cleared by permission given.
• If a chaplain cannot give an assurance of complete confidentiality, they must be honest with the person as early as possible in their pastoral relationship. If, for example, the chaplain is under some obligation to pass on to some other person, e.g. Law Enforcement, information about drugs, child abuse, or intended suicide, then honesty requires that person to be informed, so that they know what will happen if they give the chaplain any such information, before they do so.
• Any notes made by a chaplain must also be kept secure and confidential. It is not normally necessary to keep personal information such as name, address, phone number, etc. The notes should have only an individual identification number and date. Records should be kept in secure places to protect individual identity and confidentiality. Nowadays we are storing much more information on computer and it is imperative that any personal information is stored in a secure way. This practice is crucially important when the computer is shared with others. Even though we may not store records on a computer, we may well use e-mail or the word-processor function to write up notes. Computers have useful ways of temporarily saving information; it is important that these are not vulnerable to unauthorized viewing of personal information.
Always remember what you have learned. Your education is your life---guard it well. (Proverbs 4:13 GNB)
To be effective as a chaplain you need the proper training. Black Sheep HDFC has teamed up with BikerChaplain.com to provide a study program that will give you the necessary tools to do the best possible job you can. The course of study is available as Online Course materials for those of you that are connected and up to date, technically speaking. For those of you that are “Old School”, the program of study is available as a Printed Correspondence Course and utilizes the USPS for getting your quizzes graded. Either program will cost you $99.00 for the complete term of study, which can last up to a maximum of one year.
You can find them @ www.BikerChaplain.com
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