Peer Pastoring Tips.
Chaplains, like members of the command and their families, need persons who
can provide personal and spiritual counsel.
The most available source of
such personal and spiritual assistance are other chaplains and colleagues in
Ministry to chaplains of diverse faith groups is a unique
challenge and continuing requirement in the chaplaincy.
general guidelines are provided to assist you in providing personal and
spiritual guidance to your peers:
Work on INFORMALLY showing SINCERE interest in your peers. Sometimes
just a phone call or an invitation to lunch can be all that is needed
to encourage someone.
No dogma needed.
No crisis required.
Establish rapport NOW by just showing that you are available if ever
the need arises.
Be available. Do not just say it. Being a pastor and Army Chaplain
tends to cut us off from long-term relationships due to factors such
as moving, assignment to units and rank. Extra care must be developed
to promote relationships.
Do not be an elitist. There is a tendency to do so. One study showed
that pastors relate more frequently to the wealthier members of their
In the Army this may be projected as spending more
time with commanders and superiors.
This can create a "clique"
Do not neglect Private Johnny Tentpeg or Corporal Snuffy
The following is a good analogy. The Brigade Surgeon carries out the
Commander's medical program just as the Chaplain carries out the
Commander's religious program.
However, the Brigade surgeon spends
most of his/her time with soldiers meeting their physical needs, and
not with the commander providing for the commander's medical needs.
Both the chaplain and the surgeon may spend time ministering to the
commander, but the time that they spend with the commander is a
relatively small portion of their time.
Do not be exclusive. People usually enjoy being with those they feel
comfortable around. Therefore, you must be sensitive to the danger of
drawing boundaries around yourself that keep others away.
always strive to be approachable, even to those with whom you are not
very comfortable. Remember the people who neither need nor want your
ministry today, may need your ministry tomorrow.
Confidentiality or privileged communication
and the burden of trust it involves, is probably the heaviest load
that a pastor carries. Yet it is just for that reason that you need
to share that load with your fellow pastors, and they with you. To do
that, you must be willing to trust each other fully.
Pastors are not going to share themselves if they feel that are going
to be the topic of conversation at the next conference.
There is no quicker way to lose