THE WORK OF CHAPLAINCY IN THE HOMELESS SERVICES
SETTING IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF WHO THEY UNIQUELY ARE.
THEY LISTEN THEY BELIEVE THEY COUNSEL THEY ADVOCATE THEY MINISTER
The work of chaplains in a homeless ministry according to one homeless shelter Chaplain is uncertain.
He lists that he served in hospital visitation, counseling, spiritual encouragement, jail visitation,
preaching, teaching and advocacy. This stemmed from his congregation was being made up of a large
group of people in constant crisis. These are the least of these that Jesus sent us to serve when he was
describing the least of these in Matthew 35:25. A chaplain in a homeless ministry is on a never ending
mission to fulfill Jesus direction to serve the least of these. Chaplains have been directly serving flocks
on a more hands on like this for a very long time.
The History of Chaplaincy
In the work of the Chaplain by Naomi Padgett The history of Chaplaincy began
with Bishop Martin and his cloak. Then to the origins of chaplains being employed
with the military. To the rich history of Chaplains as Shepards to certain groups
like military regiments and hospitals all throughout our history. This need for
specific and culturally diverse groups that need spiritual care is truly biblical as we
see Jesus sending us to the least of these.
The history prepares us today for the modern day gathering of the least of these in a
homeless shelter. The inhabitants there are broken for every societal reason in
existence. From Drugs, to victims of abuse, to people who are jailed for acting out
their pain and suffering, to people who have no means of stability or resources for
establishing stability because of past infractions. The description of problems and
diverse needs facing a homeless shelter will be listed in the next slide, to
demonstrate the need for the unique talents of a chaplain humble serving God by
making himself available to the members of a shelter.
The Bridge Christian Outreach Homeless services
The work of a chaplain in a homeless shelter begins with listening
The art of listening in a healing way by James E. Miller demonstrates the
magnitude of listening to people and how it can lead to healing. He suggests that the
act of listening is a act of love. It doesn’t involve judgement it doesn’t involve sitting
patiently and waiting for someone to finish it involves truly connecting and letting a
person speak knowing that their hurt and pain and their inability to overcome is in
their words and their need to be shared and for them to be heard. It’s true how
often do you really want to share for someone to help you solve the problem. It’s
more that you need to be heard and unburdened. Chaplains do this and the least of
these really need this to grow and heal.
Chaplains need to minister and share the gospel
Because I am not a evangelist and rarely know how to tell the Gospel story
the following slides were wrapped into a app and uploaded to google to do it
for me. So I and other chaplains can carry my evangelism with me on my
phone. Which I feel people need without worrying about stumbling or saying
it wrong. So chaplaincy is also spreading the gospel when asked.
Click the link to be taken to the google app. When Chaplains are asked about
other religions, and can’t provide they can refer to someone who can. So
having resources of other religions is important for the homeless chaplain.
App’s to testify and share The following is a link to my evangelistic google
store app. Same name also listed in the apple store. Click the link to see.
What is Salvation
Chaplaincy is Storytelling
Chaplaincy is storytelling and the homeless need the stories and the storytelling.
Styles of the African American churches and ministers of storytelling can teach us
much. It helps people understand they are not the first to be in their situation nor
are they alone. As the biblical characters were not alone. They are still beloved
members of God’s kingdom. From Joseph’s story of being abandoned and sold by
his brothers to Jonah’s story of being in the whale’s belly to learn and grow to hear
and listen to God. These stories help people feel like they can relate their story to
someone who came out the other side and it gives the least of these hope. The book
African American Pastoral Care by Edward p. Wimberly is a excellent place to
learn more about this chaplaincy method
The homeless Chaplain has to advocate
When the least of these are homeless the need the listening , they need the storytelling, the
need the ministry but they also need the Advocacy. You have no idea how hard it is when
someone believes you are the least of these to get help. Experiments have been done.
Pastors dressing up as homeless and showing up to church. Their entire congregations
walked past them on the church steps and blatantly disregarded them. From Pastor Dustin
Bluff to many others who have performed this experiment being homeless is treated as a
pariah’s and pariah’s have a hard time being restored to society and getting jobs. Pastors
need to help the least of these with real things to like meals, and jobs, and clothes and
finances. People think this is a quick fix but many homeless never make it and the ones
that do take months and years of advocacy and help.
When you have listened and related told stories so people don’t feel alone? Help
people by advocating and providing resources. What’s next? You have ministered
given good news but sometimes they may need to know what to do next. Sometimes
wise counsel in such overwhelming lack it is very much needed. How too’s and
when too’s. Sometimes practical counseling is imperative to recovery. For homeless
people practical everyday life and how to do it is very needed. So chaplains counsel
So homeless chaplains are very important
From visiting jails, to feeding, to advocacy , to visiting those that are sick, the
homeless chaplain serves many many roles. A more diverse group of clients and
needs may not be able to be claimed by any other chaplaincy group. Sadly the facts
are there are few full time homeless chaplains. Yet a quick review shows how much
they are needed. I support fully the important work of the homeless chaplain .
Thank you Pastor Jerry Herald for teaching me the need