Brad Kenney argues the need to ensure pastoral care as core for chaplaincy.
This manuscript will look at the nature of sports chaplaincy, including its education, training, and practise. An argument will be made for making clear distinctions for a sports chaplain and developing a strong understanding of pastoral care as the primary ministry framework. An examination of the historic functions of pastoral care will support a call to maintain the integrity of the chaplain position and its pastoral nature within a professional sports context. Many ‘chaplains’ working with sports organizations in the United States, and elsewhere, might better be classified as evangelists or sports ministers. Often their purpose and aim is to fundamentally appropriate sport as a tool or vehicle for evangelism or discipleship, or for some other agenda. However, the spirit and essence of what it means to be a chaplain can be lost with such a focus. By utilizing the four historic and foundational pastoral care functions (Clebsch, W. and C. Jaekle. 1964. Pastoral Care in Historical Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall) of guiding, healing, reconciling, and sustaining — chaplains working within a professional sports context and other, similar environments can recover the important and sacred work of the chaplain.
Download Foundations of Pastoral Care here.