The Need ... Much of our nation's cargo is transported by truckers
Numerous truckstops have been established where these truckers can stop, eat, refuel, and rest for a while. Truckers are people with frustrations, loneliness, boredom, marriage and family problems. They need someone to care - a volunteer chaplain..
The Target ... Truckers and their families, truckstop management,
and employees are the primary targets. Transient and stranded travelers frequent the truckstop and need assistance. A volunteer chaplain cares and meets the needs.
The Process ... How do you start a truckstop chaplaincy ministry?
1. Pray for God's leadership.
2. Schedule a meeting with the manager of the truckstop.
3. Meet and discuss needs of truckers and management..
4. Share ways a volunteer chaplain meets the needs.
5. Plan programs with management which a chaplain could implement.
6. Follow up the meeting with a letter outlining what was agreed upon.
7. Recruit a chaplain and secure management approval.
8. Set a starting time and begin the ministry.
9. Evaluate with management periodically.
The Ministry…Truckers experience schedules which keep them
On the road and away from family and traditional support systems. Their companion is a CB radio and/or a truckstop "buddy." A volunteer chaplain becomes a new "buddy" who cares.
MINISTRY OF PRESENCE
A chaplain visits the truckstop periodically, without disrupting work schedules, to develop friendships, build relationships, determine and respond to personal need, and provide a non-judgmental listening ear. He visits the restaurant, the store, the maintenance shop, the driver's room and the rigs. Moving among the truckers and the truckstop employees is vital to a successful ministry because the chaplain represents the spiritual presence of God.
Chaplains provide guidance and brier, confidential counseling for personal, family, and job-related problems. They refer those in need of professional help to good Christian counselors.
RESOURCES AND LITERATURE
The chaplain provides Bibles, religious pamphlets, tracts, audio tapes, and resources to help with personal, marriage and family needs, as requested.
Chaplains maintain an updated list of spiritual and social service providers, to whom they refer truckers.
WORSHIP SERVICES/BIBLE STUDY
Some truckstops have chapels or designated areas for worship. The chaplain cooperates with truckstop management in conducting worship services and/or Bible studies.
Often the chaplain is the only minister with whom the truckers or truckstop employees may have contact. The volunteer chaplain may conduct weddings or funerals as requested. If the volunteer chaplain is not ordained, the assistance of an ordained minister will be needed to perform weddings.
The Reason…A trucker or a truckstop employee needs a friend
and someone to care. Jesus said, "Go out into the highways…" The chaplain goes to share God's love with a segment of society which often is misunderstood and rejected.