Friday, May 6, 2016

Making a Successful Transition From the Parish Pastorate to Hospice Chaplaincy, Part 3

  • The transitioning parish pastor should be able to identify the pitfalls of the pastorate and seek to diminish their impact on his person and work as a hospice Chaplain.  Some of the more obvious pitfalls include these syndromes:
    • “Out of my way, I’m in charge”
    • “I’m the leader, I have all the answers”
    • “I’m the one responsible here”
    • “I’m the one who makes it happen here”
    • “I’m the final authority on faith and doctrine”
    • These are all “I” messages.  Unfortunately, in this era of the church it is common for the parish pastor to feel he is the sole leader of the church.  This has led to an epidemic of forced terminations of thousands of parish pastors.  Denominational affiliation has little to nothing to do with this trend.  Many pastors are fleeing the parish pastorate for hospice.  While that is complementary to the field of hospice chaplaincy, without cleaning out the closet of the above syndromes, little will change.  Yes, I have come upon hospital and hospice chaplains who missed the unit on self-awareness and are filled to overflowing with the “I” messages.  The above won’t work in hospice any better than they worked in the pastorate, however.

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