Why Did Our Church Start an Urgent Care Clinic?

Watermark’s QuestCare Clinic has been in operation for a year and a half, and it reached over 4,000 patients in 2014. The Clinic utilizes dozens of Watermark volunteers, both those trained in medical care and those who can provide pastoral care with patients. You can check things out at questcareclinic.org and on Twitter @questcareclinic.

I’ve been asked to answer the question “Why did Watermark start a medical clinic?” And as someone who would describe this as one of her deepest passions, it’s been difficult to summarize. But so far, here is what I’ve got.

The Clinic is…

The QuestCare Clinic is…

  • An opportunity for those in the medical community to use their gifts and talents for a great cause, while training them to share their faith in a medical setting.
  • A medical service desperately needed in our state, which leads the nation in uninsured adults and children.
  • A new niche in the non-profit clinic community, providing urgent care services without pre-qualifiers to anyone who will come.
  • An opportunity for the church to be the “hands and feet” of Christ to all people.

All of the above are answers that are biblical, sound, and more than enough reason on their own. But I don’t think they fully relate the heart beat behind QuestCare Clinic.

The Best Reason

The best reason I can give for having a Clinic is simply… People.

The Clinic is physically loving, caring for, and healing people while expecting (literally) nothing in return. Volunteers are pouring their time and resources out for no other reason than the value of God’s created people.

It’s a place where our volunteers are “earning the right to be heard.” I’ve repeated the same thing at least twice a day for almost two years: “When we tell our patients that there is ‘Someone’ out there who loves and cares for them more than we do, that should mean something.”

How do we do that? How do we convey in a two-hour doctor’s visit the value each patient has AND the eternal calling placed before them?

That’s the question we continue to seek to answer, but here is what we do know:

  • We aren’t afraid to be near the sickness.
  • We are for people, regardless.
  • We are bold.

The Great Physician’s Example

In Luke 17:12-19, you see Jesus model all three of these points.

  • We aren’t afraid to be near the sickness.

When a leper approaches Christ, He doesn’t run, put on a face mask (although yes, we do need to use those sometimes at the Clinic!), or keep a “safe” distance. He engages and converses with the leper. He isn’t afraid of the distortion, the contagion, or the flat out “gross-ness” of illness, spiritual or physical.

  • We are for people, regardless.

Jesus physically heals ten lepers, and only one returns to thank him.

This example isn’t intended to state our patients aren’t grateful! They are incredibly encouraging and receptive – but even if they weren’t, we would still care for them. There’s a reason why those in health care are called “patient advocates.” It doesn’t matter how you treat us, we are called to be for you – a concept originated by our Savior.

  • We are bold.

We regularly, creatively, and shamelessly give an account for the spiritual healing that has taken place in each of our lives. It is our faith that has made us well (Luke 17:19), and it is by His wounds that I have been healed (1 Peter 2:24).

A Unique Opportunity

These principles can be – and should be – lived out in every setting and workplace. But there is something unique about the medical field.

There is a vulnerability created by the exchange of information within the first moments of interaction. People in fragile and weakened states are asking for help. They must share sad, difficult, or even embarrassing details about themselves. And they must trust in the directions given by an almost-stranger, even as we place them in a certain room or with a certain nurse.

Yet they’ve been willing to place themselves in our care, so we have the opportunity to address physical needs and reach out to them about spiritual needs too.

These are the advantages our ministry has when showing and sharing the love of Christ. Medicine isn’t the ultimate or only way to reveal God’s care and intention, but it is a very tangible one. Need convincing? Come see our volunteers in action – or join us!

QuestCare Clinic needs volunteers both from the medical community and outside it. To sign up for an information session or ask more questions, visit the Clinic site at questcareclinic.org.

Subscribe to new articles

or, get the RSS feed