Practicing Medicine and Ministry
No matter how many degrees or years of experience a medical professional acquires, they will always respond to the question “What do you do?” with the answer that they “practice” medicine.
The medical community does not “execute” medicine, “do” medicine, or “perform” medicine. They practice it. Any good practitioner knows there will always be something new to learn, and a part of that learning process includes practicing what they’ve gleaned from text books and lectures in the real world, not just on cadavers. The same could be said of ministry, that while we learn more about the Lord through our time sitting across from other followers of Christ and reading the bible, we haven’t lived out our faith until we practice it….in our everyday world, not just in a worship service.
In our two urgent care clinics, medical professionals are getting opportunities to practice both medicine and being on mission every single day.
Sarah has practiced both with us since the first shift she served. She originally joined our Skillman clinic in the Front Desk role. She was just a few months shy of finishing nursing school, so wasn’t yet eligible to fill a nursing spot but wanted to jump in with the team as soon as she could.
Once she passed her boards, she transitioned to our nurse volunteer role. While she grew in her nursing skills, she also discovered the different environment at the clinic pushed her to grow in ministry as well.
“Serving as a nurse at the clinic has been different than in the hospital because I have been encouraged to slow down and take the time needed to get to know my patients. In the hospital it’s a quick head to toe assessment, and I constantly have a list of tasks running through my mind. At the clinic I get to stop and hear more of my patient’s life. And when they mention something personal, I’m encouraged to ask questions about that and sit and talk longer. I don’t have a list running through my head of what I need to do next.”
As Sarah continued to serve, she was encouraged by clinic staff to attend Equipped Disciple at Watermark Community Church- a rigorous bible study designed to help participants learn how to read their bible, memorize scripture, and apply God’s word.
“I loved Equipped Disciple so much. It taught me what alone time with the Lord should look like and how to read scripture. It helped me learn how to share my story. And it also helped me learn to share the gospel. The more I was learning, the more I wanted to practice what I was learning. The clinic was the perfect place for that. I decided I should try out the Pastoral Care role to keep growing in this way.”
“My first time serving in pastoral care I was nervous but also excited. The more I served in that capacity I realized all I was doing was sharing with others all that I had learned from Jesus the past few years. One of my favorite days at the clinic was a rapid-fire version of that. I found myself going in and out of rooms, meeting patients who had a variety of stories and situations. In each room no matter how different or difficult the stories were, God’s word had something to say about their needs or concerns. I had never had a day like that before- watching over and over again as people were wowed by the truth I was sharing with them and how it applied to their life. I wasn’t saying anything special myself, just repeating what Christ has done. And that was so significant to them.”
Sarah continued to grow in the practice of sharing her faith, and it quickly became clear that she was leading her peers around her. Clinic staff invited her to serve on the leadership team and not only engage in patient rooms but train and show other volunteers how to do the same. In this new role she shares that her favorite thing is watching other volunteers grow through the same learning process she has. She gets to see new recruits become more and more comfortable in sharing their faith by taking on roles that require them to practice being on mission.
The practice of medicine and ministry in the clinic has also impacted the way she does her job in the hospital.
“Serving at the clinic, I’ve learned how to engage with patients and to keep the mission front and center. Modeling what I’ve learned at Watermark Urgent Care has given me a chance to share scripture with patents at the hospital where I work and pray with them before they go in for brain surgery.”
It might seem like the rhythm of learning and practicing has run its course for Sarah inside our clinic walls, but the truth is her chance to practice medicine and ministry won’t stop any time soon. Not only is every day we walk with the Lord a chance to learn something new and put into practice the faith we profess…but she also just enrolled in FNP school.
Interested in practicing both medicine and ministry with us? Find out more here.