Having grown up in a TV family, I particularly loved movies that fostered the imagination, especially time travel. To be able to change what could have been or what might be, was the stuff of childhood dreams. What would you change if you could time travel?
Suppose you could jump in a time machine, and go forward ten years; what do you think the NHS, and healthcare in the UK in general, would look like?
Given the current morale and state of the NHS, I have to admit I don’t have much hope for what I might find.
But what if you could do something today, that could change that picture of healthcare in 10 years’ time? What if you could do something now that could shape and influence that future?
Consider this: what could British healthcare look like in ten years’ time if the gospel of Christ significantly impacted culture, patient care, relationships, systems, policies and services through Christian doctors for the glory of God?
Imagine a society in which Christian doctors were known for being trustworthy, compassionate, truthful, just, gracious and kind, seeking the greatest good and caring about the vulnerable – because of the God whom we worship – lights shining in the darkness.
What if the Christian’s response to ‘heartsink’ patients, stress, competition, gossip, grumbling, and cynicism was so distinctive that others would sit up and notice, asking us about the hope that we have?
Is it possible, that together, as a fellowship of Christians in healthcare, we can grasp that vision, and make that change?
Now, you may be feeling overwhelmed but also excited by such a prospect. We’ll be doing it in God’s strength and wisdom. His word tells us that he works best in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that he uses our weakness and imperfection so that he gets all the glory, not us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29).
Real, lasting transformation comes only by the power of the gospel through the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
But where shall we even begin?
I suggest we start by considering how to build up today’s generation of junior doctors in Christ – because today’s junior doctor is tomorrow’s NHS leader.
CMF is here to unite and equip Christian doctors and nurses to live and speak for Jesus Christ. Those of us who work in CMF could probably all recite this mission statement in our sleep, but I was recently reminded by a non-medic how incredible it is that CMF even exists and has such a vision; we are all immensely blessed to be working with those who, by virtue of our profession, are already in a position to make a difference in society.
Research by Barna, published in 2019 as Faith for Exiles – 5 ways for a new generation to follow Jesus in a digital platform, found that resilience in today’s generation of Christians is characterised by:
- Having a personal relationship with Jesus,
- Living in line with gospel values,
- Having meaningful intergenerational relationships,
- Seeing work and the whole of life as ministry, and
- Recognising life under God’s wider world mission, not personal fulfilment.
CMF can encourage, equip and empower doctors in all these areas, building their resilience and emboldening them to live and speak for Jesus wherever they are.
I am convinced that the focus has to be on the areas of how God’s Word is living, active and relevant in our lives today (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 3:16), critical thinking – how to ask the right questions and engage through gospel lenses with the world around us (Romans 12:2), and the significance of work, because everything we do is for God’s glory (Colossians 3:17).
How will we at CMF together equip our future Christian leaders to shape and influence healthcare and wider society with gospel values? By walking alongside one another in mentoring and pastoral care, fostering a Christian medical community where you live and work through Catalyst Teams, building up leaders, or serving with the gifts God has given you in this Kingdom vision.
How amazing that we can have a hand in changing the future by getting together behind this vision – we each have a part to play, no matter how big or small, in the ‘good works’ that God has equipped us for (Ephesians 2:10)
If you’re a junior doctor, nurse, or student – this applies to you. We’re cheering you on to keep running the race, keeping the faith, and getting you ready for tomorrow’s NHS. So don’t miss out on all the fantastic things we have at CMF to unite and equip you in your profession – drop me a line if you want to get involved.
If you’re none of the above – this still applies to you. Where has God put you, and how will you serve in this kingdom vision? Praying, mentoring, teaching, organising, hosting, training, and meeting for coffee, the possibilities are endless within CMF. Drop me a line – I’d love us to work together.
So, let me ask you – what single thing will you do this year, that would matter most in ten years? In eternity?
Let’s go back to the future: If you could jump in a time machine, and go forward 10 years, what could the NHS, and healthcare in general across the British Isles, look like?
Together, today, we can change tomorrow’s NHS for Christ.
‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.’