Are You Gifted? October 17, 2017

Are You Gifted?

October 17, 2017

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses..." (Acts 1:8, NIV 2011).

Michael is a radiation oncologist who spoke to our CMDA students recently, describing how he shares the gospel with his patients.
At the completion of all new patient visits, after finishing his medical discussion and answering all of their questions, he asks, "Do you mind if I share a story with you?"
They always agree and he tells them of his coming to Christ in Jamaica at the age of 23. It begins as a regular story of interest and drifts into the gospel, all within two minutes. He shares the same story with every new patient. If they want to cut him off, he politely quits the story and arranges medical follow-up. Every few months, someone is brought to a saving relationship with Christ. 

Every new patient, every time, the same story-and three to four times a year someone is saved eternally. Not a description of my practice.

Does God gift some people in evangelism and others less so? I suppose so.

If we are not among the so gifted, can we avoid our responsibility to share Christ with our patients and our colleagues?

Certainly not. We all stand under the command of Matthew 28:19-20 to make disciples of all nations.

And where does this necessarily start? By inviting and leading our close friends and family members to the Lord and then moving forward with that same witness into our workplace. How then can those of us less gifted in evangelism honor this command?

  1. Take it seriously. This is a command from our Lord. We have no right to let it go just because it is harder for us than others
  2. Pray daily for individuals you know who need Christ. Make a list and be faithful to remember them.
  3. Learn from those like Michael who do it well. How might I incorporate their skills into my practice and relationships?
  4. Make a list of short stories describing God's work in your life that you might share with patients.
  5. Develop transitions: "What are your greatest fears?" "Do you have a religious faith to help you through this?" "I went through something like this once." "You need to thank God for this healing."
  6. Pray daily for God to make you an effective witness "this day."
  7. Find ways to remind yourself at work that you are on a daily eternal mission with each person you meet.
  8. Enlist a buddy or small group to whom you are accountable for your witness.
Al Weir, MD

About Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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