Ministry Tasks and Competencies for the Chaplain, Part 12

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

Our Work of the Chaplain passage for this episode is Revelation 21:4 which says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Albert Schweitzer. He said, “A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”

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: Ministry Tasks and Competencies for the Chaplain (Part 12)

— Listening

The chaplain is a listener most of the time and a speaker some of the time. Listening requires many more skills than simply hearing words and sounds. To listen, one must hear the physical sounds; assimilate those sounds with words, facial expressions, and body language; integrate sounds, words, facial expressions, and body language into the present experience; and then give sounds, words, facial expressions, body language, and experience meaning and voice. The chaplain often listens as people “tell their story.” The story may be an account of an experience or the catharsis of repressed emotions. The chaplain enables the client to share that story without fear of judgment in a safe and caring environment.

There are some basic ethical considerations that one must observe in being a good listener. Chaplains are not entitled to talk, counsel, or ask questions. Instead, the chaplain asks permission to engage in conversation or enters into dialogue through mutual invitation. Providing a sense of privacy demonstrates respect for the client, and maintaining confidentiality is essential in the ministry relationship. Unless legally required to disclose information, the chaplain is bound to strict confidentiality.

Through empathetic listening, the chaplain feels into the fear, the uncertainty, or the pain of the client. Empathetic listening is more than feeling sorry for the client. Empathetic listening involves personal identification with the feelings of the speaker and assures the client that feelings as well as words are being heard and understood. Listening must have as its purpose understanding of emotions and thoughts. Good listening will include the unspoken messages and feelings, too. Most people seek the chaplain for good listening, not good replying. Sometimes, silence is appropriate. A well-timed nod or “uh-huh” may fit the situation and offer more solace than eloquent speeches. When the chaplain listens and understands the concerns of the client, the chaplain is better able to make sound pastoral assessments to provide caring ministry.

If the Lord tarries his coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

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— PRAYER —

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.”

God bless.


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.

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