Another great moment in my local ministry this fall. Last weekend was our last monthly brunch for my professional student group at Creighton. Chad was our guest faculty mentor this month. I first met Chad a number of years ago. Job transition stress drove me to seek help with debilitating shoulder pain. My daughter Phoebe had seen Chad earlier that year (ballet injury). It was an easy recommendation to pursue not only because Chad helped Phoebe get straightened out, but the ATI clinic Chad was in charge of is located less than football field from my house!
I could tell Chad was a person of faith right away. It came up naturally and easily in conversations about why an unemployed pastor might be in need of therapy to fix frozen shoulder. I was also genuinely impressed with how I saw Chad interacting with other patients in his clinic. “At some point, I should tell this guy what is going on with my transition to IV staff and see if he’d be able to help me.”
The shoulder got fixed in about 2 months. I went on into GFM ministry with a group of PT and OT students at Creighton. I mentioned to Chad that I’d like to have him speak to my students – that is once we started meeting in person again. Saturday’s brunch you might say was 2 years in the making! The best part of the occasion was the way students latched onto EVERYTHING Chad said to them.
We usually spend a few minutes getting settled as we pass brunch dishes around and start downing coffee. These monthly gatherings have worked so well BECAUSE I’ve sought to bring mentors students can converse with (and not experts who lecture to them on Christianity and Medicine). Chad shared about his journey of getting through his DPT program and finding his first few jobs after graduation. He spoke pretty candidly about how his work took on more meaning as he connected it with his faith and “whole life calling.” He talked about how much pressure there was to “bill more, bill more, bill more” in the clinical jobs he had. He contrasted that with the freedom he now feels to work his practice with God’s purposes as the driver.
After we’ve let the guest mentor talk about their faith and practice connection, we just turn students loose on them in a Q/A free for all. No shortage of questions! You can just feel the energy in the room ratchet up. Last Saturday there were mostly first year PT students. They grilled Chad for 45 minutes and seemed to want more when our time ran out.
Help me find more Chads!
Not only did the students savor the open-ended dialogue, Chad also mentioned more than once how much HE needed interaction like this. “This does my faith good. This helps me revisit why my faith matters to my work. It blesses me to see Christian students and get focused time with them.” Chad would come back any time again to keep the conversation going because he could tell it was helping students AND it refreshed him in the process. I think that’s what you’d call a WIN-WIN. Or a slam dunk – pick your sports metaphor. Pray for me to keep this kind of dialogue happening monthly for these professional students. Pray for me to be effective in my networking. Pray for me as I keep taking initiative with students to help them connect and grow spiritually with each other. It’s been a fun season of work right here in my back yard.
As usual, my November and December are strategic months for firming up ministry partnership with friends and donors. If you haven’t yet had a chance to hop on that link above please let me know how you’d like to partner in the coming year. The link ABOVE takes you to my google response form. The link BELOW takes you directly to my donation page at InterVarsity. If you need a refresher about my need, be sure to back up and read my Financial Update Post from November 4th.
Thanks so much!