Law enforcement officials encounter high levels of stress and danger. Each day they risk their lives to serve and protect others. Though these men and women often maintain a strong emotional front, behind the badges and tough veneers are spiritually hungry people who need Christ at the center of their lives. This is especially true when life gets tough or the difficulty and stress of the job become too much to bear. During such times most of these men and women will not turn to an outsider. Instead, they will seek out one of their own.
Sometimes one of their own is an Assemblies of God chaplain who has ridden shotgun, counseled officers over cups of coffee during the night shift or has acted as a liaison between the department and the public. In other words, law enforcement officials turn to a friend they know and trust.
Through service, unconditional love and uncompromising faith chaplains earn the right to intervene in an official’s life during difficult times. Chaplains are pros when it comes to knowing when to listen and when to talk. They are able to speak into officials’ lives because they have spent countless hours with them.
On some days chaplains perform everyday functions by calming unruly prisoners, monitoring offenders on probation or speaking at public events. On other days a chaplain will serve a death notice to a victim’s family—sometimes the family is that of an officer. No matter what his or her duty on a given day, a chaplain becomes a dependable presence ready to serve and assist. Through sacrificial service a chaplain will free law enforcement officials to do what they do best: protect and serve. In doing so, lives are being transformed for eternity
Fire department chaplains wear many hats while ministering. Sometimes they act as a public relations officer, at other times they counsel firefighters and victims, and sometimes they notify families that a loved one has died.
But the chaplain’s main role is to be a spiritual leader in the firehouse. He does this by leading Bible studies, praying with and counseling those who confide in him and by doing whatever he is asked to do to help the firefighters get their job done.
To earn the trust and respect of the firefighters
a chaplain must be committed to his ministry.
Sometimes he will have to get out of bed in the
middle of the night to assist the firefighters
at an emergency call or just to counsel a firefighter
who is struggling with a personal issue.
Whatever the situation, firefighter chaplains are ready and willing to answer the call.