THREE KEYS TO THRIVING
“When students come to Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) meetings, do they experience renewal?” An InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff person asked me this question recently. I had asked for ideas in creating spaces for students and nurses to experience Jesus at NCF meetings. The goal? Students coming back again and again to NCF!
After six months in the role of NCF Student Ministries Director, I am learning and recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities that nurses and nursing students face daily. Being the hands and feet of Jesus daily has reward beyond measure—and heartache beyond description. Seeing the brokenness of the world up close requires hope and strength that can be found only in Jesus. Thanks to those who are investing their time, love, energy, and resources in NCF's ministry. Whether you are a student, faculty advisor, staff member, or volunteer, you are appreciated beyond words. You are making an impact on the nursing profession and for the kingdom of heaven. My question for you is the same: When students or nurses come to your NCF meeting, do they experience renewal? Do they receive from Jesus and one another what they need for their week ahead? Are they thriving? Is your NCF group thriving? Here are three keys toward building a thriving group:
- Support and encouragement for you as a leader
- Quality meetings
SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR LEADERS
You are important! Your relationship with Jesus is important! Are you meeting with God regularly? Who do you have around you praying for you and your NCF group? Consider asking three individuals to pray for you and your group on a regular basis. Be sure you have others pouring into you as you pour into your group. Consider asking a mentor from church to disciple you. Find a spiritual director or connect with NCF to get coaching, especially when ministry is hard. See https://www.ivpress.com/reading-your-life-s-story-ebook
Be sure your group becomes a community where everyone is welcome. Whether your group meets every week or once a month, creating space where group members experience and encounter Jesus is key to renewal. Consider the following components: prayer, intimate community, and God's Word. Even those who are exploring the truth of Jesus can experience God when they encounter a prayer-filled, intimate community that looks to him for hope.
You are uniquely placed in your spheres of influence to reach students and nurses around you who only you can reach. Ask God who you can invite personally to your NCF group. Consider those who know and trust you; they will most likely say yes when you invite them. Think through an invitation beforehand. What are you inviting them to? Why should they come? How has NCF encouraged you? Include these elements in your invitation.
Another opportunity is an outreach such as a “Self-Care Night.” Bring in a speaker who shares how important it is for nurses to care for their bodies, minds, and souls. What does that look like practically? Provide care packages for those who come, and let them know that NCF cares about them and their well-being.
These points do not guarantee success. Ministry can be hard and frustrating at times. But we know that as we are faithful, Jesus is faithful. He is moving on your campus and in your place of work. John 10:10, (ESV) says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” We may encounter destruction all around us, but take heart! Jesus has come to bring abundant life to you, to every group member, and to those around you who do not know him yet. He came to bring renewal. He came that we may thrive!
Our time this side of heaven is limited. We have only so much time to devote to all the pieces of our life. Our NCF group is one of many pieces of our lives and calling on our plates. As we think of investing in the kingdom through NCF, resources and opportunities are available at http://ncf-jcn.org/