Sunday, 12 June 2011

Different ways... or the right way?

Spending time at the Winternationals this weekend, with a chaplain from another state coming and visiting.   We've always had a certain protocol of interaction with the race teams at Willowbank - and usually, as chaplains, stay out of their garages and camps sites figuring they are usually focused on getting their cars ready for racing.  As the chappies, we are there to serve them when they need us, and aren't so much an evangelistic force trying to get involved with them all through the weekend.

Though it seems the other chaplain works differently.  I was amazed at how many people this guy knows... how many say hello, and I wondered if actively going out into the teams was something we were missing in our ministry.   However, this guy had no qualms about jumping barriers and walking into garages, and though I felt uncomfortable he urged me to come with him.  Initially it always seems the team members' reactions were "who the hell are you and why are you in here?"  Most times I felt the team members then 'put up' with us in their garage more out of politeness than actually wanting to chat with the chaplains.

There was one team with whom we had a good chat, but at a point when some good Gospel input could have been injected a very worldly and superficial piece of advice was offered instead.  I felt as a evangelical Christian I missed an opportunity there, but this was mainly effected I think about the denomination of the other chaplain.

So I'm torn between giving the teams the professional space they need and developing better relationships with them. I think this other chaplain has many better relationships with some of the support staff on the teams because of his manner of chaplaincy, but has probably stepped on the toes of many of the mechanics and drivers to get there.

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