fbpx Skip to content

Witnesses for Christ in healthcare

By IHS Global

Healthcare workers meet hurting people every day in healthcare settings. We hear about diseases, pain, the loss of dear ones, war, and poverty. People look to us for answers far beyond the chief complaints they present. This should be expected because disease is more than physical.

But how do we respond? As followers of Christ in healthcare, we can begin by asking: is God at work? The answer is always, yes! It is in the context of a broken world that God calls us as Christians to be salt and light, caring for our patients’ spiritual needs in addition to their physical needs.

Many healthcare workers desire to be the expressions of God’s love to their patients, but they do not know how to start or are too busy to use the opportunity. Yet, what would the world look like if all Christians were trained to make use of those precious moments with their patients for Jesus? What if healthcare workers knew how to be witnesses for Jesus?

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus declared that we will be His witnesses. He didn’t say, “Go witnessing.” He said, “You will be my witnesses.” This identity piece is at the core of engaging others for Christ. In the same way, “You are the salt” and “You are the light” (Matt. 5:13, 14) convey that we are His witnesses.

Being a witness for Jesus cannot be separated from being closely connected with Him and being transformed into His likeness. Spiritual vitality is the secret of the powerful life of biblical characters such as David, Daniel, Apostle Paul, and other role-models of faith who lived before us. Spending time with Jesus helps us overcome barriers in our lives, and gain confidence and courage to be His witnesses. As our lives reflect that of Christ, His love overflows from within us.

The Holy Spirit too provides tools for cultivating, sowing, and harvesting as we journey with patients. The first tool is prayer. We must acknowledge that the journey to Christ is God’s work and not ours, and then cover every moment from cultivating to harvesting in prayer. While we pray for our patients and colleagues to know Christ, we also need to ask others to pray that we will be effective witnesses for Jesus.

Another important tool is asking questions. These can help us develop understanding beyond medical issues. Questions build relationships and trust. When healthcare workers ask patients, or even their colleagues questions related to their families, jobs, or even their struggles, they can feel seen and validated. It can be healing. Related, we can also take a spiritual history, much like medical history, to understand each patient’s spiritual background and current spiritual condition. This helps us to understand where they are on their spiritual journey. Taking a spiritual history is considered a best practice by many influential healthcare institutions today.*

There are many more tools available to us. This is just a beginning as we consider how to meet our patients where they are on their journey to Jesus and walk with them one or many steps. To learn more or be equipped further as a witness for Christ in your healthcare setting, take our free online training at https://ihsglobal.org/spot.

*Aaron Saguil and Karen Phelps, “The spiritual assessment,” American Family Physician 86, No. 6 (September 15, 2012): 546-550, accessed June 15, 2023,  https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2012/0915/p546.html.

Other articles and resources from around the web on this topic:
contact us
contact us
contact us