Health and Empowerment for the Chaplain, Part 2 (The Work of the Chaplain #85) with Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 85. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is 1 Corinthians 9:27 which says, “But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Christopher Ash, author of Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice. He said: “As someone who has spent the last decade training young men and women for Christian service, I have been keen to help them see that the best kinds of ministry are, more often than not, long term and low key. I have tried to prepare them for a marathon, not a short, energetic sprint. In other words, to help them have a lifetime of sustainable sacrifice, rather than an energetic but brief ministry that quickly fades in exhaustion.”

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: Chapter 12 – Health and Empowerment for the Chaplain (Part 2).

Self-care

Ultimately, health and empowerment for the chaplain begins with self-care. Chaplains must initiate good, lifelong habits of self-care. These habits may include eating a well-balanced diet, participating in regular physical exercise, maintaining significant relationships, getting adequate rest and sleep, and having an active prayer and devotional life, in addition to the various requirements of a chaplain’s institution or ecclesiastical body. Effective self-care involves preventive maintenance as well as asking for help when personal resources are inadequate to maintain physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

On a very practical level, preventative maintenance includes reducing refined sugars, caffeine, fats, alcohol, salt, and cholesterol; increasing cardio-vascular exercise; getting six to eight hours of sleep each night; being an active participant in a faith community; maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones and associates by balancing work and personal life; and making time for recreation, hobbies, vacations, or sabbaticals.

The work of the chaplain may be very stressful and burnout is the most obvious reaction to longterm stress. Burnout is the emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion that occurs when several events in succession or a combination of other stressors impose a high degree of stress on an individual. There are several contributing factors in chaplain burnout. These may include such issues as professional isolation, the emotional and physical drain of providing continuing empathy, ambiguous successes, maintaining an unrealistic pace, “Messiah Complex,” and human finitude. Chaplains who are experiencing burnout may feel isolation, depression, apathy, or pessimism. They may feel indifferent or even hopeless. Symptoms include physical exhaustion, behavioral irritability, or emotional negativity. Chaplains experiencing these feelings may be entering the beginning stages of a more complex problem—compassion fatigue.

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 —

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Now, 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.