When I started as a junior doctor in London, an excellent piece of advice that stuck with me went something like this: 'Whatever you do, get the nurses on side. They know more than you about the patients, and they can make your life much better, or much worse!'
The bottom line is that life is so much better when we work together - in churches, families, communities and workplaces. We are more productive and happier, and whatever role we have is more fulfilling and effective.
Then why do we so often descend into tribes and factions, backbiting and blaming others when we are actually on the same team? Sadly, this is often seen particularly in the stressful world of healthcare. Doctors against nurses, with both against the management! It shouldn't be like this, but so often it is.
As Christians we don't have to look far to discern the root cause. The essence of sin is selfishness, and this is the most basic reason why we stick with our own tribe or professional group and tend to assume that those who don't speak our jargon don't understand us or are against us. On the other hand, working together as different disciplines can be a wonderful expression of Christian unity.
CMF has partnered with nurses and midwives for years. In 2014 we took a real step forward when Christian Nurses and Midwives merged their resources and membership with CMF. Since then nurses and midwives have been members of CMF. We have grown a great nursing staff team, a network of local groups, and resources such as the wonderful Spotlight! I am always so encouraged to hear what God is doing amongst nurses and midwives in CMF.
One of the exciting spinoffs is the involvement of other allied health professionals (AHPs) in our local nursing and midwifery groups. It's great to hear that therapists and related disciplines are finding support here.
This has naturally led us to ask what CMF can do further to assist Christian AHPs in growing as a community, united and equipped to live and speak for Jesus. Some of you will remember the Christian Therapists' Network that sadly folded some years ago, and likewise the Therapy Students' Christian Fellowship. We would be delighted to play a part in helping to resurrect something similar that could serve the specific needs of Christian AHPs, working in partnership with CMF.
The Bible often exhorts believers to unite across barriers, such as in Philippians 2:2, where Paul states, 'make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind'.
If that wasn't enough, Jesus himself laid the perfect foundation for Christian multidisciplinary working in John 13:35: 'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'
These are early days, but there are 'green shoots' that we would love to nurture. If you are a Christian AHP, get in touch and join the conversation. Joining CMF as an Associate Member would also be a good start and would help us keep in touch with you. See cmf.org.uk/join for details.
Mark Pickering is CMF Chief Executive