NCF recognizes that there are different ways that nurses gather together. We want to give our nurse leaders the freedom to come together in ways that meet the needs of nurses they are ministering to and accommodate varying schedules.
Ministry among nurses is vitally important. Nurses need support and encouragement to combat the work stresses and prevent burnout. In addition to caring for our own needs, it is good to reach out to others in need and to be a witness to Jesus.
Here are some ideas for how you or your group can reach out to other nurses.
Individual or 1:1 Ministry
Mentoring relationships: Care for those who are younger in nursing.
Form a pair to meet regularly to share, pray, and receive Christ’s care and guidance. Start with our mentor guide. NCF books, Bible study guides and JCN can be used as curriculum for growth.
Discipleship relationships: Care for someone younger in their faith.
Form a pair to meet regularly. NCF books, Bible study guides and JCN can be used as curriculum for growth.
Personal prayer or prayer partners: Meet regularly with a specific partner to pray for each other’s requests. Nurses can also pray individually for requests from other nurses in the NCF Intercessor. Some nurses find it helpful to have a network of nurses in their workplace with whom they can spontaneously pray as the need arises.
Area contact person to represent NCF: When people are looking for information, you can be a point person for those who contact NCF looking for activity in their area, even if there is not an established group of nurses gathering in that area.
1:1 interactions: Live out the good news of Jesus by encouraging or praying for a coworker, telling another student about a recent article in JCN, showing God's love to a patient, or participating in a hospital ethics committee to bring a Biblical worldview to decision-making.
Informal or Formal Groups: Two or more nurses or students involved
Share and Prayer time: Group members can share their experiences of joy, struggle, and faith in their work and spend time praying for one another.
Worship: Gather for praise, devotions, singing
Bible study: NCF has three series of healthcare-specific Bible study guides available.
Book study: NCF has many books written from a Christian healthcare perspective.
Journal of Christian Nursing Club: Each issue of JCN comes with discussion questions for several of the articles, which can be found in the Going Deeper section on the table of contents page. Each issue also has articles for CNE credit. Some nurses are meeting during lunch hours to do their journal club.
Email groups: Often when schedules make it difficult to meet physically, nurses can keep in touch by sharing prayer requests and triumphs. Some email groups take turns sharing a devotional with each other.
Participate in a listserv: There is currently a faculty/grad listserv and a recent grad listserv, with the possibility of “affinity” listserves in the future.
Breakfast or “brown bag” fellowships: Meet in the hospital cafeteria, a restaurant, or bring muffins and a coffee. Vary the focus from meeting to meeting based on the needs and interests of the group.
Hold a meeting with a speaker: Utilize nurses within the group who have expertise in an area, use local nursing faculty, have members share feedback from NCF conferences they attended, invite a missionary to share experiences, include speakers from other fields such as social work, medicine, counseling, etc. These can be great opportunities to invite seeking nurses.
Panel discussions centered on a specific topic: Discuss, debate, or share points of view on pertinent healthcare issues.
Book and other resources open house: Provide a book table with NCF, IVP, Parish Nurses, and other Christian materials. Put out some snacks and invite area nurses to enrich their lives
National Nurses Week celebration: NCF has activity ideas, a prayer request sheet, a Bible study guide and bulletin inserts available for download a few weeks prior at www.ncf-jcn.org
Planning committees to organize educational activities/retreats: In some regions of the country, we have Ministry Teams who plan area conferences and retreats.
Plan service projects or outreach activities: Plan an outreach to your community, whether it is a health fair, ministry to the poor or underserved, reaching out to nursing students at an area school or going on a short term missions trip.
Congregational Health/Parish Nurse network groups: Provide support and resources for this growing ministry to represent Jesus Christ in our communities.
Hold a special quarterly meeting or special events: Try hosting a fall brunch, Spring tea or Saturday morning workshop. This can meet the needs of nurses by being less frequent and is a great way to reach out to others by inviting them to join you for the special event.
As you can see, the possibilities and opportunities are many. Timing and scheduling depends on the type of gathering you are involved in and the needs of the members. Whatever you do, remember that Jesus is good news for nursing!