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Chaplaincy Essay Done - Again - I need a Data Recovery Expert

15 July, 2003 12:39 PM

Due to some computer difficulties with my desktop (PC) today (does anyone know anything about Data Recovery?) and yesterday I have had to rewrite an essay that got lost at college last month. Of course my old PC crashed at the worst of times and I lost the complete essay. Anyway its rewritten. I think I managed to get most of the original content down again.

The topic was 'My Theology of Chaplaincy'. I found it very challenging - I based it on the hypothetical situation that I was appointed as Chaplain to the high school next door (we literally live next door to a school that is about to reopen in 2004).

What did I write about? Well I won't put you to sleep with the full essay, but below are some main points (and excerpts/paraphrases).

* Chaplain as Priest
* Chaplain as Prophet
* Chaplain as Counsellor
* Chaplain as Teacher

The above four roles have been presented to us this year in lectures as different approaches. I agreed that all can be seen in the life of Jesus and all have a place in Chaplaincy.

I added the following to the models outlined above:

* Chaplain as Life Giver - Jesus came that we may have life (John 10:10). He helped those around him to find it in a holistic way. As the Body of Christ I believe we should also be in the 'life giving' business. Of course it is God himself who gives life, but we are called to play a part in the process.

* Incarnational - In order to bring life to humanity, Jesus lived among us. The incarnation is a profound gospel theme and an example for the way we should think about our interactions within our own contexts.

Many of Jesus' interactions with people happened in the day-to-day, ordinary rhythms of life. The gospels place him at the meal table, festivals, funerals, weddings and in the homes of others. People did not have to come to him, rather he was accessible to them because he lived alongside the ordinary person in his culture.

Chaplaincy should also be Incarnational. This would mean that the Chaplain would not lock themself away in an office, only to be seen by appointment. Rather it would mean they engaged in the natural rhythms of the life of the school.

* Prevenient Grace - It is tempting when going into a setting like a school to see oneself as the sole representative of God there. Often we label such environments as 'secular' and can see our role as to take God into the place. In my view this is not biblical.

I have recently been reading through Acts and have been impressed by the way that in most occasions when a Christian shares the gospel with another person (or group) that God has already been working in that person's life. For example in Philip's interaction with the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40) God was already at work well before Philip came into the picture.

God is already at work in other people's lives. God is at work in the school setting before the Chaplain arrives. It is arrogant to think that we are the one taking God to such a school. In many regards it is wrong to even think of the school as a 'secular' place. Rather, if God is already at work there, it is a sacred space.

Taking this into account the role of a Chaplain is to be attentive to what God is already doing in the school and to discern what part they might play in joining God in that work.

I also added a few other brief comments about

* Relational approach
* Servanthood
* Storytelling
* Community building
* Creativity
* Chaplain's own faith being needed to sustain them on the journey.

If you want the full thing just let me know. It was rewritten in a bit of a rush - but the basics are there.



Hey, Darren. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad I visited yours, too. Yes, I'm very interested in reading the whole thing, if you don't mind sharing. You can email it to me if it's convenient for you. Thanks a lot.

Ailina » 15 July, 2003 6:57 PM

Ditto to Ailina's comment: thanks for visiting my blog, and I'd love to read your whole paper.

jon amos » 17 July, 2003 3:25 PM

Hey dude, looks like an interesting paper. Wouldn't mind a read of the whole thing if you dont mind.

Brett Stek » 5 November, 2003 8:42 PM

Hi Darren,
I am in the middle of a chaplaincy essay at the moment and I would love to read yours. Could you email it to me please.

Mary Grealis » 19 May, 2004 4:01 AM

I am intrigued with your exploration of these themes as they relate to specifically "chaplaincy" I would be remiss if I didn't ask you if you had recovered the "lost" article and if so, would you be willing to email me a copy of it. I am a chaplian myself in the US Navy.

Doug Bryan » 23 July, 2004 8:51 AM

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