Decaying values and a lack of positive intervention have placed our society at a worrying crossroads.
This was the belief shared by Marlon Charles, Managing Director at Family Heartbeat International Network, at the end of a four-day training workshop for 77 Barbadians pursuing chaplaincy certification at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church in Tudor Bridge, St Michael.
According to Charles, the lack of positive role models and influences among younger people in society continues to be an issue, which his organisation is seeking to address.
“I do believe that there is a lack of positive role models…There is a decay in values and morals in our society and that is because people have now gone to a place where they no longer have pillars of values. We are highly influenced by a number of different things and there are no individuals who hold strong to a cause or reason.”
The workshop, which was conducted with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Chaplains organisation, is seen by Charles as playing a vital role in response to recent upheaval in society mostly among the younger demographic.
Charles stressed that though many in society see chaplains as strictly pastors or reverends with a different title, that is not the case. According to him, they serve in a supportive counselling role in times of crisis.
“That is one of the things we have here with chaplains, because they are going to be rooted and grounded people of influence. That is one of the things we talked about in terms of being that person who is very influential within society,” he said.
“It’s faith-based, yes, unapologetically Christ-centred, but we are not leading with who we are in terms of our faith… We are more interested with the individual who is in crisis at the moment, and that is more the central focus of chaplaincy.
“We are hoping at the end of this, that we will be able to have individuals working within our school system along with ancillary services, those key people that we need in our society, to have shoulders they can lean on and people they can trust.”