A Day in the Life of a Chaplain


March, 2018


The job of a YMCA chaplain is somewhat unique.

There are no real set hours or a specific list of daily responsibilities. Rather, the Chaplain is there to serve both the members and staff as a living demonstration of God’s love.

Recently we saw this article from Chaplain Roger Button of the Clark County Family YMCA in Vancouver, Washington. Perhaps this will give us all a glimpse of what a typical day is like for those who serve in this critical role in the YMCA.


I am often asked what a day looks like in the life of a YMCA chaplain. Here is my yesterday:

March 21, 2018

7 AM | Arrive at the Clark County Family YMCA

7 AM–7:30 AM | Answer emails

7:30 AM–9 AM | Commute to the Association Services Office.

9 AM–2 PM | Facilitate a New Employee Orientation/Christian Principles training

2 PM–3:30 PM | Commute to Resource Development meeting

3:30 PM–5 PM | Resource Development Committee meeting

5:30 PM | Back at the Clark County Family YMCA

5:40 PM | Pray with aquatics staff over pool problems that are causing anxiety

5:45 PM–6:45 PM | Sit with member who lost both parents today 90 minutes apart

7 PM–8:30 PM | Facilitate a small group combatting low self esteem

9 PM | Head home

People ask me when I share things like this with them, “Do you always work a 14 hour day?” The answer to that question is no, not always, but often. You see, this is not a 9–5, Monday through Friday position. Often you can see me at the Y on a Saturday and Sunday as well. Doing our very best to complete our daily “operational” tasks while at the same time being available for those that are hurting, scared and lacking hope tends to keep a chaplain hopping. Please hear me when I say I am not complaining or trying to show the importance of a position, it is simply the reality of what it is to be a chaplain in a YMCA.

Chaplains like to be checked on occasionally as well. A simple, “How are you doing?” goes a long way with someone who asks others that very same question. Maybe even say a prayer if you feel led. Always remember that I am here for you, so do not hesitate to give me a call or contact me if you need a listening ear or someone to talk with. Obviously I do not mind.