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Role of a Chaplain

In recent years there has been a new emphasis on the development of what is known as “first responder chaplains.”  These chaplains are being trained by different churches, denominations and faith-based organizations on the importance of being available to respond in the event of a local, state, or national disaster. Such disasters include storms, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and other events that call for trained individuals in the time of need.

Though there is a need for training and exposing interested volunteers as to how they can respond and help during a disaster, generic training does not give the volunteer the expert or specialized training they need to be classified as a law enforcement chaplain, fire rescue chaplain, hospital chaplain or hospice chaplain. These chaplains serve in specialized ministries, and over the years will go through training uniquely designed to prepare them for this kind of service.

A “first responder” chaplain is exactly what it says – a chaplain who has received specialized training and is certified to ride in a police car or a fire rescue vehicle and is the first to respond with emergency personnel. When a chaplain is called to the scene of an emergency, they’re called, having already gained the respect of their department, to assist as a chaplain in whatever way the professionals deem necessary.

Those trained as simply volunteers should not identify themselves as chaplains within their community because the only time they will be called to serve is when their denomination asks them to respond to a disaster as a representative of their denomination. Most usually that response is going to be for a disaster in another state. When these individuals identify as a “first responder chaplain” within their own community, identification problems can arise within law enforcement, fire/rescue, hospital and hospice personnel.

Qualifications Of Chaplaincy:

  • Be called as a minister and have an active Ordination Certificate
  • Be endorsed and in good standing with your local church or denomination
  • Have three references
  • Be willing to serve as a volunteer
  • Be willing to always be active in prayer for your city officials
  • Be willing to be a listener, not a talker
  • Have a burden for ministering to the needs of the hurting
  • Serves a Ministry of Presence
  • Be willing to learn
  • Be able to pass

Are you interested in serving as a chaplain?

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