Pause, step back, and consider...

How do you want to live, practice and do ministry in the later part of your career?

The average career in healthcare lasts about 35 years.  The first 20 years are often a sprint to keep our heads above water. But as we approach the back half and final stretch of our working career and life circumstances evolve, new opportunities for serving God can present themselves. Will you come with open hands and an open heart, asking Jesus what he might have next for you, and acting upon it when He provides you with direction?

 

Capstone is a new initiative from CMDA that encourages our members to pause, step back, and consider how they want to live, practice, and do ministry in the later part of their career.

 

Course corrections in career and lifestyle don’t happen overnight. They require a lot of prayer, discernment, discussion, and planning. There’s no one size fits all here.

 

What Capstone isn’t is a prescriptive pathway for every CMDA member to follow. Instead, it’s a nudge to prayerfully and courageously consider what life changes God is asking you to make now that will put you in a position to finish well. We all want to break the tape at finish line of our careers and know in our hearts that we’ve not withheld anything from Jesus, anticipating His words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”

Short term mission trips can go in a variety of directions, not all of them beneficial. Poverty tourism, unsustainable interventions, and poorly organized forays can all have unintended consequences and not provide temporal or eternal benefit for those we go to serve.

Serial Short-Term Opportunities

Short term missions done well can and do bear tremendous fruit. Experienced, later career health workers are in a unique position to step into these efforts.

One of the most effective approaches to fruitful short term ministry is to become a “Serial Short Termer”.  This entails finding one or two places to return to again and again. This will allow you to learn the ins and outs of the facility and personnel you’re working with, and not need to spend half your time getting oriented and acclimated upon arrival. You can be a huge support to longer term staff, offering relief and respite that can be hard for them to come by. You can help teach and train staff members. And you can become an advocate and mobilizer back here at home.

 

Here are some resources to help you take your next step..

Medium & Longer-Term Opportunities

When asked how CMDA could be most helpful in supporting their mission efforts at a teaching facility in Africa, an American missionary surgeon had three suggestions. The number one was to send more missionaries with gray hair.

 

For a number of reasons, our healthcare missionary workforce has skewed younger over the past few decades. But the wisdom that comes with experience is highly valued in much of the developing world in ways that our youth-focused culture in the West doesn’t recognize.

 

For healthcare workers willing to consider a medium or longer-term assignment, there are tremendous needs and opportunities that await you. The specifics will obviously depend on how God has gifted you and what He’s calling you to. But know that your presence is fiercely desired and could benefit Kingdom work in a variety of contexts around the world!

Domestic Mission Opportunities

Excellence in medicine is vital for all of us. But is technical and clinical excellence enough to please God? Is that all we have? Or do Christian healthcare professionals bring something else important to the office, lab, clinic, or hospital? And how in these present circumstances can we bring the hope and healing of Jesus to our world in crisis?

What will it cost you to serve others the way Jesus did? It may cost you a lot. It might cost you everything. Time. Money. Reputation. Influence. Position…

Our goal is to stimulate your imagination so you will consider how you might do this starting now and throughout your healthcare career.

At least 95% of Christian healthcare students and residents will practice medicine in the United States. Less than 5% will do career medical or dental missions.

Capstone & Fellowship [+]

Changing gears mid-career for a healthcare professional can be disruptive. It can be difficult to discern what’s next. Should you relocate? How can you best use your skills and your life for God’s glory and His Kingdom?

Fellowship [+] is a great place for those with a Capstone mindset to transition into the next phase of their career. Housed in Memphis and Detroit, this program entails cross-cultural incarnational ministry paired with spiritual development. You’ll be encouraged to find work in healthcare in the community, but with a reduced schedule that allows you to deeply engage in an intensive structured discipleship experience over the course of two years.

Upon completing Fellowship [+], some people will choose to remain in community in Memphis or Detroit.  Others will move overseas. Others will return back to where they’d originally come from, but as a changed person.

Missions Conferences & Courses

Missions conferences can be mountaintop experiences. They’re a great place to be inspired, network, and explore ways to move forward in your calling. Taking a course on missions is also a great way to dig in and learn more about what God is doing to make His name known among the nations. Heere are a handful of great conferences and courses that we highly recommend: