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Kindness Chaplains

By Joe Matthews, a parishioner at Notre Dame Parish, Clarendon Hills | April 2021

Kindness Chaplains Seek to Transform the Workplace Environment for Good

 

Our Christian faith is unique in that work was an integral part of God’s creation and His divine plan for humanity. God could have easily given Adam and Eve helpers to do the gardening while they focused on leisure, pleasure or other pursuits, but that was not His desire for us.

God intended us to work. Work is part of God’s design for human flourishing. God gives each of us gifts  and talents and inspires us to use them to love and serve Him and one another. God loves all types of  work. From picking apples to sorting garbage to brain surgery, everyone was made in His image, and all their talents are needed for humanity to thrive. Whether through a believer or non-believer, Christians know God causes everything to work together for the good. When we think of our work this way, we are  doing God’s will on earth to serve others. There may be no better way to love your neighbor than to do  good work.

Yet this is not how we often experience our work. Frequently, we find our work frustrating and tedious.  We compare ourselves to others and alternate between pride and envy. Instead of seeing our talents as a way to serve God and our neighbor, we use our gifts to gain wealth, power and glory for ourselves.  Work can convince us we are working hard for our family while being seduced by ambition to neglect them.

Unfortunately, these faith struggles are just the beginning of what is difficult about work. Even when we have the right priorities, death, disease, separation, conflict and family crisis can strike us at any  moment — derailing our projects and causing us to lose hope.

Sadly, due to sin, all of these things are part of work.

Enter Kindness Chaplains

Kindness Chaplains is a  workplace ministry to help workers and companies deal with these spiritual components of work. A leader at your organization hires a chaplain to be available on-site or remotely for their employees.  Employees dealing with grief or crisis (or who just want to talk) set up counseling appointments online or can directly contact the chaplain via phone or email for support. Employers can choose from a roster of experienced, certified pastoral counselors that best fit their worker populations.

We ignite passion by  connecting our work to our ultimate purpose — serving God and our neighbor. We educate workers on the importance of work as well as its inherent challenges so they are prepared (and not surprised) when  the inevitable storms roll in.

I was inspired to start this project based on my own experience as a  businessman and entrepreneur. In much of the marketplace, the world pretends as if God doesn’t exist.  Or if He does, it’s something personal that is not to be discussed at work or to animate any business decisions. When it came to  business, I believed serving God was not to be considered. What a huge mistake I made!

Without God on the throne, something else surely is.

For me, it was money. Without ever making a conscious decision to do so, I had enslaved myself to an idol. I felt constant anxiety and stress about hitting our numbers and achieving our goals. My family life was suffering, and my health was deteriorating.

This all changed for me as I was traveling to a sales meeting in Detroit. In that moment, by the grace of  God, I experienced a spiritual awakening. I felt overcome with love and warmth and could feel God’s  presence through the Holy Spirit. I knew that He loved me despite my faults and sins and that I was His.  Not only did I feel God’s love, but I also felt his correction. I hadn’t even realized what I was doing was  wrong. I thought it was how you are supposed to be successful.

I had grown up Catholic, but I thought idols were golden calves. I had felt temptation in other areas, but I was never worried about worshipping a figurine. I had attended top business schools, worked at some of the best firms but was ultimately blind about the most important element of work — God. After that  realization, I started reflecting on how to align my faith and work more closely.

As Christians, we are called to be the light of the world. We spread the love and hope of Jesus, not by pointing out where others are wrong but by inspiring them to seek God through our actions and deeds.


Kindness Chaplains is a humble attempt to bring light into the darkness of the marketplace. If you would like to support us or sign up your organization, please visit https://kindnesschaplains.org/ to learn how you can help.