Pastor’s Column: Deb Eigen, Corporate Chaplain at Aagard
Unique Corporate Chaplain at Unique Aagard
By Deb Eigen
‘I am nowhere. I am now here’. That is written on the white board in my office to remind me how powerful it is to come alongside a person who has great talent and ability, yet struggling in many areas of life. That is how he sums up his year of employment at Aagard where we work to enhance lives and build a culture of care.
I am a corporate chaplain. Four years ago, I joined the Care Culture at Aagard, a company in Alexandria MN that enhances lives by building unique packaging equipment. With an owner whose life mission is to build people up and to make Jesus smile, and with the blessing of leaders (including my boss, the HR manager) who take a big picture view of caring for team members; my job as a Corporate Chaplain is unique to a unique company.
What is a Corporate Chaplain?
A Corporate Chaplain provides frequent office visits from a caring professional chaplain who builds relationships with each employee through regular brief, informal contacts.
Frequent visits from a Corporate Chaplain provide encouragement, emotional care and prayer, support, and resources. The employees have the choice to accept the care of the Chaplain. I am here on the employees’ terms. I desire to connect each one with the heart of God through Jesus.
When ministering to people in the corporate workplace, I have learned that relationship building and quality care is key. I have learned that people are full of questions. They are somewhere on the journey with, to, or away from Jesus. My job as a Corporate Chaplain is to start where they are and journey alongside to inspire them.
Prayer/Care: We have gathered a prayer team together that is not a Christian club, but a group of people who are given permission to pray for others, care and check in with them and in a winsome (not forceful way) do marketplace ministry.
We begin the work week with voluntary Monday morning prayer to invite the presence of the Lord and the blessing of the Lord upon our work week, our team and their family. We ask the Lord to establish the work of our hands. We alternate between praying over the people by department, and the next week praying over the machines that are being built or installed. We also pray over personal submitted prayer requests. I use the pronoun we often, as we are a team.
Care & Encouragement: As people come to work, many have had a full morning of getting kids ready for school or daycare, many travel a good distance, many come with the weight of responsibilities on them. A word of blessing, and a simple thank you for what you do for Aagard goes a long way.
We celebrate good things: marriages, birthdays, and babies with blessing bags, flowers, and baby blankets that have been prayed over. We grieve with and support those who grieve.
Resources: As Chaplain, I provide a listening ear, suggest resources, and offer the practical care of what is appropriate or desired from the employee.
Our leadership truly strives to enhance lives while building unique packaging equipment. As chaplain, I am a part of that overall picture of enhancing the lives of our team members. The expectations of team members who work here are high, the level of care is over and above company benefits.
- Spiritual Care: Christian resources regarding: fear, anxiety, grief, evidence of God, life purpose are available to pick up, if desired.
- Financial Care: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University is offered for anyone that would like to learn more along with Smart Dollar on-line access. These are voluntary resources.
- Social Care: Team Building events and activities are scheduled and planned that provide opportunities for employees to get to know other team members and the community in a fun setting. Some of these activities are a summer fishing tournament, bowling, trap shoot, archery shoot, golf, ice fishing. These are encouraged, but not mandatory to attend.
- Servant Leadership & Life Purpose: Aagard desires that people live their lives with purpose and lead as Jesus led. Servant Leadership training and “Defining Your Life Values” trainings are offered during work hours through Triune Leadership.
- Listening Ear: I check in frequently with team members (who desire it). Even in the best companies there are frustrations. Often, they can be diffused with a conversation. Sometimes more is needed.
About Deb Eigen: I don’t build the machines, but I care for the team that does.
I am a Lay Corporate Chaplain, a product of the Body of Christ being the Body of Christ. A sister and friend prayed for me to receive Jesus for seven years. An invitation to a Bible Study from another friend changed my life and life direction. It opened up the Word of God to me. Christian radio, namely Praise FM, helped in my growth in Jesus, along with the local church, teaching pastors, and Bible studies.
I have a background in Christian radio & retreat coordination, which is a very different path from my education in Retail Management and Merchandising.
A number of years ago, a very dear family member walked through a dark time of depression and did not want to live. As we walked through this dark journey of unknown, I saw numerous other families struggling too. As we barely kept afloat, we clung to the Word of God. I started saying “Lord, if we make it through,” and God said “change that to when you make it through, you need to be trained to help other families walk through difficult times.” Doors opened to attend Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville, FL and Chaplains Caring for Companies with Pastor Lyndenne Way.
I am simply a wife, mom, and grandma who worships the LORD and the loves His WORD! I desire to inspire others to do the same.