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John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Corporate Chaplains

by Kent Humphreys

Every Christian CEO or business owner needs a tool box to use as he or she leads their company for Jesus Christ. Some of these tools may be bibles, tracts, booklets, cards, grief kits, or character training materials. I believe that one of the primary tools that are needed in every CEO's tool box is a corporate chaplain program. In our distribution firm that operated across the country, we used a corporate chaplain service for 17 years. Hundreds of lives were affected by that service to our employees. I now have a minority interest in a manufacturing firm, and we recently hired a chaplain service. Within the first few weeks one of the employees lost his mom. He had no church home, no one to turn to, and no one to do the funeral grave side service. The chaplain was able to step in and immediately give help to the employee, and the family, and represent the firm. A couple of weeks later the chaplain was able to lead the employee to Christ. Your church or mine would never be able to reach that employee and perhaps even you as an executive could have not be able to connect, but the chaplain could.

This year I was in Reno, Nevada, meeting with some of our key business owners for dinner. The subject of a corporate chaplain came up. They wanted to know if hiring a chaplain took away from the CEO's responsibility to minister and serve the employees. I told them that the CEO still has that responsibility from God as do the other believers in the firm. But, all are needed to do the job. The chaplain, the CEO, key Christian executives, and any employee who is a follower of Jesus all have the responsibility and opportunity to model Christ daily and proclaim His Word to fellow employees, customers, and vendors in a non forceful way. I wish that every pastor and church staff person would serve one day a week as a volunteer chaplain to the firms of the members of their congregation. If this was done, our churches would increase in size overnight. We would be much more connected to the real world as we relate to the problems of the community as we encounter them in the reality of the daily workplace.

Boe Parrish is a workplace executive. He believes so much in the value of corporate chaplains, that he served as a part time chaplain for some local firms for the last twenty years. He spent an average of four hours a week doing this service. I asked Boe how many people came to Christ over these last twenty years. I was shocked when he told me that approximately 700 people had prayed to receive Christ during that period. I wondered how many small to mid sized churches had seen 30 to 40 adults come to Christ every year for the last twenty years. I wondered what would happen if we changed how we did church and trained all of our members to be workers, executives, and some to be chaplains in the workplace. Not only did these people turn their lives around but they became better employees and more loyal to their employer who cared enough for them to provide a free chaplain service.

Boe shared the following story with me. "I had been on the job about 2.5 weeks when I received a call from the HR director. He explained that the 13 year old son of a couple, who both worked for the company, had committed suicide. The younger ten-year-old brother had just come home from school and found his older brother dead in their bedroom. The trauma from this discovery was almost unbearable for the young boy. The parents were devastated and the entire company of 350 employees was in shock. Immediately I raced across town to be with the family who had no church affiliation and no network of support to lean on. Their grief was so heavy and impossible to carry alone. Hours turned into weeks and weeks turned into months of walking this tough walk of love with this family. Over the course of the next three to four months God used this tragedy and turned the curse into a blessing. The mother, father, and younger brother asked Jesus Christ into their hearts. God turned things around for many of the employees, with eight employees also inviting Christ into their hearts."

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