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— Advocate for Chaplains

Discover the impact and benefits of extending your congregation’s youth ministry to schools through chaplaincy.

— The Impact of a Chaplain

Chaplains Make for Healthy Congregations

Every pastor has the challenge of meeting the needs of two different groups of people in their congregation. About 80% want to be ministered to, and about 20% want to minister. Turning the latter group on the former can get messy if not done right. Church splits, and other catastrophes can result.

Chaplaincy is an attractive solution because it requires training and accountability.

While both groups have unique characteristics and can be equally challenging, members of the “want to minister” group are more likely to second-guess the pastorate. It is easy to be an armchair quarterback. The sermon critics, however, can become the pastor’s most incredible supporters when they see from the eyes of the pastor through chaplaincy. An Ordained and credentialed chaplaincy provides a legitimate outlet for ministry, a welcome release valve when ministry opportunities are unavailable “in church.”

— reaching the local schools

A Legitimate Outlet for Ministry


Public School Educators Need the Truth

Besides giving school supplies to teachers, we must provide them with the truth. Too many educators falsely assume that teaching about the Bible and Christianity is forbidden and expressions of faith cannot be allowed in class.

The truth is quite different. For example, many educators are surprised to discover that their state’s academic standards provide ample opportunity to teach about the Bible, Christian beliefs, and those who were influential in history.

For instance, in California, sixth-grade students are expected to: “Note the origins of Christianity in the Jewish Messianic prophecies, the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament, and the contribution of St. Paul the Apostle to the definition and spread of Christian beliefs (e.g., belief in the Trinity, resurrection, salvation).”
In Tennessee, sixth graders are expected to: “Describe the origins and central features of Christianity: Key Person(s) Jesus, Paul, Sacred Texts: The Bible, Basic Beliefs: monotheism, sin, and forgiveness, eternal life, Jesus as the Messiah.” “Describe the origins and central features of Judaism: Key Person(s): Abraham, Moses, Sacred Texts: …Ten Commandments ….”

However, even though a state’s academic standard provides educators with specific guidelines for teaching these topics, educators are too often uninformed about the particular standard (opting to teach only what is in the textbook). Or they are afraid to give the subject much time or attention for fear of being accused of endorsing a particular religious belief.

School chaplains support teachers and students express their faith and learn about the importance of the Bible and Christianity as they relate to history, culture, and values. Blessing educators with the truth includes helping them understand the fact that:

  • The U.S. Department of Education supports students’ freedom of religious expression in class
  • It is legal to sing religious Christmas carols at school
  • State academic standards support teaching about the Bible and Christianity
  • The Supreme Court endorses studying the Bible in public schools and upholds uncoerced prayer.

Many educators would be relieved to learn that they can make their schools more faith-friendly places, and parents in your congregation can be the bearers of this good news. The National School Chaplain Association has materials parents can give educators to help them move from fear to freedom. The Parents in your congregation don’t need to be the experts, but they can be the couriers of good news that a school chaplain is a viable option.

How can the church help public school students develop a strong character and a desire to preserve and promote America’s Judeo-Christian values when they graduate if school chaplains are not available?