If you’re reading this, you probably have some kind of dream of being involved in Christian health ministries. I want to encourage the work of the believer who doesn’t just aim to “someday” be a missionary, but live out your calling in healthcare and missions every day of your life.
• I encourage you toward the continual pursuit of a lifestyle of missional living. Missional life isn’t something we wait to do “one day.” The Great Commission tells us to “Go” and we understand this means you live your calling “as you are going.”
• I encourage you, every day, to take another intentional next step toward your own mission-focused life. Is that serving at your church? Is that networking and connecting with someone in your field? Is that the next step in education or training? Do it! Take that next baby step.
• I encourage you to remember: God only gives us this one chance at life here on earth. We cannot waste it on self-serving pleasures or material goods that the media tells us we need. A life that stewards well what God gives is one that sacrifices, loves, and lives in extreme obedience. This kind of life doesn’t just live and eventually die, this kind of life makes a difference. We need to use this short time that God gives with the abilities and resources we’ve been given to make a difference.
• I encourage you to understand that God’s will for your life is not a mystery or a puzzle that we have to figure out. His will is for you to glorify him in all that you do: whatever profession you choose, hobbies you participate in, the spouse you commit to, or the place you live.
• I encourage you to know the will of God. Often, you might fixate on "What is God's will for my life?" Instead, look at HOW God wants you to live. You’re called to align your will with God’s will. This takes knowing God through his Word. We spend time knowing God so we can know what His will is—and then do it.
Practical Ways to Living Out Your Calling
- Find a faith-based clinic where you can serve. If you’re still a student, offer to pray with patients at set times during the week.
- Go on a short-term trip to learn from indigenous workers and long-term servants.
- Join a local chapter in your specialty. For example, Network with Healthcare Missions with NCF or connect with Christian Medical Dental Association in order to find opportunities to serve and a community of people with similar passions and interests.
One last reminder: There are very simple things you can do like caring for your neighbor or getting involved with your local church, school, or neighborhood groups. These allow you to love people in concrete ways, right where you are. And you’ll learn how you’re gifted and can best serve God.
Do It With Heart
- Hospitality: Treat those you care for like they’re visiting your house. Remember, part of your calling is loving people. This means you work to make every person comfortable and every space welcoming.
- Empathy: Take your time to get to know the person and who they are. You’re called by God to empathize with everyone you come into contact with. People around you will know you’re a believer by how you listen and care for them.
- Attitude: My guess is you aren’t alone on your mission. You either have a team you work with or you will one day have a team to work with. Your attitude around those you work with can lift them up or bring them down. Be someone folks want to be around.
- Respect: Listen to those around you. No, the people you work with won’t get everything correct. But they should still get your respect. People around you will know you follow God because of your respect for them.
- Time: Are you always late? Don’t be! Be on time to everything. Show up early if you can. This applies to a meeting or to the time you need to help a patient.
If you dream of being involved in Christian health ministries, then serve where you are. Be the believer who doesn't simply aim to “someday” be a missionary, but be the person who lives out his or her calling in the job, especially if that’s healthcare, every day. All of us should aim to live out our faith with our careers, our time—our very lives.
This post by Will Rogers is excerpted and used with permission from the MedicalMissions.org blog.
Will Rogers is the executive director at MedicalMissions.com, a resource for current and prospective healthcare missionaries, students, and organizations. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for organizations in nearly 50 countries.
The Global Missions Health Conference is a virtual event November 13-14 with numerous speakers, workshops, and resources for nurses and students interested in missions. NCF will be participating and exhibiting. Check it out and register!