Teamwork and collegiality are the "outcomes" of what we want in the
chaplaincy in order to provide the best possible ministry to soldiers and
their families who represent a variety of faiths.
This means being
resources to one another. How do we get to this "outcome?" One way to get
there is through building relationships.
Building Relationships for Ministry.
Chances are you will be a unit chaplain. It has already been suggested how
the Lone Ranger Syndrome can be counterproductive to serving the varied
religious needs of those in your unit. It becomes critical, therefore, that
you build relationships with other chaplains and UMTs.
Building relationship with someone of a different faith group, cultural
background, rank, etc., is not always easy.
But it is nonetheless
Certain situational factors may take place that make
relationships difficult due to personalities, leadership style, personal
expectations and the like.
The "human factor", as it is called, may place you in
make collegiality relatively hard or easy, depending on
the human foibles
the other person (and/or perhaps you) are experiencing.
The examples below
indicate just some of what you or the other person may be
Extremely Capable. The Army has some of the most gifted and capable
ministers, priests and rabbis to be found.
They are persons with
professionally through the years.
They are open to people and new
There are chaplains who have experienced great
loss in their lives. All the forms of loss that affect civilian pastors
affect military clergy as well.
You will need to be sensitive and
caring in your response to them.
There will be chaplains who will be threatened
by your creativity and skills. You will need to find an appropriate
relational response to their defensiveness.
These chaplains have often watched the best
assignments go elsewhere. Perhaps they have been unfairly managed or
A clue to detecting their bitterness is to observe the
behavior of their spouses. Spouses, who are not a part of the system,
and are therefore less restricted by fear, will sometimes be more open
with their feelings. In a word, spouses will mirror the feelings of
The human factor may also be reflected in the various "types" of chaplain
supervisors you will encounter. For example: