First-Responder Chaplaincy, Part 5 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #54)
Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is 1 John 4:4 which says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Richard Baxter. He said, “In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.”
In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.
Our topic today is: First-Responder Chaplaincy (Part 5)
— Breaching the “Blue Wall”
Law enforcement officers are accustomed to meeting and working with people who regularly disappoint them or lie to them. They frequently work with people who have ulterior motives or who try to manipulate them to gain an advantage. Consequently, it takes time for the chaplain to build a trusting relationship with law enforcement personnel—to become part of the family. One of the unique challenges a law enforcement chaplain faces is breaching the “Blue Wall.” Neither physical nor visible, the psychological and social barrier that separates officers from the world is erected to insulate and protect. It is intentionally erected and judiciously guarded. Only the accepted are allowed entry. Because law enforcement offices deal with the most negative aspects of society and because they are constantly put under public scrutiny, they withdraw into a world where they are understood and accepted. The law enforcement chaplain only gains entrance when he or she demonstrates a consistent time commitment, a nonjudgmental posture in all questionable circumstances, an affirming attitude when criticism is the usual response, a demonstrated interest in the life and concerns of the officer and his or her family, and genuine acceptance of the officer in spite of differences, fallibilities, and expectations.
Troop 9 Foxtrot was an independent group, far from headquarters and dependent upon one another for support. They took care of each other and seldom allowed anyone to enter the elite circle of trusted family. Today the new chaplain was assigned to a trooper who would introduce her to the territory. Twenty minutes into the ride and after being treated to gossip about the troop, the trooper claimed an emergency, and the chaplain was dropped off at an intersection to be picked up by another trooper. After a similar experience, she was dropped off to be picked up by yet another trooper.
Two rides later, the sergeant who was passing by noticed the chaplain standing at a rural intersection. “What’s the matter, Chaplain? What are you doing out here?” After hearing a quick explanation, the sergeant laughed and asked, “It was a test. They want to know if they can trust you to keep a secret and if you’ll complain when it gets uncomfortable or inconvenient.”
Consistency of presence, complete honesty in all matters, and true humility—servanthood—will help earn the trust and respect necessary for meaningful relationships and effective ministry inside the Blue Wall.
— Training & Education
Many agencies require specialized training for law enforcement chaplains. The first training topics deal with survival issues—physical fitness, burn-out and self-care, first aid, CPR, and critical incident stress management. The second training category deals with procedural issues— radio communications, ride-alongs, death and injury notifications, traffic direction and stops, and chain-of-command. Another category might include interventions such as suicide and hostage intervention, domestic violence, child abuse, officer injury, or victim assistance. Law enforcement chaplains also receive specialized training in legal liability, judicial systems, departmental reporting, and testifying in court. Each agency has its own requirements, and even the experienced chaplain who moves from one agency to another may find that there are many other courses that must be completed before beginning the new assignment.
Law enforcement chaplains fill a unique role in providing spiritual care, religious ministry, and intercession in the lives of many officers and support personnel who serve the public in crises and stressful situations. Chaplains may be the only spiritual provider many officers and staff will ever know. With compassion, experience, and common sense, chaplains counsel and encourage through availability, presence, nonjudgmental listening, and building trusting relationships by being dependable, honest, and transparent.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.
— PRAYER —
Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of a Chaplain”. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and $whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.