Public Service Endorser
Brent Bond, Senior Director of Chaplaincy
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without me. – John 15:5 (CSB)
What’s your guiding verse as a chaplain? I rely on John 15:5 by recalling the mantra: As long as I’m connected to the Vine, I’ll be fine. This indispensable verse emphasizes maintaining my spiritual health in order to provide godly guidance and support to others. Too often, the externals of ministry are emphasized, while the personal internals — our spiritual growth, emotional health, physical well-being and supportive relationships— are neglected. Though unseen, this beneath-the-surface transformation is the source for a truly powerful ministry.
Information to know
- Assess, then perform or provide: I have received several calls from chaplains or their supervisors regarding the ministry limitations of SBC chaplains. As a reminder: Endorsed Southern Baptist chaplains, within their respective institutional settings, provide ministry according to the principle of “cooperation without compromise.” SBC chaplains have a pastoral and professional responsibility to ensure that everyone is shown Christ-centered love, dignity, honor and respect. Care should be expressed regardless of differences in theological beliefs, cultural worldview and personal behaviors. Each SBC chaplain is expected to assess every spiritual consult within their institution. Next, an appropriate response to the spiritual need(s) will be to perform if it is within SBC faith and practice or provide an alternate chaplain or religious leader who can assist.
- Chaplaincy Ministry Photos: Please email me quality, high-resolution, action photos that capture your service in ministry. As we update various documents, our goal is to highlight SBC chaplains.
- SBC chaplaincy ministry is an extension of your church. Keep your pastor and church leadership informed. Consider sharing a PDF copy of your Quarterly Report so they can celebrate what God is doing and keep you on their prayer list.
- Contact our office to update your endorsement if your ministry setting, institution, certifying organization or church membership has changed.
Thank you for answering God’s call to be a SBC chaplain. You are making a difference!
Remember: Each of us on the NAMB Chaplaincy Team is available to serve you as needed.
Samuel Lee, Director of Chaplaincy
- Concerning the COVID-19 Vaccine, here is our official statement: “We, the staff of SBC Chaplaincy, are carefully and prayerfully considering the ramifications of our opinion. We believe that each chaplain plays a critical role in providing advisement and counsel on COVID-19 vaccination to their institutional leadership and those under their pastoral care while, at the same time, considering each individual’s thoughts or questions about the vaccine. We live in tumultuous times that require all of us to seek God’s wisdom like never before. Therefore, our entire Chaplaincy Team joins you in asking God for wisdom (James 1:5) as you wrestle with the various issues surrounding the coronavirus vaccine. Our office does not seek to dictate an individual’s conscience but supports the individual’s religious concerns surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Please feel free to contact our office with any further questions and concerns.”
I desire that you, as a SBC Chaplain, be a prophetic voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
“I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4
- Lessons from the Mistakes: Losing just one chaplain to immoral, unethical and illegal behavior is too much. Regardless of the wrongdoings, one chaplain’s fall damages the reputation of chaplaincy and the name of our God. It also destroys many years of ministry and adds many stresses, and even division, to families. So, what generally causes a chaplain’s mishaps and straying away from their first love? Here are few lessons from the mistakes:
- Lack of Accountability: There are many reasons for the church, and one is to build one another in terms of edification (Eph 4:12). When chaplains are not in an accountability relationship that features a mentor-mentee setting, or is distant from a local Southern Baptist church or sending church, they are putting themselves in harm’s way. Therefore, seeking a mentor in your faith journey and maintaining a close relationship with a local SBC church is necessary. If you are far away from your home church, contact the pastor and send a quarterly report to your church. I am confident that your church will lift you and your family in prayer.
- Lack of Communication: It may be evident that the lack of communication might be a symptom of a lack of accountability. Communication that is both vertical (e.g., Quarterly Report and Annual Chaplain Professional Training) and horizontal (e.g., local SBC churches and SBC Chaplain Fellowship) is essential for the spiritual health of individual chaplains. Let us know how things are; we are mindful of you and will rejoice with you in your victory and lift you in our prayers while you are having difficulties.
- Separation from the Family: Separation is hard on all family members and may cause a fracture in marriage. Some separations are inevitable due to military deployment/operations or temporary assignments. If possible, try to avoid family separation, and if you must separate from your family, then pay attention to your family’s needs to strengthen family ties. Guard your heart and run away from the temptation (2 Tim 2:22).
- Endorser’s Visit:
- Met with Fort Hood SBC chaplains and their spouses on July 27, 2021. The Senior SBC chaplain in Ft. Hood is Chaplain (Colonel) Darren Chester, and there will be a monthly SBC Chaplain Fellowship in Ft. Hood. If any chaplain is interested in joining the monthly fellowship in the Ft. Hood area, please contact Chaplain (LTC) James Covey at 254-553-9136 for more information.
- We also had a wonderful fellowship collaborating with San Antonio Baptist Association (SABA) and JBSA SBC chaplains at Joint Base San Antonio. The Senior SBC chaplains in JBSA are Chaplains (Colonel) Ted Wilson, Rick Montoya and Stanley Smith. In addition, Frank Jackson is a retired chaplain with the rank of Colonel who works with SABA to support the military chaplains and their families. Please contact Frank Jackson at [email protected] or Chaplain, Lt. Col., Joshua Payne at 210-395-1952 regarding the SBC Chaplain Fellowship.
Brent Bond, NAMB Senior Director of Chaplaincy, serves as the Public Service Endorser for Southern Baptist Chaplains.
Samuel Lee, NAMB Director of Chaplaincy, serves as the Federal Endorser for Southern Baptist Chaplains.
Published August 25, 2021