Tracking chaplains' work improves and justifies services

In my experience of pastoral work (at the parish level), there is an instinct to avoid quantifying what you do.

My classic example - In an 800 family parish, I ran a weekly bible study. At most, three people attended the program. From a Cost-Benefit Analysis, one could easily argue that my time would have been better spent elsewhere. My justification was that if I could help just one person improve their relationship with God, my resources were well spent.

In the above article from Catholic Health World, William Victor Trogdon explains the benefits of tracking pastoral care in a healthcare setting. One of the major benefits of this initiative is to help “justify their value to [hospital] executives.”

Healthcare mission leaders must be champions of pastoral/spiritual care departments. It is true that on the deepest spiritual levels, pastoral work is difficult (if not impossible) to quantify. For this reason, it can be difficult to move into a mind-set of tracking chaplains’ work. However, from a mission leader’s perspective, any assistance chaplians can offer to make it easier for executives to advocate for them is most welcome.

Michael Miller, Jr.