"It's a Privilege!"

I have been serving as a law enforcement chaplain for twelve years as well as a workplace chaplain for over eighteen years. This has afforded me many opportunities for conversations and counsel that would not have been possible in any other way. Trust is a delicate thing between employees and chaplains that develops over time. It must be earned and there are no shortcuts in the process of deepening the confidence one person has in another. The more you relate and do life together, the more others see that you can be counted on to guard the secrets, concerns, and issues that many deal with on a day-to-day basis.

The Strength of Teamwork!
Image credit: unsplash.com

One of the phrases I often hear among my fellow chaplains at our team training meetings is that “It’s such a privilege to be invited into workplace settings to serve as a chaplain resource to employees!” Where else, except the church, are religiously trained leaders invited to pray, affirm, and encourage workers while they are on the job? This is a stewardship of trust that we do not take lightly. We guard this sacred trust and try everyday to protect this privileged interaction for the cause of Christ. This is because we do not know how long this opportunity will last in a secular shifting culture.

During my tenure with the Illinois State Police, I have been called on to participate in numerous ceremonial functions including staff retirements, department anniversaries, and graduations. Every opportunity allows me to interact with officers, troopers, and non-sworn or civilian personnel as well as family members who are in attendance. This past week I participated in a Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Academy graduation.

It gave me such pride to see bright and disciplined youth being affirmed for their intense, week-long, and often grueling training and instruction in what is involved in law enforcement. One of the staff trainers said it all when he remarked to the Cadets, “You were up everyday this camp week, a good while before the sun came up, doing your chores while your peers were still in bed at home. I am so proud of your dedication and hard work!” I stood in line while these graduates came by with their certificates and shook their hands to congratulate and say, “I am proud of you, too!” It was a special time of celebration!

I was asked to pray at the beginning and then at the end of the ceremony. The following are the words that informed those prayers…

Friday Graduation Ceremony, 10:00AM

Chaplain Mike Keppler


Heavenly Father, we thank you for each person gathered here today on this special occasion. We celebrate with all these Cadets who are graduating and thank you for everyone who has made this academy-camp possible. We are hopeful for this next generation of young leaders and thank you for their enthusiasm, talents, commitment, and the dreams and plans of each one of them. Now, we ask that You bless this time of affirmation and recognition, and all who lead us. And we pray all of this in the name of the One who alone is Savior and Lord. Amen.


Father, thank you for this action-packed  week of education, training, team building and just plain fun! This has been a memorable experience for everyone. We are grateful for every counselor, instructor and youth cadet who participated. Thank you for the efforts put forth. We depart today with the feelings of pride and satisfaction that come with commitment and hard work.

May the lessons of respect, discipline and trust continue to shape the future pursuits of every one of these graduates. Bless them, their families, and their sponsors who have made this Youth Cadet Academy possible – The Safety, Law & Order Committee, The American Legion, Illinois State Police, Secretary of State Office, and Illinois National Guard.

Thank you, Lord, for being present with us and always guiding us throughout our lives.

We pray all of this in the Blessed Name of the Anointed One who gave His all for us. Amen.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that wherever we go as believers that we are representatives of Jesus Christ. In fact, he referred to us as “Christ’s Ambassadors!” and said, “We are ambassadors of the Anointed One who carry the message of Christ to the world, as though God were tenderly pleading with them directly through our lips. So, we tenderly plead with you on Christ’s behalf, ‘Turn back to God and be reconciled to him.’” (2 Corinthians 5:20, TPT). The Passion Translation offers this further commentary underscoring the impact of a Christian witness, “We are the voice of heaven to earth, invested with royal power through the name of Jesus and authority of his blood.”

After this recent graduation that included youth who were merely fifteen to seventeen-year-olds, I continue to exclaim “We are hopeful for this next generation of young leaders!” Let’s continue to pray for these young people as they mature, develop, and find their place in this world. I believe with all my heart that the future is bright and that these youth are going to make us proud!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com





  1. God is using you in so many ways and changing many lives. So blessed are you


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