Healthcare Toolbox: Faith Flags

Every Christian in healthcare today faces deep tensions as they put their faith into practice.  One of the most challenging is the tug-of-war between being a faithful witness and an effective steward of your time.  It simply doesn’t seem possible to do both!

I just returned from a weekend in Kiev, where I participated in an International Saline training conference.   The goal of these conferences is to help healthcare students and professionals share their faith in clinical settings, and I came away with a number of ideas I think you’ll find helpful.

“Faith flags” are one of the most useful, and will give you a flavor for the training.  Simply put, this tool is a short statement in the course of normal conversation that identifies you as someone who values the Lord, prayer or other similar concerns. They are short (max: 30 seconds), and look for a response from a patient, but do not demand one.

For example, if a patient mentions that she’s having a hard time with a recent diagnosis, you might say, “I went through something like that in my life and the only thing I can remember is that God helped me.” If the patient shows interest, you can go deeper; if not, at least you’ve opened the door for future conversations. Best of all, this is something you can do almost every time you see a patient.

Feel free to share your own examples of faith flags in the “comments” section, and stay tuned for more tools in future posts!

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About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (bryanstoudt.com), I help Christians follow Jesus in a noisy, broken world. I also have the privilege of helping Philadelphia's healthcare students and professionals do this as Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). More information at cmdaphiladelphia.org. On a personal note, I'm fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Sharon. Together, we have four fantastic children. In my spare time, I enjoy roasting coffee, running, reading and learning foreign languages.
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