Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations

Outside the four walls of the church

As a pastor, Al Worthley felt strongly about the need to reach his community. His calling eventually led him to prison chaplaincy, a field in which he served for 22 years. Worthley ministered at federal prisons in Leavenworth, Kan.; Texarkana, Texas; and Springfield, Mo.; and eventually served as assistant director of chaplaincy for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Last year he was appointed director of chaplaincy for the Assemblies of God. Worthley spoke recently with Assistant Editor Ashli O’Connell about the latest opportunities in chaplaincy ministry.

PE: With the war in Iraq, military chaplaincy has been receiving a lot of well-deserved attention. Can you tell us what else is going on in chaplaincy these days?

WORTHLEY: There are so many exciting things. Our fastest-growing area of chaplaincy happens to be medical, or health-care chaplaincy. That’s exciting, especially when you look at the demographics on the aging of America — a whole segment of the population is moving into gated retirement communities and assisted-living facilities. That’s a segment we need to target. Hospice chaplaincy is also an area that is wide open for chaplains.

Industrial chaplaincy is growing as well. Many businesses and industries welcome ministers to come in and be a chaplain for them for five or 10 hours a week. What a great opportunity to get outside of the church walls and have an important impact inside the community.

Police chaplaincy and fire department chaplaincy are other areas that are very exciting to me right now. I don’t know a better way a pastor could learn about his or her community than by working with the police or fire department as a chaplain.

PE: Must a chaplain be a credentialed minister?

WORTHLEY: Some forms of chaplaincy only have chaplains who do what I call incarnational chaplaincy, meaning they are a part of the particular culture. Racetrack and motorcycle chaplains, for example, really could not be effective unless they were part of that culture. I think a chaplain should be prepared and understand what ministry is all about. Certainly with the Berean courses that are available, chaplaincy is wide open for laypeople.

PE: You mentioned some of the unconventional areas where our chaplains serve. Are there any areas out there that the A/G would like to expand into?

WORTHLEY: I am praying that the Lord would lead people into several new areas of chaplaincy. One is the entertainment industry. A lot of people work behind the scenes where there is a lot of tourism, like in Branson, Mo., for example. There needs to be somebody willing to bridge the gap and go to them. I would also like to see chaplains who are willing to go into places the church considers off limits — the gambling industry, for example. That would certainly be an unconventional area of ministry, and I fully agree that we don’t want a lot of our people connected with that industry. But, since there are people there who Christ loves, we do need the gospel to get in there, and the best way is with called people who understand how to minister in a difficult place.

Another area is in leisure. If a person looks at his or her community they’ll find places outside the church where people are gathered away from the church on Sundays — antique malls and racetracks, for example. We should have people in those places.

PE: Anything else?

WORTHLEY: Chaplaincy is one of the secrets of the Assemblies of God. We have some unique people — more than 400 of them — who are out there doing extraordinary work that could not take place inside of a church. It gives our Movement a great opportunity for evangelism.

E-mail your comments to

E-mail this page to a friend.
©1999-2009 General Council of the Assemblies of God