In the previous months, this blog has given space to encouraging churches to have a health ministry. It tried to engage churches to practice their faith beyond the four corners of the church building. This was in consonance as I started engaging with local churches, ecumenical groups and faith-based organizations this past several months.
However, one of the biggest struggles I have to hurdle amongst Christian groups is their persistence to implement medical missions as a tool for evangelizing. As I develop a curriculum for pastor's in health ministry, let me share with you a key theology that guides my actions on pushing for church health ministries, moving away from medical missions and capacitating pastor's on health skills.
God's two greatest commandment serves as foundation for our actions as Christians. First, love God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second, love others as yourself. Let me focus on "loving others."
I asked a fellow Christian doctor why he involves himself in free medical missions? He replied, it is his ministry to witness on God's love to people, especially the sick. I asked a bishop why he organizes and sponsors medical missions in his area? He replied, it is an effective evangelical tool to introduce the Gospel to the people. The replies are theologically problematic in so many levels.
I will try to share in a series of reflections and essays on some theological points on health ministry, medical mission and evangelism. Watch out for these four topics :
- Health Ministry should be Free
- Health Ministry Impacts
- Medical Mission as an Evangelical Tool
- Medical Mission Impacts