Have you ever been served by that waiter who was just not having a good day? Your water is never refilled, lukewarm enchiladas are plopped in front of you, and conversation with your server is not on the menu! When leaving the restaurant, you question your return and wonder if you left too much tip.
I sometimes wonder if the people we serve in ministry might feel the same way. They can feel herded through a line like animals, assigned only a number to identify the next person on the schedule, and offered little more than conversation about the weather.
As I continue serving at QuestCare Clinic, I’m realizing that it is easier to “hurt when helping” than to actually provide useful relief, rehabilitation, or development. But I’ve had the chance to sit through discussions about QuestCare’s operation, as we continue to make sure we provide care in the clinic without sending people away in a worse state.
Through those discussions, I have been reminded of a central concept about service: God loves the world, and we are to care for those whom He loves. We are simply to CARE for the population we serve – it’s an acronym any of us can use as we serve, whether in the Clinic or all across our city and world.
In the Clinic setting, we want to show love and compassion by providing good health care, as well as making patients feel like more than just a name on the schedule. We then portray a Savior who loves us, regardless of hurts, habits, or hang-ups (Romans 5:8).
Regardless of the venue, having compassion on people we serve means recognizing we are all humans with those hurts, habits, and hang-ups – sinners in need of grace – and we all need the grace of the Savior. Then we simply treat people like we ourselves hope God treats us.
The health care field is not known for ease of accessibility. Barriers of entry (proof of employment, valid ID, insurance, etc.) have been set in place to serve specific groups of people. QuestCare has been set up to have no barriers of entry, by welcoming all who walk through our doors. Along with easy access to health care, the Clinic is also set up to encourage easy conversations centered around what Jesus has done for us and our response to His grace (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). In other words we are personally “accessible” too.
Regardless of where we serve, we can all make care – and our lives – more accessible. And as we serve, we can express the easy access we have to God Himself through Christ.
QuestCare desires to be a place where patients can connect with people who will help them get to a better state of health than when they arrived. These interactions provide opportunities for patients to build relationships with followers of Christ, so that they may also come into a relationship with Him (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Relationships are the basis of serving well. If some do not know Jesus, we live out the characteristics of God. For those who do know Him, we build relationships in order to push them closer to Jesus. And in all those interactions – whether people are open to our words about God or not – we strive to show His love and grace.
Providing medical care requires a level of professionalism. We can’t ever forget that, even as we concentrate on the “softer” side of our impact.
As believers, we should strive to do everything with excellence for the glory of God, who gave us all we have in the first place (Colossians 3:23-24). Any kind of service should provide a level of excellence that reflects that our God deserves and is worthy of our best, along with our desire to glorify Him.
From CARE to CARED
As a reminder to ourselves, we’ve added a “D” to remind ourselves why everyone should be CARED for well with Compassion, Accessibility, Relationship, and Excellence.
We CARE for others because they have…
Each one of us is made in the image of the Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1:26). We have innate value, but because of sin, have strayed from reflecting Him. When serving others, we are to treat them with respect because of their God-given worth. Since we also recognize that God so loved these people and gave His one and only perfect Son, offering eternal life for all who believe in Him, we are called to love those who do not know Him and point them to Jesus (John 3:16).
Having compassion, being accessible, creating relationships, serving with excellence, and recognizing people’s God-given dignity can together help us CARE for others well. As you continue to serve, remember to ask yourself, “Do I CARE?” – because God CARED for the world, and calls us to do the same.