Ever since the first disciples began to spread the good news of the gospel there has been a need for more laborers in the spiritual fields of life. This certainly continues to be the case in healthcare chaplaincy. There are so many needs and so few hours in the day. How can a small group of spiritual leaders called Chaplains/Spiritual Directors make an impact with so many needs among our residents, their families, our stakeholders, and their families as well? It may seem overwhelming, mostly because it is exactly that!
The answer to this quandary is as old as the church itself. We cannot meet the need by adding more ministers – we must MULTIPLY them instead! The multiplication happens when we cease to rely on professionals to get the job done, but instead utilize the expertise of the professionals (in our case the Chaplain/Spiritual Director team) to train an army of every day folks who can pray, encourage, and share the message of hope with the thousands who are in need of care.
One Chaplain/Spiritual Director is limited in how many lives he or she can touch in a single day. But if that chaplain can train and release a dozen or more others into the work, suddenly there is a flood of care and hope that is spread throughout our resident and stakeholder family.
This is the “new” strategy for our spirituality pillar. Obviously it’s really not “new” at all. It’s really a return to what has always worked in every community around the globe. Things may look a bit different in the short term. Chaplains/Spiritual Directors will be doing far more training of stakeholders than ever before. This will initially seem to reduce the touch our Chaplains/Spiritual Directors have among our residents, but the goal is to train and release an army of spiritual caregivers from among our talented and gifted stakeholders. Once this army gets engaged in meeting needs – anything from sharing a word of kindness and hope, to quick prayers at the bedside, to encouraging a fellow stakeholder – the whole organization will be deeply affected with spiritual growth and a culture of joyful hope. Volunteers from the community will also be trained and released to join the army – people already highly gifted from our area churches, synagogues, and other communities of faith.
Multiplying disciples – that’s the strategy for the Signature Army. It’s a vision big enough to include everyone who longs to be a part of spreading hope, joy, and care into the lives of those around us. Come and join this revolution of spirituality!