A day in the life of a workplace chaplain: guest blog by Michael Tummillo

I often get asked the question, “I’m a pastor. How can I support myself if I leave professional ministry?” A workplace chaplain is one possibility. Our company uses a workplace chaplain–not just for our employees, but if appropriate, we also make one available to our clients.

Michael Tummillo is a workplace chaplain. Here, he describes a typical day:

Photo Credit: theps.net (Creative Commons)

Yesterday, after a 3 1/2 hour drive to East Texas, I visited with and ministered to the staff at a nursing home. Aside from a few handshakes and hugs with people who, after nearly 6 years, already know if they need me, I’m available, the following instances took place:

  • I met two new employees, one whose engagement to a person of another race is not being well-received by family.
  • A woman was sobbing as she walked in to meet with me. Her step-daughter’s aunt had just had a stroke after delivering twins that very afternoon. We prayed and talked.
  • Another woman’s son is in jail and her spouse is an alcoholic. But he is attending church these days – he recently called me and told me that himself. More prayer and counseling with her.
  • After some residents died of natural causes in recent weeks, one attendee was taking those losses pretty hard. She talked. I listened. We prayed.
  • Another employee with whom I counseled last month when she had written a letter of resignation is still working there! I was delighted she’d changed her mind. She was glad of her own decision.
  • The Administrator was recently married. I brought him a wedding gift and we discussed several marketing issues.
  • A man was crying inconsolably regarding his wife’s recent doctor’s report. More prayer and counseling.
In short, it was pretty much the same as my previous visit. As I made the 3 1/2 hour trip back home, I received an additional two counseling calls on my cell phone.

Point is, similar situations exist in every workplace on earth. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, though you may not have the official title of “Workplace Chaplain,” the fact is, you are the church in the workplace. It’s Christ in YOU, the hope of glory that your hurting coworkers need to meet. We must blend the sacred with the secular! Your job is every bit as important as any apostle, pastor, prophet, teacher or evangelist. At the very least, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you may prove to be much more important to a hurting soul on any given day. With the rise in workplace violence, theft, bullying, murders and suicides, one work, one touch, one prayer from you could make all the difference in the world.

Employers, you would be wise to release this army of Jesus-lovers! Your business will be blessed for doing so. If you haven’t considered putting a Workplace Chaplain on the payroll, what are you waiting for? And if you already have a Chaplaincy, make sure your leadership team makes it a point to “drive traffic” his or her way.
Michael Tummillo is a Workplace Chaplain in Texas and founder of the international ministry, The Church @ Work (TCAW). A one-finger typist, Michael has had an online presence since 1999 and has reached millions with his email devotionals, and other Internet activities. You can reach him via email at miketummillo@me.com, and his blog can be found here.

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