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The Three L's of a Chaplain's Duties
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Three Lís of a Chaplainís Duties
By Dan Langerock
Listening You know when someone is interested enough to listen to what you are saying. You can tell by their body language and other factors. People are so fixated on their own needs that listening has become a rarity. Have you ever tried to end a phone conversation and not been able to because the person on the other end wanted to keep talking. People are so starved to be listened to. This was one of the hallmarks of Jesusí ministry, he actually stopped and listened to people and their needs. If we are to be effective, listening must be our constant goal.
No matter how long we have been chaplains or in ministry, there is always something more God wants to teach us. We grow spiritually as we listen to him and obey what he shows us for ourselves as well as for those we are endeavoring to help.
Learning A chaplain has a responsibility to listen so he can learn where that person is in their life. Jesus said, ďout of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Ē So if we are not listening, we will not know how to help that person in need.
We must always be reading, researching, interacting with others with our ďantennasĒ up. In times past, this aspect of our ministry was not as important as it is today. A lot of what we have learned in the past needs to be updated insofar as secular knowledge because it changes over time. Just think about the concept of being able to learn all there was to know about a subject in past centuries. Now, every subject has many subdivisions, whereby it is impossible to know all there is to know about most subjects.
Leading A chaplain must lead by example in his hospital as well as in his community-at-large that he serves. People know him wherever he goes, so he must be aware of his words and actions, that they show professionalism and a witness of who he serves. In this sense he cannot separate his professional and private lives, for his life is always on display for all to see. As one of Godís ambassadors, it can be daunting to realize that people are always watching you. It is a responsibility we must not take lightly or our lives will not bring glory to God.
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