Discipleship – our key priority
Peter Saunders writes:
CMF has four aims – discipleship, evangelism, mission and being a voice – but the most fundamental of all these is discipleship, because all of our other activity grows out of it. CMF's discipleship aim is 'to unite Christian doctors and medical students in Christ, and to encourage them to deepen their faith, live like Christ, and serve him obediently, particularly through acting competently and with compassion in their medical practice.'
Jesus' great commission was about making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Paul's passion was to 'present everyone perfect [mature] in Christ' and 'to this end' he said he was 'struggling with all [God's]energy' (Colossians 1:28, 29). He also taught that God had gifted members of the Church 'to prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ' (Ephesians 4:7-13).
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to 'consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching' (Hebrews 10:24,25) and 2 Timothy 3:16,17 teaches that God's Word is central to this maturing activity.
Making disciples is thereby a 'whole body of Christ' activity in which all need to be engaged and it involves meeting together around God's Word. As part of the global church we believe that these biblical principles are the foundation on which CMF's discipleship work must be built. Pastoral care, recruitment and retention of members flow from it but the foundation must come first.
Meeting around God's Word is primarily achieved in local church fellowships but CMF, as a para-church fellowship, also plays a vital role in ministering to Christian doctors and medical students.
There are many different ways: one to one; mentoring relationships; hospitality; pastoral care; Bible studies; conferences: small groups; prayer triplets; training events; away days.
To facilitate this process our vision is to have a CMF Link Person for every workplace, locality, church, deanery, foundation school and medical school where there are Christian doctors. So far the response from members has been overwhelming and at last count we had had 213 members volunteer for a total of 347 roles.
Our new online database, demonstrated at the Annual General Meeting in June and soon to be launched, will give all members a personalised login on the website with the ability to connect with other members easily and securely and give Link people greater access to members in their sphere of responsibility.
How can you get more involved?
Peter Saunders, CMF Chief Executive.
Christian Nurses and Midwives
CMF National Conference was a hugely encouraging time for the nine nursing and midwifery students attending. They joined the CMF student leaders' track and came back energised and encouraged. We have made contact with new groups of qualified and student midwives and nurses in the southeast and are exploring how we can support and encourage them as they seek to create local networks for prayer and support.
'Inspired Leadership' in nursing is the theme of our next day conference at St Mark's Church, Gabalfa, Cardiff, 26 October. Open to qualified and student nurses and midwives. We are planning a series of meetings and events in September and October for new students arriving at the London nursing schools. This is a key time for making new links and relationships, so please support the work in prayer. Continue to pray for the staff team, the CNM council and all those involved in supporting the nursing ministry.
CNM met on 6 July and elected a new Council.
Steve Fouch, CMF Head of Allied Professions Ministries .
London & South-East
'See! The winter is past…' A great consolation in March as some of us huddled round radiators and a log fire at Otford Manor, Kent, on a Saline Solution training weekend. This Spring I co-led Saline courses for medical students in Northern Ireland and health professionals in Harrow. Dundee beckons in October.
Setting up the Links scheme has been a continuing priority, with a healthy cohort of members now in place to serve as a nucleus for later growth.
A pair of evening meetings near Brighton – with a gorgeous down-land view – were an opportunity to share over supper some of the challenges of medicine today, report on our vibrant National Conference and learn about the current experience of colleagues in training. London local groups continue with varied formats – coming up soon a morning with lunch in Southall, evenings in Orpington and Rotherhithe and a local planning supper in Woodford.Julian Churcher, CMF London and SE staffworker
Isolation and lack of fellowship are big challenges for Christian doctors in Cumbria, Charlotte Hattersley reports. Charlotte, who works as CMF Associate Staffworker with special responsibility for Junior Doctors and four days as a freelance GP, recently migrated from Hull to Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. 'There is one local CMF group. The main concerns are supporting one another and making contact with junior doctors.'
Junior Doctors' committee retreat
Rescheduled for 19-21 July after arctic weather forced postponement in January. Venue: Sutton Court Farm in Shrops. An important opportunity to plan the Juniors' National Conference and Careers Day conference, and the Juniors' track for the 2014 CMF National Conference plus a strategic review of the action portfolios (Overseas, Graduates' Committee, Students, Publications, Prayer, Social Policy, Social Networks).
Pablo Fernandez, CMF Head of Graduate Ministries