Nearly all of us have a pastor who knows us by name. But do you have a chaplain? This is a more important question today than a generation ago, because we live in a culture on the go. In emergencies, more of us are turning to chaplains than ever before.
This month's cover package begins with senior writer Deann Alford's focus on the ministry of Christians, especially chaplains, in motorsports ("Racing for Jesus," page 22). And in "Cheating Death" (page 28), senior managing editor Mark Galli looks at auto racing through the lens of Christian spirituality.
For more than 20 years, trackside chaplains at NASCAR races have been ministering to drivers, crews, fans, and journalists covering NASCAR. Back in 2001, chaplains were a great resource after the tragic death of legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr., a Christian whose competitive personality earned him the sobriquet, "Angel in Black."
Denver Seminary is one of the few evangelical institutions to provide professional-level training for chaplains. After 22 years of service as an Air Force chaplain, Jan McCormack joined Denver's faculty to create a chaplaincy program. McCormack has also served as a chaplain in NASCAR, hospitals, prisons, and crisis settings. She provided many insights into the importance of our cover story.
Understanding the differences between a church-based pastorate and a work-based chaplaincy can be difficult. "Chaplaincy is really doing missionary work in somebody else's workplace In racetrack chaplaincy, you are at their job site." McCormack said creative tension is key to understanding the chaplain's role. "The tension that you [the chaplain] have to be able to live with well and with integrity is to represent to that institution and to that individual your ...1