How do you set-up a changing the landscape Study thru the Bible that will revolutionize the delivery of health care forever?
You follow the following 10 steps:
1. Buy a Bible.
The Revised Standard is one of the very best. Don‘t choose the easy way out with one of those flimsy, treacley paraphrased versions.
2. Play nice with the QOL director and place the study in the activity calendar. Set it
up for at least twice a week. I call mine “Chaplain’s Corner” parts I and II. Find a room with easy access and full of bright light and pastel colors if possible.
4. Spread the word about the journey up and down the halls.
5. Say that it will take as long to read through the Bible as time you have left until retirement. This is called the godly approach to job security. In my case, I am scheduled for a fitting for my gold watch in about eight years. (Incidentally, I heard from some of the group that a church they attend is offering the same study in only seven years. I believe that this church is trying to undercut my offer.)
6. Don’t preach. Throw away all those clever 7 point sermons. READ the Bible – ALL of it – even the parts that induce sleep. Ask the text hard questions. Don’t cream-puff the study.
7. This is the important part. Don’t hog the talk. Let every one contribute. Embrace interpretations, opposing views, strange ideas, sleep, arguments, outbursts, questions, and wandering conversations. Don’t correct. The Word over eight years will do the job for you; it may even correct you! Place the group into the story. Ask them for example,” What would you have done if God had asked you to sacrifice your only child?” Invite doubt. Celebrate not having an answer for everything. (Please chaplains, practice at not having an answer for all queries, I beg of thee.) But keep reading and talking. Read up to a chapter or more each time and stop frequently and ask them what they think so far.
8. Invite all: family, residents, stakeholders, vendors, passers-by, even the occasional space alien.
9. Leave it wide open, read the Bible, and chaplains don’t talk so much and please leave your theology in the dry tomes and instead wrestle with the word, yourself, and the people.
10. This study may turn out to be the most important thing you do as a Signature Chaplain.