CMF has completed its current five-year plan, ACTIVE 2020, and along with responding to all the specific challenges of this year, we've been discerning our priorities for the coming months and years. Our next strategic plan will last for three years rather than five, due to the current uncertainties. However, we believe that God has used COVID to clarify a number of timely priorities to make us stronger and more agile to face the uncertainties of the coming years.In October, the Board approved our draft strategic plan for 2021-2023, with three main areas of emphasis. Our core ministry activity continues, as does our overall mission of uniting and equipping Christian doctors and nurses to live and speak for Jesus. But this lays out a broad trajectory of how we want to develop CMF's ministry over these three years. What would look and feel different about CMF in three years if we succeed?Here's a taster for you:
Going Wider, by extending our reach - CMF is the premier community of Christian healthcarers in the UK. But far too many don't know about us, or only know one aspect of what we do. We plan to extend the influence of CMF yet further, by:
- Renewing our focus on growing total membership numbers, especially amongst nurse and midwife members - not because numbers are an end in themselves, but because we know there are many who are aligned with our values but are not yet part of CMF;
- Specifically emphasising poorly represented groups, such as certain ethnic groups, or geographical areas such as the Republic of Ireland;
- Developing key specialty groups and networks, encouraging members to speak into the unique issues within their own specialist communities;
- Continuing our churches engagement, helping church leaders engage with relevant CMF resources and encourage healthcarers in their own congregations to join us.
Growing Clearer, by refining our communications - Many of our members need no convincing of the vital importance of CMF's ministry. But others on the fringe need clear messages to help them grasp this. We will be working on this, along with continuing to adapt our resources; by adjusting our ratio of print to digital resources; by refining and upgrading our website to an industry-standard platform that is more resilient and adaptable, and by investing further in our membership database, to be responsive to the ways that our members live, work and communicate.
COVID has made us adapt our conferences and meetings, from all physical to all online. Now as we look to the next phase of the pandemic, we are planning our first truly hybrid event, the Junior Doctors' Conference on 23-25 October, combining physical and online attendance as a prototype for future events. This brings new challenges but significant opportunities.
Drawing Closer, by improving our local networks - We now have 14 Catalyst Teams at varying stages of development. The next three years will be a crucial time to continue this growth, integrating key emphases such as global, prayer and pastoral care. We aim to cover the whole UK and Ireland with organic, supportive local networks of praying members that will replicate the national resources of CMF at a local level.
Underpinning these three priorities will be two foundational principles of membership and engagement. CMF is not like a gym - it's not just about 'what I get out of it'; it's more like a family - we receive and give mutual support appropriate to our own circumstances. Membership fees are vital to multiplying our ministry, and we see them as missionary giving to a strategic people group. We want to be intentional about drawing people in and increasing this commitment at every level.
We also want to be giving back to our members wherever they are - as part of a local network, a training track, a specialty group, a committee or other forum; equipping them with what they need to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus, wherever he calls them to serve.
Wider, Clearer, Closer - that's where we believe God is leading us in the coming months and years. Could you help us? Could you introduce a colleague to CMF membership? Could you get involved in a growing local network? Could you support local students or junior graduates? Is there a training track or a specialty network you could be part of? Wherever you are on your journey as a Christian doctor, nurse or midwife, there's something for you in CMF. Let's walk that journey together.
Mark Pickering is CMF Chief Executive