Become a Faith Practitioner
Spiritual Healing is our business. What if we took a page from the medical field and specialized?
A quick Google of the term ‘health practitioner’ leads to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website and a list of 71 types of healthcare professionals, many with subtypes. From Chiropractors to General Internal Medical Specialists to Veterinarians to Health Information Technologists - all are considered health practitioners. Each type has its own education, training, licensing, types of services, and pay level.
Part of the challenge we face in the church today is that there is really only one major model - an ordained person serving full-time as head of a congregation.
That’s like saying the only way we can find physical health support and treatment is by making an appointment at the practice of a general practitioner physician.
The difference is that the realm of health care has exploded, and the amount of people who serve in some aspect of healthcare is huge (whether it’s effective is another matter, though not unrelated).
Specialists abound, and we can find someone to help us with any medical ailment or challenge, and interact with them in many different contexts.
What if we started thinking this way about those of us who are called to help others with their spiritual health?
The institutional model of full-time clergy service with one congregation is going the way of the general practice physician. Physicians started specializing in area, context, and type of people served. Health care professionals have diversified into an array of types (at least 71 of them!). Healthcare outside of an institutional setting is more widely available and affordable.
My friend Bo McGuffee describes the shift away from traditional congregational ministry as ‘the quest for diversity that flows from a mutual respect for freedom.' Diversity is not just about individual qualities - it can be about how we connect the love of God with diverse groups of people. Traditional congregational ministry can be one model among many.
New models for finding spiritual health means new ways to share love, forgiveness, reconciliation. And new paths of ministry for more faith practitioners.
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