Perhaps one of the most important roles of the Chaplain is that of being an active listener – actually hearing what the person says and feeling their joy, pain, emotional turmoil, anger, etc.
An effective Chaplain is able to pick up on the subtleties of not only what is said but indeed what is not said, especially when they are accompanied by non verbal cues. This often allows concerns to be addressed before the become issues.
It is important for the Chaplain to know when to incorporate those in the room, shop, business – so that they don’t feel excluded – and to know when to retreat to give an individual person privacy and confidentiality.
Everyone, whether or not they have a faith, needs support at times in their life, especially in times of crisis. Chaplains never underestimate the privilege of being able to share with individuals the highs and lows of their life’s journey.
Chaplains will not shy away from the difficult questions of life which can arise at any time, especially in the midst of stress or crisis. Neither will they offer meaningless platitudes, rather they will guide and support folk to seek their own answers, value, meaning and purpose in life.