Sometimes it feels like the Centers for Disease Control knows more about a movement than most Christian leaders. Perhaps the Ebola outbreak and constant media clatter about the cases on American soil will help us catch on how people catch the faith. Robert Wachter, MD, is a professor and associate chair of the department of medicine at the University of California – San Francisco. His article in the USA Today (10/13/14) has lessons for Christian leaders. Wachter explains that technology may be part of the Dallas hospital emergency room error that sent Thomas Eric Duncan home…with Ebola.
Wachter reports that computerization leads to “electronic silos” and decreases communication between doctors and nurses. In a pre-digital era, doctors and nureses operated as a team in emergency rooms – always talking with each other. A 2014 study shows that electronic health records result in “a significant decrease” in the quality of communication between doctors and nurses.” The Christian Movement suffers from the worldview that the church, as an institution, provides programs to reach people for Christ. By a miracle, literally, it works to some degree. Some become Christians! Yet, the potential for explosive, exponential growth of Christianity is greatly hindered – by Christians! Christianity is like the flu. You catch it by getting up close and personal with someone who has got it. That’s how the New Testament church spread throughout the Mediterranean world. It’s been the same for the faith growing in parts of Africa, South America, and in China. What is the mission field of your church? If you say “our community,” or “12 miles around our church,” or “anyone within 12 minutes driving distance,” you have made Christianity institutional. Who reaches your mission field? If you say, “the pastor,” or “staff,” or “the evangelism committee,” you have crippled the movement potential. The Christian Movement grows exponentially when everyone in church who is “infected” with the faith gets up close and personal by sharing their “God stories” with those in their social networks. When you reduce this to your church campus, you have quarantined the carriers of the faith. Wouldn’t you like to see an outbreak of Christianity through the people in your church?
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.