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Chaplaincy: Is It a Choice, a Calling, or a Gift?

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet of the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

People often ask, “Where do you preach?” or “What church do you work for?”

With a smile I say, “I’m not a preacher, nor do I stand in the pulpit.”

With a strange look they ask, “Then what do you do?”

Sometimes I struggle asking myself that very same question. What about you? When someone asks about the work you do as a chaplain, do you consider it a job you choose, a calling, a gift from God, or all three?

Gifted to Serve

As a multi-faith team of public safety chaplains, we join diverse groups of chaplains around the world, from university or workplace chaplains to hospital and ministry chaplains and more. We are ready to jump right into a crisis without judgment or question.

“And we know that those who love GOD all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Called to Ministry

God has called us to a ministry of presence.

We are His eyes and ears to help others see through different lenses and hear with empathic understanding. We are His hand and feet to comfort and serve with compassion. We are called to be the flicker of light in the darkness of a crisis or traumatic event.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

Doing Our Job

We are who we are, not just for the victims but for the first responder brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line. It’s their job to see the worst of everything in public safety and at times deal with death, dying, and some horrific events. It’s their job. And it’s our job to serve them.

I see us as “spiritual social workers.” We bring spiritual support to a variety of situations, for people of all walks of life who face many different circumstances. We need to know a bit about a lot of things but don’t need to know everything. God knows what we don’t. And if He calls you to this job, He will equip you for it.

Is this a choice, a calling or a gift from God? Isn’t it all of those?

When It’s More Than You Can Handle

Asking for help is hard for just about anyone, but maybe even more so for those of us who serve and protect others. When giving assistance call after call, allow God to be your helper and call on Him. May GOD protect and bless you for your service to others.

Chaplain Gina Hovis

Please share your response by emailing me at

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