Ministry Tasks and Competencies for the Chaplain, Part 9


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

Our Work of the Chaplain passage for this episode is Isaiah 65:17-19 which says, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Rick Warren. He said, “Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.”

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 9)

— Institutional Advocate

Advocacy for the institution has similar functions. The chaplain acts as an institutional advocate by assisting an organization in personnel issues. Clarifying appropriate action, suitable outcomes, right behavior, or proper protocol is a priority for all chaplains who are employed by institutions, both private and public. When there is a misunderstanding between employees or clients and the institution, the chaplain often acts as an advocate for both groups. In doing so, the chaplain clarifies issues, presents both positions, and often advises and arbitrates. As an institutional advocate, the chaplain helps the institution be sensitive to employee issues and needs while protecting the integrity and mission of the institution.

The chaplain may lead various seminars, in-service programs, or training events to educate employees, clients, or other personnel about institutional policies, programs, protocols, or procedures. In this educational role, the chaplain intercedes for the institutional need to share information and the employees need to have information.

When institutions have questions about religious holidays, observances, or prohibitions, those inquiries are often directed to the chaplain. In a world of multicultural institutions, demonstrating cultural and religious sensitivity is more than being “politically correct”; it is essential for the well-being of everyone. The chaplain is often called upon to be the resident “expert,” demonstrating cross-cultural competence as an institutional advocate. Most chaplains cannot become completely knowledgeable about all cultural differences. Therefore, servant chaplains approach cultural differences with humility, willing to learn and apply new information. The chaplain intercessor also acts as a liaison between clients and institutions. One special circumstance is in the event of a death. Institutions often request that the chaplain make the death notification to the family or the employees of the institution. With specialized training, the chaplain delivers the news of death—in person unless absolutely unable to do so. Understanding the grief reactions and the process of grieving are essential to this act of intercessory ministry. Death notifications may be complicated by language barriers, cultural differences, the involvement of children or teenagers, or particularly unusual circumstances—criminal activity, suicide, deaths perceived as preventable, kidnapping, or terrorism. The institution calls upon the chaplain to be a calm presence in the crisis of death.

There is also a unique situation in which the chaplain provides intercessory ministry from “insider status.” Some of these chaplains include military chaplains who are part of the administrative personnel of the institution, but they are also the peers of many of the people to whom they provide ministry. Similarly, the police chaplain who was once a police officer or the fire chaplain who was once a fire fighter—these are chaplains who capably serve as administrative liaisons. They have “insider status.” For some chaplains, the issues become complicated because their status changes from ‘them” to “us.” The roles and duties are vastly different, and having “insider status” can be frustrating with such role confusion. For example, being a doctor in a hospital is very different than being a hospital chaplain. A prison chaplain who was once an inmate faces even greater challenges with “insider status.” Can he or she gain the trust of former peers? Or even more importantly, can he or she gain the trust of the warden and guards? “Insider status” can be a blessing and a curse.

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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