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!


About Bryan Stoudt

On my personal website (, 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 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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