UNIQUENESS OF CRISIS MINISTRY IN DISASTERS
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHURCH PASTOR AND A COMMUNITY CHAPLAIN IN DISASTER RELIEF
KEY VERSE: I can do everything. (Philippians 4:13)
How I understood
Though Pastors and Chaplains are both spiritual givers, they differ in their field of Ministry.
A church pastor is a shepherd who has a call to provide spiritual Ministry to a local church or denomination and has programs, events and annual calendars for his congregants, where by he works within a frame work. His work is mostly a routine.
For a disaster relief Chaplain, his Ministry is mostly among people or groups he has never met before and often have no contacts.
His primary role is to offer the presence of compassion, care and support to the officers.
Unlike the Pastor, a disaster Chaplain ministers to a variety of ethnic and cultural beliefs from different religious traditions without being judgmental. He must be accommodative and tolerant.
A pastor knows his congregation and their families very well, he even have their family history unlike the disaster chaplain who Ministers to people with no contacts.
A pastor teaches his congregation the whole doctrine and he is regarded as their pastor whom they can call anytime they are in a problem while the chaplain is employed by organizations, institutions, law agencies etc, and is therefore answerable to his employer ,but not the people because he doesn’t have a flock.
Clergy lack skills in handling disaster victims and so many times they end up preaching to them instead of offering compassion and caregiving like the chaplains because of lack of training thus feeling inadequate and discouraged.
Because of their training, Chaplains are like spiritual paramedics because they offer spiritual first Aid to the victims in disaster.
Chaplains can handle trauma with different religious diversity groups of people and never choose their victims.
Unlike pastor who need long training, a Chaplain can be effective with very short training and becomes effective in his Ministry.
II IMPACT UPON MY LIFE
This is an eye opener to me because as a Pastor, I have sincerely found myself in an awkward situations unable to offer spiritual support to disaster victims in our nation. During disaster times like terrorist attacks, collapsed buildings, fires, flood etc in our nation, the Government always appeal for volunteers but I have always shied off. I have always found myself feeling inadequate as I watch helpless on our Television sets and unable to visit victims even in hospitals, because I lacked professional skills.
APPLICATION IN MY LIFE AND MINISTRY
I have realized that training for disaster relief Chaplaincy is very import ant because victims need to be handled with the presence, compassion and care which is the primary call in these ministry.
Now armed with these kind of information, I am ready to apply my specialized skills as a disaster relief Chaplaincy. It’s an answered prayer which is long overdue.
This training has equipped me with the relevant life skills which I had longed for many years that had put me in a dilemma.
Law enforcers in our nation are committing suicide at an alarming rate. Now with these training, I can offer professional support to the officers, compassion, care and the presence.
Chaplaincy training is timely because the world is constantly facing disaster crisis. It’s an area that need special attention.
Therefore, disaster relief Chaplaincy training a “MUST”s
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