Thursday, August 25, 2016

What does the Chaplain do when “The Sky is Falling?”

There will be times in an IDT meeting when a team leader will not be in their place due to a death in the family, an illness, or some other pressing matter.  A substitute is assigned to lead the meeting and all should be well…right?  Well, not always.


Looks like a fun IDT meeting or
“Is the sky falling?
“Oh, dear, what shall I do?”


In re-reading this folk tale, I recalled the interesting names of the characters: Chicken Little, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy.  The first 5 are the good guys; Foxy Loxy is the bad guy.  Since this story has a moral we can have a little fun with the story. 

Chicken Little apparently was having one of those days.  I mean if a little chicken can’t eat the corn laid out for it without an acorn hitting her in the head, what’s wrong with the world?  Her response was one of utter hysteria. That seems like a very real human thing to do.  She gets her friends all stirred up and they head out to see the King to tell him the sky is falling.  Now, the friends don’t enquire as to why Chicken Little believes the sky is falling, they just accept the premise because they know Chicken Little.  So, off they go.  Unfortunately, they meet up with Foxy Loxy who is a bit slyer than any of them ever thought to be.  The upshot of the story is Foxy Loxy eats the entire cohort except for Chicken Little who runs home.  Drama, drama, drama.


My point?  There are times when things in an IDT’s life cycle look confused and disorganized.  The reasons are many and varied.  You can fill in a few I’m sure.  When that happens, what is your response as a Chaplain?  What are your options?  Let’s lay them out:

  1.  You can join in with the leader of the drama and scream along, “The sky is falling!"
  2.  You can ask the leader of the drama why the sky is falling and agree that “Yes, the sky really is falling!”   Oh, Dear.  In #’s 1 and 2 the faith leader of the IDT is showing no strength of faith and surrenders to the drama leader’s assertion that the sky IS falling.
  3.  You might also ask the drama leader why the sky is falling and kindly but firmly state that whatever the IDT is facing is short-lived and will be corrected and there is no need to upset the rest of the Team.   

Moral of the story:  There is always someone on the IDT with the personality style of Chicken Little…one thing out of place or several things out of place the reaction is the same, “The sky is falling”.  Most IDT’s know who that individual is.  The Chaplain cannot engage in drama…ever.  It’s beneath the dignity of our calling to do so.  We point people’s gaze upward and inward, not downward. 

So, the next time your IDT is in a tizzy that life in the IDT is not perfect, take the lead and squelch the drama with your own inimitable style.   

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