Transitions can be particularly challenging. Working in a health care sharing ministry where our daily mission is to connect people to a Christ-centered community wellness experience, we continuously find ourselves offering comfort, prayer, and sage advice on how to live well.
* Note to Reader: check out some of our blogs written by our Health & Wellness team
For a Christian health care sharing organization, addressing change requires a delicate balance of faith, compassion, and resilience. It is similar to serving as an employee at a Church.
Many of our Members call us because they have had life-altering experiences: a pregnancy or birth, an unexpected or prolonged illness, an accident, a difficult miscarriage, or, sadly, the death of a beloved family member. The most impactful day-to-day change is in the Member's household and life.
However, we feel it too, as employees of this ministry. Many of our representatives compassionately weep as they pray over a Member and their family. Many wait to cry until after they hang up from the call, especially if it is a trauma or loss they have also experienced.
Though we have chaplains on staff, and co-workers and supervisors who will, at the drop of a hat, bathe them in prayer, they still have to gather themselves together, accept another call, and perhaps breathe a sigh of relief when it is about a Provider bill or for a pre-authorization.
Understanding the Nature of Change in a Ministry:
Like a business, transitions can manifest in various ways within a health care sharing or other ministry. As we’ve grown, our changes have involved new policies, technologies, leadership, or even shifts in our workforce.
We experienced a remarkably well-orchestrated shift to remote work during COVID and are currently working toward a “return to workplace” shift.
Even changes in the reason for Member calls – an uptick of Members facing a particular illness or a great many COVID-quarantine pregnancies – create a shift in what we do and talk about each day.
Because of the ebb and flow of our daily workplace activities and management of growth, we constantly need new training that is helpful for both on-site and remote workers. Our technology and software is in a state of continuous improvement so that we can process needs faster and more accurately, and help those working on the phones find what they need in real time.
Regardless of the form it takes, changes can disrupt familiar routines and create a sense of unease. Just because we’re Christian does not make us immune to the impact of change.
I’d like to share specific actions we can all take to help us through constant transitions in life.
5 Steps for Godly Resilience:
1. Acknowledge Emotions
God created us to experience emotions. Some of us tend to be good at both recognizing and expressing them. For others, there is room to grow, and I’m smiling as I write, for the sanctification process at work within us.
We understand that change can evoke emotion. In times of uncertainty, it’s essential to recognize and validate feelings of anxiety, frustration, or grief.
2. Practice Empathy
We are all made in His image. God has graciously equipped us with empathy so we can be His image-bearers. Recognizing the ability and need to grow in empathy toward others, Christian Care Ministry developed training for its staff. We are witnesses that through empathy, understanding and healing begins.
3. Practice Prayer
Our faith in our living God and His power to change our lives and circumstances is our supreme source of strength during difficult transitions. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves and those around us, God IS at work in us and through us. His Spirit is our Counselor, Advocate, and our Helper in all things. The Spirit of God helps us to pray when we don’t know what to say.
We intentionally cultivate a culture of prayer at CCM. We pray continually about all things with all manner of prayer. Prayer is part of our meetings and spoken in our hallways, not to mention with our Members and Providers on the phones.
4. Embrace Flexibility
In the face of change, flexibility is a valuable attribute. He is the Potter, we are the clay. We can continue to provide the best care by encouraging a mindset that views change as an opportunity for growth, even when it is hard or unwanted.
5. Foster Communication
Open and transparent communication is essential during times of change. It helps to lessen the “what if” questions we have. It also helps us to know how or what to pray for. Providing forums for others to express their concerns and suggestions helps create a sense of involvement and ownership, promoting a smoother transition.
Transitions can be exciting, but also difficult at times. Our faith in our omniscient Heavenly Father is our compass through it all. The more we encourage support for one another and those we serve, pray together, share stories of resilience, and remind each other of the purpose behind our work, the more we find ourselves navigating challenging times with grace.
God, help us to serve one another well in a manner that reflects the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.