Chaplains in Your Workplace
Marketplace Chaplains exists to share God’s love in the workplace by providing an employee care service through chaplain teams. After completing the ministry’s online training academy, I job shadowed my Executive Director of Operations in the Hampton Roads community of Virginia. I had a very positive experience visiting work sites and learning how to use the OneLogin app on my phone recording my time, mileage, and conversations. It took a while to get used to recording everything, but in time it grew on me as I began serving.
Even though the training covered how to counsel or deliver devotionals to work sites and discussed what to do if people didn’t seem interested in our service, I personally felt like I was not getting the breakthroughs I’d heard about in the chaplain training.
I was going faithfully every week to my five companies. Some interactions consisted mostly of a quick handshake. The worker would be positive but needed to accomplish his or her task at hand. Other interactions consisted of conversations in which I felt I had been able to offer some good, practical and biblical advice, but I was getting somewhat discouraged.
God Brings Breakthrough
Then one day I arrived at one of my businesses, checked in, and walked around talking to every employee whose office door was open. Upon entering Blake’s* office, I began our conversation as a typical check-in, but then he began crying. He had just tragically lost his stepmother-in-law that morning. He was struggling, trying to figure out how to tell his kids when he got home.
I listened intently as Blake shared memories and family traditions of which his stepmom-in-law was a huge part. He knew that to honor her his family would need to pick up the responsibilities for family gatherings. They would also be the ones most responsible for funeral and memorial service arrangements. We also discussed strategies for him and his wife to give the news to their kids.
After he shed more tears, Blake and I prayed together. Then he gave me one of the biggest, most meaningful hugs I have ever received. He thanked me for listening and praying with him. I knew in that moment that the Spirit of God had moved. I gave him my business card in case the family needed our services or if he just needed me to listen. Each week since I have followed up with him.
Faithfully Serving Others
Soon after this experience, it seemed I began having more breakthroughs on my worksite visits. Recently I walked into a situation in an assisted living facility where a resident had decided to no longer undergo dialysis treatments. Hospice had begun their services the night before. Adult grandkids were helping, but the husband of the resident was very anxious. He asked me to pray with them and I gladly did. My prayer for the God of all comfort to give them the peace that surpasses all understanding moved each person in the room. The presence of God filling the room as tears were shed.
Many of the people I am a chaplain to rarely walk into a church. But I meet them where they are, providing a friendly face and a listening ear. And the Holy Spirit’s empowering bringing light in the darkness.
*Real name withheld to protect the identity and privacy of the employee and company.
This article was first published on Message of the Open Bible.